Colorado bill aims at abandoned properties’ sale time |

Colorado bill aims at abandoned properties’ sale time

Margaret Jackson
The Denver Post

A bill to be introduced in the state legislature next year would cut in half the time it takes lenders to sell abandoned properties.

Gov. Bill Ritter and state legislators announced the bill Tuesday at a news conference at the Clements Community Center in Lakewood. The bill, to be co-sponsored by Reps. Jeanne Labuda, D-Denver, and Dianne Primavera, D-Broomfield, and Sen. Mike John ston, D-Denver, will allow homes to be occupied more quickly so they don’t become a safety hazard, a magnet for vandalism and other crimes, or a drain on nearby property values.

“Abandoned properties turn a family-friendly neighborhood into a hazard for children,” Ritter said.

Current law calls for a minimum four-month sale process, but many foreclosure sales take seven to nine months to complete.

Currently, when a lender submits the paperwork to start the foreclosure process, the title for the property is still with the mortgage holder, even if the home is abandoned. That means there is no one responsible for maintaining the property, because the homeowner is gone and the home does not yet belong to the lender.

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The bill would allow the bank to take over a property faster, giving municipalities and homeowners associations someone to hold accountable for maintenance.

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