Homes abandoned by their owners can now be foreclosed at a faster pace, under new legislation co-sponsored by Senator Althoff.

Under Senate Bill 2534, those who hold mortgages can seek an expedited foreclosure process from the courts – under current law the foreclosure process takes about 500 days.

“Abandoned homes and properties are not only a blight to neighborhoods that result in lower nearby property values, they pose a safety threat to people in surrounding households,” Althoff said. “This legislation will help the courts move quicker in deeming these properties abandoned so they can be torn down or turned into property that’s useful for local communities.”

The measure also generates about $25 million to local municipalities to help offset costs associated with maintaining abandoned homes, funded through a $250 filing fee for plaintiffs who file foreclosure complaints for residential properties.

“Many local governments are facing serious budget deficits – the last thing they need is to pay the cost of maintaining abandoned homes when there are so many other crucial priorities that need attention, from education to public safety,” Althoff said. “This legislation is a common-sense way we can help cities, towns and villages offset the cost of caring for abandoned homes, at no cost to taxpayers.”

Having passed the Senate by a vote of 38 to 3, Senate Bill 2534 now moves to the House for further consideration.

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