City Council requires registration of foreclosed homes

12/17/09 Joshua Lee Holton
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Home foreclosures are on the rise following the recent crash in the housing market. Today the Tampa City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that would define who has the responsibility to manage foreclosed properties.

Council Chair Thomas Scott proposed an ordinance that requires the owners of foreclosed homes to register the property with the City of Tampa. Scott said that the intent of the ordinance is require owners of foreclosed property to maintain foreclosed or abandoned properties.

Representing a mortgage lending company called Landmark Lending, Spencer Cass opposed the ordinance, claiming that it would increase costs for those seeking loans.

City attorney Chip Fletcher noted that there is no approved contract under the ordinance, but that Hillsborough County might charge at least $100 to register a vacant property. Although he supported the ordinance, City Council member Joseph Caetano voiced concerns about using city resources to maintain vacant homes.

Although there were concerns about the cost of registering foreclosed homes, Councilmember Linda Saul-Sena said that the costs could be as low as twenty dollars with electronic registration. Hillsborough County also approved a registry for vacant homes November 2nd, and they have registered about 40 homes since.

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