Bill Improves Tool for Counties to Address Foreclosed Properties

MACo Policy Analyst, Natasha Mehu testified in support of HB 1286, Residential Property – Foreclosed Property Registry – Notification to Local Jurisdictions, to the House Environment & Transportation Committee on March 8, 2016.

This bill creates a process for local jurisdictions to receive prompt notification of foreclosed properties which allows them to take prompt action in the interest of their communities. This “push” rather than “pull” system could prove very helpful to county public safety and code enforcement officials to better understand property transitions.

From the MACo testimony,

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) operates an online, password protected, Foreclosed Property Registry in which every residential property purchased at a foreclosure sale must be registered. This information can be used to facilitate code enforcement, property maintenance, nuisance abatement, law enforcement, and emergency services.

HB 1286 would require that upon initial registration, DLLR record the county in which the property is located in addition to the property’s street address. It would also require the Department to promptly send an electronic copy of the initial registration to the appropriate official of the county or, upon request, to the municipality.

These changes expedite and streamline the notification process to ensure that local jurisdictions are in the best position to take action on foreclosed properties that may pose a danger to the community. The local jurisdictions would be spared the time-consuming task of periodically checking the site for updates and having to crosscheck street addresses with county borderlines.

Instead, the information would be clearly and promptly provided to the appropriate county authority. This also creates a safeguard against properties being overlooked or designated as being located in the wrong county.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.