Bill would tighten upkeep requirements on foreclosed homes

Creditors would be responsible for upkeep and repairs of vacant property engaged in foreclosure proceedings under a bill moved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today.

The bill (S1740) is sponsored by Sen. Ronald Rice and supplements existing law that requires the creditor to perform upkeep on foreclosed property.

If the residential property becomes vacant at any time after the creditor files notice of intention to foreclose, but before the property is transferred to a third party, and if the municipality determines that the property is in violation of any applicable state or local housing or safety codes, the municipality may give the creditor notice of the violation, and require the creditor to correct the violation. 

Under the bill, the creditor would be required to correct any violations within 30 days of receiving notice of the violation.  If the creditor fails to remedy the violation within 30 days, the municipality would be able to impose penalties for the violation that are consistent with municipal ordinances under current law.

The initial bill as introduced was substituted for a bill supplementing existing law after an analysis showed it similar to law passed in 2008.

"I’m an undertaker by trade, so when I bury somebody, they don’t come back."
—Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato