[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Franklin 5-14-1979 as Ord. No. 79-4. Sections 77-1, 77-3 and 77-4 amended and § 77-6D added at time of adoption of Code, see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
The payment to a claimant by any insurance company of any claim arising under a fire insurance policy, which claim is in excess of $2,500, for fire damages on any real property located within the Township of Franklin, County of Warren, is hereby prohibited, and it is further provided that no insurance company authorized to issue fire insurance policies in this state shall pay any claim in excess of $2,500 unless or until the insured person submits an official certificate of search for municipal liens pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-12, certifying that all taxes, assessments or other municipal liens or charges levied and assessed and due and payable against said property have been paid and an official certificate, on a form prescribed and certified by the Township, that demolition is not required or that the costs of demolition have been paid, or the Township submits a certified copy of a resolution adopted pursuant to § 77-4 of this chapter. If the demolition has not yet occurred on the date of receipt by the Township of a request for execution of the certificate required by this section, the insured shall provide on that certificate an estimate of the anticipated costs of demolition. The insurer, on notice to the insured, shall pay the anticipated costs of demolition to the Township, which shall hold the funds in an interest-bearing escrow account in a state- or federally chartered bank, savings bank or savings and loan association in this state.
The official certificate of search shall be obtained pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-12 from the Franklin Township Municipal Tax Collector, upon the payment of the proper fees therefor, or any individual appointed in his place and stead or his deputy, pursuant to the statutes of the State of New Jersey, and said official certificate may, from time to time, be altered by the bonded official responsible for preparing such certificates in order to correct any errors or omissions or to add any municipal liens or related charges due and payable subsequent to preparation of the official certificate.
Unless a resolution is received in accordance with § 77-4 of this chapter by an insurance company writing fire insurance policies within the Township of Franklin, County of Warren, such insurance company is hereby authorized and required, prior to the payment of any claims for fire damages in excess of $2,500, to pay the amount of the anticipated demolition costs to the Township in the manner provided by § 77-1 of this chapter and to pay to the municipality the amount of the liens appearing on the official certificate and such other recorded liens or related charges as may be certified to the insurance company. If an appeal is taken on the amount of any lien or charge, other than an appeal on the assessed valuation of real property pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:3-21, the insurance company shall issue a draft payable to the court of record, to be held by the court in an interest-bearing escrow account in a state- or federally chartered bank, savings bank or savings and loan association in the state, in an amount totaling 75% of the full amount of the lien or charge being contested, but not to exceed the proceeds payable under its insurance policy, and the insurance company shall issue a draft payable to the Township for the remaining 25% of the lien or charge being contested, with the full amount paid by the insurance company to the court and the Township not to exceed the proceeds payable under its insurance policy pending termination of all proceedings, at which time such moneys, and all interest accruing thereon at a rate paid on interest-bearing accounts in state- or federally chartered banks, savings banks or savings and loan associations in the state, shall be disbursed in accordance with the final order or judgment of the court.
The Mayor and Township Committee of the Township of Franklin, County of Warren, may enter into an agreement with the owner of any fire-damaged property to pay in full all the delinquent taxes, assessments or other municipal liens by installments pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-19 or for the redemption of the tax sale lien by installment payments pursuant to Article 7 of Chapter 5 of Title 54 of the Revised Statutes, or for the payment in full of any anticipated costs of demolition by installment, if the Township Committee is satisfied that the claim for fire damages is to be used to restore or improve the fire-damaged property. An insurance company receiving a certified copy of a resolution embodying said agreement from the governing body of the Township of Franklin is hereby authorized to make full payment on the claim to the insured person.
A municipal claim made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be paramount to any other claims on the proceeds of the fire insurance policy, except the claim of a holder of a mortgage on the fire-damaged property, where the fire insurance policy at the time of the loss listed the mortgagee as a named insured, in which event the claim of the mortgagee to the proceeds shall be paramount to the municipal lien under this chapter only to the extent of the amount due and payable to the mortgagee under the mortgage contract.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed:
To obligate an insurance company for any amount in excess of the value of the fire insurance policy on the property or the amount of the liability insurance company thereunder;
Except as provided in the case of appeals under § 77-3 of this chapter, to obligate the insurance company for any liens not appearing on the official certificate or any certified changes submitted by the bonded officials;
To affect the authority of the Township of Franklin, County of Warren, to enforce a municipal lien under any other law of this state; or
To obligate an insurance company for the payment of demolition costs or anticipated costs, as the case may be, if those costs did not appear on an official certificate or a certified change submitted by the bonded official.