Montgomery Passes Bill to Enforce Foreclosed Property Registry

The Montgomery County Council has unanimously passed a bill imposing a civil penalty on property owners that do not register a foreclosed property purchase as required under state law.

As announced in a county council press release:

“This bill will address the ongoing problems many of our neighborhoods confront from foreclosed and neglected properties that are often in persistent disrepair, hurt home values, attract crime and force the County to expend limited resources to enforce code violations,” said Councilmember Hucker. “Bill 38-16 provides the County with new tools to enforce current law, ensure homes are properly maintained and taxes are paid, and encourage delinquent or absentee owners to rent, occupy or sell the property.”

The bill will impose a civil penalty for the failure to register a property that is purchased by foreclosure. By Maryland law since 2012, the purchaser of a foreclosed property must register the property with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLRR) and the Maryland Foreclosure Task Force within 30 days of the property’s foreclosure sale. The law authorizes local jurisdictions to enact legislation to impose a fine of $1,000 for failing to register.

The law was meant to address the period of nine to 18 months that frequently occurs between the date of a foreclosure and the date that the property title is transferred. During this time, local jurisdictions have a hard time identifying the party responsible for maintenance, security and taxes. To date, Montgomery County has not enacted any punitive fine and hundreds of foreclosed properties have gone unregistered since the General Assembly approved the law.

Read the full press release to learn more.