FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2010
Contact: Michael Cox (503) 986-1904
Protecting Communities Hit by Wave of Foreclosures
House passes bill requiring banks and other owners of foreclosed properties to be good neighbors
SALEM – House Democrats voted today in favor of HB 3657, which requires banks and other owners of foreclosed properties to act as good neighbors. HB 3657 would require banks, as the owners of foreclosed homes, to keep up the property or face daily fines imposed by local government.
“This is, frankly, a real problem in Portland – especially the Northeast district I represent. It has been a problem for years, and one that has only been made worse by the current housing crisis,” said Representative Lew Frederick (D-NE Portland). “Neglected properties foster increased squatting, fire risk, vandalism and drug use. They set back the hard work we are undertaking to restore pride to our communities.”
Property values are down as once attractive neighborhoods fall victim to foreclosures. Further, foreclosed homes – especially when not maintained – lower the morale of hard-hit communities. HB 3657 gives localities an additional tool to help us address these challenges. The bill allows local governments to require banks and other owners of foreclosed properties to perform upkeep or face fines up to $150 per day.
“In some neighborhoods it is not uncommon to see a quarter or half of the homes with foreclosure notices tacked to the door,” said Representative Judy Stiegler (D-Bend). “This is a problem. It is a problem for families trying to sell their homes and for those families wishing to remain in the community.”
The House today also passed HB 3656, which protects families who bought their homes using and financed the purchase using 80/20 home loans. Under current law, some of these homeowners are at risk of being sued by the bank or lender that owns their loans, even after their homes have been taken by foreclosure. This bill would protect those families from further action if both the 80% and 20% mortgages were issued at the same time by the same bank or lender.
Both bills now move to the Senate for consideration.