“MERs has shown itself not to be as workable as we would like,” particularly in terms of a search function.”


L.A. Council mulls requiring banks to pay ‘enforcement fee’ for foreclosed homes

Three years after the Los Angeles City Council created a foreclosure registry to track distressed properties, city officials want stricter rules to help clean up neglected bank-owned homes in neighborhoods like Pacoima and South L.A.

On Wednesday, the City Council will consider asking banks to pay an “enforcement fee” when filing a notice of default on a residential property – one of the first steps in the foreclosure process.

The fee would help pay for Los Angeles Building and Safety Department staff to inspect registered properties to make sure they’re being maintained, rather than checking them only on a complaint basis. The fee amount hasn’t been determined yet.

The new fee would come in addition to a registration payment of $155 that banks are already required to pay to register foreclosed properties. That fee was created in a 2010 foreclosure registry ordinance which the council proposed tightening last week.

Under the Foreclosure Registry Program ordinance passed in 2010, banks had the option of registering either with the city’s Foreclosure Registry Program or with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), a national registry program.

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