Zombie Property Remediation Bill Proposed in West Virginia
February 10, 2021
Source: West Virginia Legislature (SB42 Full Text/Info)
[Introduced February 10, 2021; referred
to the Committee on Economic Development]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §8-12-22, relating to foreclosure actions involving abandoned properties; authorizing a municipality to commence a proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction in the county in which the property is located to compel a foreclosure; defining a “vacant and abandoned residential property”; designating the Zombie Property Remediation Act of 2021; and requiring conveyance of the deed following foreclosure.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 12. GENERAL AND SPECIFIC POWERS, DUTIES AND ALLIED RELATIONS OF MUNICIPALITIES, GOVERNING BODIES, AND MUNICIPAL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; SUITS AGAINST MUNICIPALITIES.
§8-12-22. Foreclosure actions involving abandoned properties.
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Zombie Property Remediation Act of 2021”.
(b) If a property has been determined to be unsafe, unsanitary, dangerous, or detrimental to the public safety or welfare pursuant to an ordinance adopted pursuant to §8-12-16 of this code, or determined vacant and abandoned pursuant to §8-12-22(b) of this code, the municipality in which the property is located may commence a proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction in the county in which the property is located to compel any or all mortgagees to:
(1) If the note is in default, the trustee or mortgagee shall commence a foreclosure procedure within three months and shall meet all deadlines to ensure the case is ready to be moved to judgment within a reasonable time period but not to exceed one year;
(2) If a foreclosure has already been commenced, file the necessary motions and within three months paperwork to move the case to judgment foreclosure within three months; or
(3) Issue a certificate of discharge of the trust deed lien or mortgage within three months and file a satisfaction of the lien or mortgage with the appropriate local office.
(c) (1) As used in this section, vacant and abandoned residential property means residential real property with respect to which the plaintiff has proven, by preponderance of the evidence, that it has conducted at least three consecutive inspections of the property, with each inspection conducted 25 to 35 days apart and at different times of the day, and at each inspection:
(A) No occupant was present and there was no evidence of occupancy on the property to indicate that any persons are residing there; and
(B) The residential real property was not being maintained in a manner that it is in violation of any specific requirement or prohibition applicable to any dwelling, building, or structure provided by the approved building or fire code of the jurisdiction;
To view full bill text, please click the source link above.