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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 28, 2019 10:56 AM
From: Representative Anthony M. DeLuca
To: All House members
Subject: Requiring Mortgage Lenders to Maintain Foreclosed Properties
Too many of our municipalities continue to suffer adverse effects from the housing and financial crisis of the recent past. Many communities, particularly older neighborhoods, have watched a rise in home foreclosures. These foreclosures often result in homes becoming vacant, and in many cases, the properties fall into disrepair or become blight to the community.

In 2010, the General Assembly passed Act 90, known as the Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act, which made significant steps to help municipalities correct blight. One of its provisions gave municipalities the ability to initiate in personam actions against property owners who have allowed their properties to fall into serious disrepair. This new tool makes it easier for municipalities to force blighted property owners to bring their properties up to code or face fines for violations.

Unfortunately, Act 90 contains a major flaw. It treats mortgage lenders that have taken possession of a property, following a foreclosure, differently than it treats other owners by leaving them out of the definition of “owner.”

The result of this is that municipalities can’t file in personam actions to go after banks and other corporate lenders that refuse to maintain their foreclosed properties. The only option is to attach a lien on a property, which can take many years to collect. In the meantime, our municipalities struggle to pay for the maintenance of these properties as they fall into disrepair and blight the community.

My legislation, which was HB 471, would fix this flaw by adding mortgage lenders in the definition of “owners.”

I invite you to join me as a co-sponsor of this legislation. Thank you.

Introduced as HB710