SENATE, No. 115
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION
Senator RONALD L. RICE
District 28 (Essex)
Senator NIA H. GILL
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Creates cause of action for failure to maintain certain vacant properties; requires out-of-state creditors to designate in-State representative.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Commerce Committee on May 17, 2012, with amendments.
An Act concerning the maintenance of certain residential properties, supplementing chapter 48 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes and amending P.L.2008, c.127.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. (New section) a. The governing body of any municipality may make, amend, repeal and enforce ordinances to regulate the care, maintenance, and upkeep of vacant residential properties on which a 1[notice of intention] summons and complaint in an action1 to foreclose has been filed.
b. An ordinance adopted pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall provide that the person or entity filing the 1[notice of intention] summons and complaint in an action1 to foreclose shall be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the vacant residential property, and if located out-of-State, shall be responsible for appointing an in-State agent to act for the foreclosing person or entity.
c. A creditor found by the municipal court of the municipality in which the property is located, or any other court of competent jurisdiction, to be in violation of any ordinance, rule, or regulation adopted pursuant this section shall be subject to a fine of $2,500, payable by the creditor, for each day of the violation.
d. No less than 20 percent of any money collected pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be utilized by the municipality for municipal code enforcement purposes.
2. Section 17 of P.L.2008, c.127 (C.46:10B-51) is amended to read as follows:
17. a. (1) A creditor
serving a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage on
residential property in this State shall, within 10 days of serving the summons
and complaint, notify the municipal clerk of the municipality in which the
property is located that a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a
mortgage has been filed against the subject property. The notice shall contain
the name and contact information for the representative of the creditor who is
responsible for receiving complaints of property maintenance and code
violations, may contain information about more than one property, and shall be
provided by mail or electronic communication, at the discretion of the
municipal clerk. If the municipality has appointed a public officer pursuant to
P.L.1942, c.112 (C.40:48-2.3 et seq.), the
municipal clerk shall forward a copy of the notice to the public officer or shall otherwise provide it to any other local official responsible for administration of any property maintenance or public nuisance code.
In the event that the property being foreclosed on is an affordable unit pursuant to the "Fair Housing Act," P.L.1985, c.222 (C.52:27D-301 et al.), then the creditor shall identify that the property is subject to the "Fair Housing Act."
The notice shall also include the street address, lot and block number of the property, and the full name and contact information of an individual located within the State who is authorized to accept service on behalf of the creditor. The notice shall be provided to the municipal clerk within 10 days of service of a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage against the subject property.
(2) Within 30 days following the effective date of P.L.2009, c.296 (C.2A:50-69 et al.), any creditor that has initiated a foreclosure proceeding on any residential property which is pending in Superior Court shall provide to the municipal clerk of the municipality in which the property is located, a listing of all residential properties in the municipality for which the creditor has foreclosure actions pending by street address and lot and block number. If the municipality has appointed a public officer pursuant to P.L.1942, c.112 (C.40:48-2.3 et seq.), the municipal clerk shall forward a copy of the notice to the public officer, or shall otherwise provide it to any other local official responsible for administration of any property maintenance or public nuisance code.
b. If the owner of a residential property vacates or abandons any property on which a foreclosure proceeding has been initiated or if a residential property becomes vacant at any point subsequent to the creditor's filing the summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage against the subject property, but prior to vesting of title in the creditor or any other third party, and the property is found to be a nuisance or in violation of any applicable State or local code, the local public officer, municipal clerk, or other authorized municipal official shall notify the creditor, which shall have the responsibility to abate the nuisance or correct the violation in the same manner and to the same extent as the title owner of the property, to such standard or specification as may be required by State law or municipal ordinance.
c. (1) If the municipality expends public funds in order to abate a nuisance or correct a violation on a residential property in situations in which the creditor was given notice pursuant to the provisions of subsection b. of this section but failed to abate the nuisance or correct the violation as directed, the municipality shall have the same recourse against the creditor as it would have against the title owner of the property, including but not limited to the recourse provided under section 23 of P.L.2003, c.210 (C.55:19-100).
(2) Any out-of-State creditor that has served a 1[notice of intention to foreclose] summons and complaint in an action to foreclose1 on a residential property, that subsequently becomes vacant, shall designate an in-State representative who shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, and up-keep of the vacant property. The out-of-State creditor shall inform the public officer of the municipality in which the property is located, or, if the municipality has not designated a public officer pursuant to P.L.1942, c.112 (C.40:48-2.3 et seq.), the municipal clerk of the in-State representative responsible for maintenance of the property.
(cf: P.L.2009, c.296, s.5)
3. This act shall take effect immediately.