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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Legislature Considers Abandoned Residential Property Bill

A recent bill that would amend various state laws pertaining to abandoned residential properties and foreclosures (SB 2534) passed the Illinois Senate on Friday, May 25th, and now goes to the House.  The bill includes the following provisions: 

·        Provides that the removal of any notice posted on abandoned residential property would be a criminal trespass.
·        Exempts lenders and their agents from prosecution for criminal trespass for securing abandoned residential property. Also provides that lenders and agents would not be liable in any civil action for negligence or civil trespass.
·        Defines "abandoned residential property" as residential real estate that: (a) is not occupied by any borrower or lawful occupant as a residence or contains a structure that is uninhabited and needs to be repaired; and (b) the property has 2 or more (instead of one or more) of these characteristics: uncompleted construction has not resumed for at least 6 months; the property was stripped of copper or other materials or interior fixtures; it was legally declared unfit for occupancy; doors or windows are broken; law enforcement officials have received a report of illegal activity on the property; utility services to the property have been terminated; a clear intent to abandon the property is evident; written documents exist which indicate an intent to abandon the property; or it is open, unprotected, and in danger of suffering damage; or the real estate is a residential vacant lot in need of repair.
·        Requires the lender to file an affidavit stating that the property is not occupied by the borrower or any lawful occupant as a principal residence.
·        Eliminates current statutory provisions that a lender is responsible for repairs or other maintenance to abandoned residential property if a lender purchases the property at the foreclosure sale and the sale is confirmed by the court.
·        Requires payment of a $250 filing fee at the time of filing a foreclosure complaint, replacing the current judicial sale fee.  Those filing fees will be deposited into the Abandoned Residential Property Municipality Relief Fund.
·        Requires that notice of a hearing to confirm a sale of abandoned residential property must be mailed to the last known address of the borrower, and that any lawful occupant may appear at the hearing. 
·        Modifies the redemption period for abandoned residential property to immediately prior to the judicial sale (instead of the date that the judgment of foreclosure is entered).
Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink

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