Canton, OH Amends VPR Ordinance to Begin Enforcement
On October 3, CantonRep.com published an article titled Canton City Amends Foreclosure Law to Begin Enforcement.
Canton City amends foreclosure law to begin enforcement
CANTON — Five years ago, Kevin Fisher worked in the county auditor’s office assessing the property taxes of landowners who’d failed to clean up trash or cut their grass and weeds. The properties had become such a nuisance that local governments like Canton had come in to clean them or board them up, charging the owner for their work.
It was work as usual for Fisher, now a Canton City councilman who represents the city’s 5th Ward, until an assessment came through with his mother’s name on it for the home he grew up in.
Fisher knew something was wrong: His mom had fallen on hard times and was forced to quit work because of a nagging back problem. She moved out of the home shortly after the bank began the foreclosure process. She wasn’t living there, nor was she responsible for taking care of the property.
Fisher came to learn what many others dealing with the impact of the foreclosure crisis had already discovered – that banks were canceling foreclosure proceedings after the borrower, the occupant, had vacated.
“Once that happened, the bank asked for the foreclosure to be dismissed,” he said. “It didn’t mean they turned the house back over to her. They still hold the lien. They do this because they get out of maintaining the property; They get out of paying the taxes by not putting it in their name. I learned the problem based on what happened to my own family.”
A foreclosure-bond law first approved in August in 2012 was never enforced. City Council made changes to the ordinance Monday to give the law new life. Fisher says the ordinance now places the onus on the banks to take care of the properties once they begin foreclosure and throughout the proceedings.
“It’s that limbo state that we’re trying to address,” he said.
HOW IT WORKS
Too many properties — vacated by owners whose lenders started the foreclosure process — have turned to eyesores. Fisher says the city has spent too much taxpayer money mowing the grass, cutting weeds, collecting trash and other debris, boarding up and in some case demolishing the homes.
Banks will be required to provide the city with a $10,000 cash bond that can be used to pay the costs of cleanup or maintenance if the property falls into disrepair. The city will keep a portion – likely $200 to $300 – for administrative costs.
To view the article in it’s entirety, please click here.
Safeguard Properties is the largest mortgage field services company in the U.S. Founded in 1990 by Robert Klein and based in Valley View, Ohio, the company inspects and maintains defaulted and foreclosed properties for mortgage servicers, lenders, and other financial institutions. Safeguard employs approximately 1,700 people, in addition to a network of thousands of contractors nationally. Website: www.safeguardproperties.com.