MILWAUKEE -- Governor Scott Walker has signed into law a bill that will give lenders up to a year before they must sell abandoned properties known as "zombie homes." It is a move Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett believes will lead to an increase in crime in Milwaukee.
Barrett says these so-called "zombie homes" are unwanted by the lending banks.
According to Barrett, more "zombie homes" means more places for criminals to conduct illegal activity in Milwaukee. He added that it comes down to out-of-state banks making money off of these homes, and Milwaukee taxpayers are forced to pay the price.
"In other words, if they can make money, they're gonna make money, but if there's a loss, they're gonna push it onto the taxpayers of this community. It's wrong. We've seen it time and time again, and it has to stop," Barrett said.
Officials with the Wisconsin Banker's Association said they believe the new law clarifies the process of declaring properties abandoned, and doesn't take any rights away from cities.