There is a pending bill that may provide much needed assistance for age restricted communities that are suffering with abandoned units in their communities. The bill requires mortgage companies to maintain vacant, age-restricted units during its foreclosure process and also requires the mortgage companies to pay the ongoing monthly assessments to the Association throughout the foreclosure process.
The bill was introduced into the Assembly on June 6, 2013 as A4169 and is sponsored by Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin and Assemblyman David W. Wolfe. An identical bill was introduced into the Senate on May 30, 2013 and is sponsored by Senator James W. Holzapfel.
Pursuant to the bill, all mortgage companies that are foreclosing on any residential unit will be required to notify the municipality in which the unit is located within ten days of filing a mortgage foreclosure complaint (or within thirty days if the mortgage company already instituted a foreclosure action). The notice must provide the municipality with the contact information for the mortgage company’’ s representative that is responsible for receiving complaints of property maintenance and code violations.
If the unit owner abandons the unit that is being foreclosed upon and the property is found to be a nuisance or in violation of any state or local code, then the local public officer may notify the mortgage company and the mortgage company shall then be liable to abate the nuisance or correct the violation. If the mortgage company does not correct the nuisance or violation, then the municipality may do so and charge back the mortgage company for the costs incurred.
If the abandoned unit is located within an age-restricted community, then the mortgage company will be liable to pay the ongoing monthly assessments to the Association as well as maintain the property while the unit is in foreclosure. The mortgage company will be held jointly and severally liable along with the owner to pay the ongoing monthly assessments to the Association. Therefore, in the event that the monthly assessments are not paid, the Association will be able to pursue the mortgage company as well as the owner in a collection action. As a result, this bill will greatly assist age restricted communities with collecting assessments on abandoned units. However, this bill has only recently been introduced and we will continue to monitor its progress.