Legislation recently introduced, HB 1337, would require banks and investment companies that foreclose on a home to pay for securing and maintaining the property. In addition, the legislation would authorize counties and municipalities to enact a local law for the same purpose, including the authority to institute a civil penalty if the property is not being secured and maintained.
According to an article in the Washington Examiner, HB 1337, sponsored by members from Prince George’s and Charles Counties, would address the large number of foreclosed properties being neglected in some neighborhoods.
Experts say foreclosures already bring down a neighborhood’s property value — but neglected properties exacerbate the problem.
“When foreclosures … are vacant or abandoned, those properties are not kept up or maintained, so it not only pulls down the value when it’s finally sold, but also the perceived value when someone drives through the neighborhood,” Daren Blomquist, spokesman for the foreclosure tracking firm RealtyTrac, told The Washington Examiner this month.