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Foreclosure blight now subject to $1,000 fines

July 9, 2008 | 12:44 pm

Jeyps6ncEffective yesterday, local governments in California have the authority to levy fines of up to $1,000 per day against banks and lenders who fail to maintain foreclosed properties. Will governments enforce the law? Good question. Politicians certainly complain about the blight of foreclosure and how it hurts neighborhoods. Now it is their turn to prevent said blight.

The law signed yesterday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger  provides for fines of up to $1,000 per day per violation against property owners who fail to keep up properties. Specifically, failure to maintain a property includes "permitting excessive foliage growth that diminishes the value of surrounding properties, failing to take action to prevent trespassers or squatters from remaining on the property, or failing to take action to prevent mosquito larva from growing in standing water."

You can read the relevant section of the law by clicking below.
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times
Your thoughts? Comments? E-mail story tips to peter.viles@latimes.com.

12.Requires a legal owner to maintain vacant, residential
             real property purchased by that owner at a foreclosure 
             sale or acquired by that owner through foreclosure under 
             a mortgage or deed of trust. 

             A.    Provides that a governmental entity may impose 
                civil fines and penalties of up to $1,000 per day per 
                violation on such a legal owner for failure to 
                maintain the property.

             B.    Requires any governmental entity that chooses to 
                impose fines and penalties pursuant to the bill to 
                give notice of the claimed violation, including a 
                description of the conditions giving rise to the 
                claim of violation, give the legal owner an 
                opportunity to remedy the violation at least 14 days 
                prior to imposing fines and penalties, and allow the 
                legal owner an opportunity to contest any fines and 
                penalties imposed.

             C.    Provides that "failure to maintain," for purposes 
                of this section, includes failure to adequately care 
                for the property, including, but not limited to, 
                permitting excessive foliage growth that diminishes 
                the value of surrounding properties, failing to take 
                action to prevent trespassers or squatters from 
                remaining on the property, or failing to take action 
                to prevent mosquito larva from growing in standing 
                water.

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