Your editorial on zombie homes says that banks disclaim responsibility for maintaining these homes ["Good start to fix zombie homes," May 19]. This argument is silly because the banks shouldn't let assets fall apart.

Truth be told, the zombie homes are not the banks' assets. They're the homeowners' assets until foreclosure has been completed and ownership reverts to the banks. The fact that the process averages three years is not the banks' fault; it's the fault of the legal system.

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A law should be passed making the homeowner responsible for all maintenance from the time a house is abandoned until title reverts to the bank, even though the homeowner may not be responsible for the amount of the mortgage above the value of the home. This places the legal responsibility where it belongs -- on the shoulders of the homeowners!

Herbert Kraut, Woodmere

The preservation of zombie homes makes very little sense. These homes should be sold to new owners who will fix them up and maintain them.

This could be done by towns or counties, which could acquire the properties through eminent domain and sell them at auction. This could be done in a few weeks, not after years in foreclosure.

Lawrence Donohue, West Islip