Erie County Clerk's 'Neighborhood Foreclosure A.L.E.R.T Program'

Modified: April 3, 2018 10:00am

January 5, 2018




New initiative from County Clerk’s Office to help combat and prevent ‘zombie’ properties in Erie County



Erie County, NY- Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns announced Friday, January 5th a new program to help prevent and combat the foreclosure and ‘zombie’ crisis in Erie County. The ‘Neighborhood Foreclosure A.L.E.R.T Program’ is a collaborative effort working with each municipality in Erie County to preserve neighborhoods and prevent foreclosures. Through this program, Clerk Kearns will partner with municipality leaders to assist them in proactively monitoring foreclosures in their communities through lis penden filings at the Clerk’s office.


Using the A.L.E.R.T program, notification of a lis penden filing will be made available to municipalities, alerting them that a foreclosure action has commenced in their community. The goal is to provide municipalities with earlier detection of a possible ‘zombie’ property.


“As Erie County Clerk, I am uniquely positioned to provide community leaders with access to data that is vital to combating the zombie and foreclosure crisis,” said Kearns. “It is imperative that the Clerk’s office has direct and specific information as to who in each municipality is responsible for handling zombie properties, so that the flow of information is seamless.”


The new Neighborhood Foreclosure A.L.E.R.T Program database will be updated every Monday. Municipalities will receive login information to access the database and monitor any foreclosures in their communities. In partnership with the WNY Law Center, Kearns will conduct trainings for municipality officials on how to report ‘zombie’ properties and work with banks to move these vacant properties back on the market.


“Using the tools and resources available at the Erie County Clerk’s office to combat the foreclosure crisis is a top priority in this office. We will continue to be proactive in helping our neighborhoods bounce back from ‘zombie’ blight,” said Kearns.


“The Western New York Law Center is proud to partner with Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns to empower municipalities to fight foreclosures in their neighborhoods. By providing data and training to municipalities, we have the potential to both increase the number of families saved from foreclosure and decrease the number of zombie homes across Erie County,” said Kate Lockhart, Paralegal with the WNY Law Center.  


Another component of the Neighborhood Foreclosure A.L.E.R.T Program is to alert homeowners of any foreclosure action filed against their property and to notify the owner of the Residential Foreclosure Actions Consumer Bill of Rights, part of the 2016 NY Foreclosure Relief Act, co-sponsored by Clerk Kearns as a NYS Assemblyman.



A- Accessing

L- Lis Penden data for

E- Erie County and

R- Reporting to

T- Towns, Cities and Villages


The first training session for municipality leaders will take place January 26th, 2018. Weekly reports to municipalities will begin January 29th, 2018.