This post summarizes the final action of various finance and procurement bills relating to home foreclosures that MACo either considered or took a position on.
Foreclosure Notices to SDAT: SB 123 would require a bank or other secured party who purchases a property through the foreclosure process to notify the local supervisor of assessments of the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) within 60 days after the court ratifies the sale to provide for the removal of the Homestead Tax Credit that may have been associated with the property. MACo supported SB 123 as it would result in a more efficient process for the removal of these Credits and increased revenue for the State and local jurisdictions. Status: Bill has passed the General Assembly and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Foreclosure – Recordation of Deeds: HB 508 would require the purchaser at a foreclosure sale to close on the transaction and record a deed transferring title within 60 days after the entry of the final order of ratification. MACo supported this legislation as it would result in a more timely collection of transfer and recordation taxes and the removal of Homestead Property Tax credits. Status: HB 508 passed the House, but failed in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Foreclosed Property Registry: HB 1373 would require the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation to establish and maintain a foreclosed property registry and provide local government access. MACo supported the bill as a mechanism to improve communications between State and local governments and those entities that are responsible for maintaining properties during the period of time between a foreclosure auction and the recordation of the property deed. Many times during this period, properties may fall into disrepair and the local government may not know who to contact to address these matters. The bill as amended by the House, authorized a local government to collect any charges for maintaining a property or abating a nuisance for a property listed on the state registry through the property tax. However, the bill would have also precluded a local jurisdiction from establishing their own registry if a Statewide registry was put in place. MACo worked in the Senate with interested parties to amend the bill to ensure the final version would grandfather those jurisdictions with existing registries and not affect other types of registries that may have been put in place for rental properties. Status: Bill has passed the General Assembly and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Foreclosed Property – Certificate of Vacancy and Certificate of Property Unfit for Habitation: HB 1374 would establish a “fast track” process for the liquidation of vacant properties. The “fast track” process is aimed at eliminating the elongated timeframe that leaves vacant properties in disrepair. For a property to be fast tracked, a local government must issue a certificate of vacancy or a certificate of property unfit for human habitation. As introduced, the bill was authorizing, however as amended by the House, a local government would be required to issue these certificates if a property has been determined vacant, or found unfit for habitation in accordance with requirements of local, county, or state housing codes. Many local governments do not issue these certificates. MACo worked in the Senate with interested parties to amend the bill to require that only those local jurisdictions which issue these certificates are required to do so. Status: Bill has passed the General Assembly and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.