Foreclosure blight now subject to $1,000 fines
Effective 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
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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
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