Indio, California has passed a law making it a crime for banks to not maintain their foreclosed homes. Fines have been levied against several of the banks and that has led many to make proactive measures to maintain the homes that are bank owned. Banks have fixed broken windows, cleaned dirty pools, and cut overgrown shrubs.
“These lenders speak one language: money,” says Doug Leeper, the Chula Vista code-enforcement manager, who says he has issued around $1.4 million in fines against lenders. So far, he’s collected half the fines and has plans to wrangle the rest through tax liens when the homes are eventually resold.
Indio’s gruff Ramos, however, is pushing it beyond tax liens, equating the matter to “arresting the guy that robs a bank.” Any softer approach would put the city’s home prices in further free fall, he says.
Good idea? I think so. Who wants to live in a neighborhood lined with abandoned homes that have been neglected for months? The Tampa Tribune had an article a few months ago about the residents that had to live in neighborhoods that had several foreclosed homes. Those residents were left behind with neglected homes that were a constant eyesore.