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Maintenance Of Abandoned Properties In Foreclosure

The Legislature has enacted P.L. 2014, c. 2014, which amends N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51, effective on or about July 15, 2014. This statute attempts to address the problem of properties which are abandoned during the foreclosure process by holding the foreclosing lender responsible as if it already owned the properties in question. Thus, the law requires each lender foreclosing a mortgage against residential property to notify the municipal clerk. Furthermore, each lender is required to provide the clerk with a list of all residential properties within the municipality which are the subject of foreclosure suits it has commenced.

If the property is vacant, or becomes vacant prior to the conclusion of the foreclosure, and it is found to be a nuisance or in violation of State or local codes, the municipality must advise the foreclosing lender, so that it may abate the nuisance or cure the code violation within 30 days. However, as a result of the statutory amendment, the municipality may now impose fines and penalties on the lender if it fails to act.

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