Making Owners Responsible for Bank Foreclosure Property

by Simon Lindsay on Foreclosure Crisis

City commissioners of Fort Lauderdale in South Florida will vote on a law to require owners of bank foreclosure property to maintain it to reasonable standards.

Property owners, and that includes lending institutions and banks, will be required by the city to take responsibility on the repair and maintenance of abandoned and vacant properties. If they failed to comply, the bank foreclosure property will be declared a public nuisance.

The city has an existing law that makes property owners liable for non-maintenance of homes and lawns. The proposed law is much tougher than the initial one and its enforcement is made easier and quicker. This time around, the city will take the task of mowing the lawns and installing boards on vacant homes. But the city will pass the cost of the repair and maintenance of foreclosed homes to property owners.

Commissioner Romney Rogers expressed his support of the law, saying that it is a great idea. The city of Fort Lauderdale is one of the cities in the United States severely affected by the growing number of bank foreclosure property. And city officials hope that the public nuisance law will be successful in preventing one repossessed house from pulling down the property values in the whole neighborhood.

In a city memo about the public nuisance law, it stated that Fort Lauderdale is expecting as many as 15 new foreclosure homes daily. The memo pointed out studies which linked foreclosure homes to the rise in crime and residential fires.

If the law will be approved, it will be a violation to keep a house in a way that may become infested or attract rodents, wild animals or vermin. It will also be unlawful if foreclosed homes will be left to become breeding places for mosquitoes, endanger or threaten the public welfare, safety and health.

Furthermore, it is also a violation if the vacant home will adversely affect and impede the economic condition of nearby properties. This proposed law drastically reduces the appeal time of property owners.

No warning will be provided to repeat violators and the city would immediately take over the work of maintaining the properties and billing the owners for the work done.

In the event that the city could not contact the owner of a bank foreclosure property, it will file a lien on the foreclosed home that should be paid once the house is sold.