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Cincinnati Council likely to close loopholes in foreclosed property registry

Cincinnati's vacant foreclosed property registration program is still showing results.  Nearly 1,500 properties are enrolled; requiring lenders to make sure the properties are maintained.

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld helped launch the program about three years ago with unanimous support from Council

“You know major banks and lenders need to be held accountable for their property just like any other ordinary citizen,” Sittenfeld said.  “So we have what has already been a very effective set of tools in the toolbox.  We’re adding some new tools to that.”

City council will vote soon on new measures to close some loopholes in the existing ordinance to make sure all lenders are held accountable.  

“Not every lender was accounted for in the initial legislation,” Sittenfeld said.  “You know we were sort of specifically thinking about large and often out-of-town banks. There were some other entities, if they are the lender or if they are the mortgagee, they need to make sure that if a property is in disrepair, if it’s hurting the property values of their neighborhood, that they are still being held accountable.”

The goal is to make sure foreclosed homes don't become blighted and hot spots for crime.

So far the program has collected more than $700,000 in revenue and that makes it financially self-sustaining.  

The registry started as a pilot program in 2012 in five neighborhoods and is now city-wide.