March 6, 2015
by Wendy Anderson, Esq.
Safeguard Properties Management, LLC – USFN Associate Member
Safeguard Properties recently introduced a Fast-Track Legislation Resource Center to monitor state-by-state legislation related to expediting foreclosure procedures for vacant and abandoned properties that are languishing in the process, exposing those homes to additional risks. The easy-to-navigate, interactive map tool provides industry professionals with a resource to stay abreast of the latest fast-track legislation, along with links to applicable media coverage.
Fast-track legislation has the potential to help rebuild communities by establishing a standard definition for an abandoned property in each state, as Illinois and New Jersey did when they enacted foreclosure fast-track laws in the past two years. Determining proper candidates for expedited foreclosure is a critical component to fast-track legislation and addresses one of the biggest challenges that the mortgage industry faces when properties go into default: which of the approximately 18 million vacant properties in the U.S. are “abandoned”? The ability to more clearly identify abandoned properties can offer important guidance, as well as help to mitigate risk for the mortgage industry and their field service partners, tasked with protecting and maintaining those properties as they proceed through foreclosure.
Because the process of rebuilding can only start after an abandoned property moves through foreclosure and into new hands, accelerating the process offers lawmakers and business leaders an effective means to ultimately revitalize struggling neighborhoods, stem blight, stop the out-migration of residents, and uphold property values.
For assistance in staying on top of recent developments in fast-track legislation, explore the new Fast-Track Legislation Resource Center. Further, as a starting point for state legislators and policy makers, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Vacant and Abandoned Property Working Group and the New York MBA have compiled “Principles to Expedite the Foreclosure Process for Vacant and Abandoned Properties.” Additionally, the Ohio MBA version can be viewed here.
©Copyright 2015 USFN. All rights reserved.