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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 7, 2015 04:18 PM
From: Representative Tina M. Davis
To: All House members
Subject: Foreclosed Property Maintenance Act (former HB 853 of 2013-14)
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation – former House Bill 853 of 2013-14 – intended to require any entity that has initiated a foreclosure on a property to assume the responsibility of maintaining and registering the property with the municipality in which it is located.

As I am sure you are aware, there are thousands of foreclosed and vacant properties in our local communities due to the Great Recession and the subsequent collapse of real estate markets. Many of these foreclosed properties suffer severe degrees of neglect which can rapidly evolve into blighted conditions, creating a negative and lasting effect on the communities in which they are located. Additionally, these abandoned properties often fall prey to looters, scavengers and squatters with the resultant damage causing significant drops in property values.

Specifically, this legislation would require entities foreclosing on a property to register the property with the local municipality. In addition, foreclosing entities would be required to inspect and maintain the property each month that it remains vacant. However, the foreclosing entity would have the option to enter into a contract with the municipality to perform certain exterior maintenance in order to remain compliant with local codes and zoning ordinances.

Imposing these few simple requirements will ensure foreclosed properties remain habitable and marketable, with the added benefit that they are more likely to sell in a timely manner. Ensuring that these properties find their way back into the hands of responsible property owners will prove beneficial not only to property buyers and lenders, but most importantly to our municipalities.

Please join me in preventing blight in Pennsylvania by co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB795