‘Zombie’ wars: Ohio law aims to reduce blighted properties

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new Ohio law is being viewed as a national model for eliminating zombies. Zombie properties, that is.

The measure taking effect Wednesday speeds up the process for foreclosing on vacant and abandoned properties — homes and other structures given their nickname for being left to languish like the living dead.

Legislation signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) in June was three years in the making. It establishes a fast-track system that trims Ohio’s foreclosure process from two years or more to as little as six months.

Backers say the law protects property-owner rights by requiring at least three of 11 listed factors to be present before foreclosure can begin. Factors include disconnected utilities, boarded-up or broken windows, unlocked doors, accumulated trash, vandalism and a lack of furnishings.

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