Township of Little Falls, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Little Falls 10-3-2017 by Ord. No. 1301. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The intent of this chapter is to provide for the enforcement of the Township Property Maintenance Code[1] and other applicable laws against vacant and abandoned properties pending foreclosure.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 163.
A creditor filing a complaint in a foreclosure action shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, security, and upkeep of the exterior of the vacant and abandoned residential property. If the creditor is located out of the State of New Jersey, the creditor must appoint an in-state representative or agent to act for the foreclosing creditor.
A. 
A creditor filing a complaint in a foreclosure action on residential property located in the Township of Little Falls shall, within 10 days of serving the summons and complaint, serve the Township Clerk with a notice advising that a summons and complaint in a foreclosure action has been filed against the subject property. The notice shall contain and include the information set forth in Subsection (C) below and shall be provided by mail.
B. 
Any creditor that has filed a complaint in a foreclosure action on any residential property which is pending in Superior Court shall provide to the Township Clerk with the notice as described in Subsection (C) below for any residential properties in the Township for which the creditor has pending foreclosure actions.
C. 
The notice shall state:
(1) 
The name and contact information for the representative (located within the State of New Jersey) of the creditor who is responsible for property maintenance and will respond to Township communications regarding the property;
(2) 
Whether the property being foreclosed on is an affordable unit pursuant to the Fair Housing Act;[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 52:27d-301 et seq.
(3) 
The street address, lot and block number of the property; and
(4) 
If the creditor is located out of state, the notice should include the full name and contact information of the representative/agent located within the State of New Jersey authorized to act on behalf of the entity/creditor, to accept service on behalf of the entity/creditor, and to receive and act on notifications regarding maintenance of the property in foreclosure.
Any creditor having filed a complaint in an action in foreclosure on a property, that creditor having been notified by the Construction Code Official, in writing, that the property appears to be or is abandoned or vacant, shall be responsible within 30 days of said notification as follows:
A. 
Investigate and inspect the property as required to determine if the property is abandoned and vacant, and notify the Construction Code Official, in writing, of that determination.
B. 
Secure the building and structure on the property from authorized entry.
C. 
Perform such appropriate repairs or maintenance of the exterior grounds of the property, including yards, fences, sidewalks, walkways, and driveways, as may be needed or directed by the Construction Code Official so that the property is free from trash, debris, or excessive grass or weed growth, or safety hazards.
D. 
Continue to maintain the structures in a secure condition and the grounds in a clean, properly maintained state.
If the owner of a residential property vacates or abandons any property upon which a complaint in a foreclosure action has been filed or if a property is otherwise vacated and/or abandoned subsequent to the filing of the complaint in a foreclosure action but prior to the vesting of title in any third party, the foreclosing creditor shall have the responsibility to abate any nuisance or correct any violations of the Property Maintenance Code[1] and applicable law in the same manner and to the same extent as the title owner of the property to such standard or specification as may be required by the Property Maintenance Code or applicable law.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 163.
In the event of a violation of the Property Maintenance Code or applicable law, the Township shall serve the creditor with a notice that shall include a description of the condition(s) that gave rise to the violation and shall provide a period of 30 days, or 10 days if the condition presents an imminent threat to public health and safety as determined by the Construction Code Official, for the creditor to remedy the violation or condition. The creditor must remedy and/or repair the conditions noticed within the specific period.
If the Township expends public funds in order to abate a nuisance or correct a violation on a residential property in which the creditor was given notice pursuant to § 164-6 but failed to abate the nuisance or correct the violation as directed, the Township shall have the same recourse against the creditor as it would have had against the title owner of the property, including, but not limited to, the recourse in the Property Maintenance Code and applicable law.
The Construction Code Official is hereby authorized to enforce this chapter.
Any person or corporation shall, upon conviction by any court having jurisdiction of a violation of this § 164-9, be subject to a fine not to exceed $2,500 per day commencing as of the date after the expiration of the ten-day period provided in § 164-3A. Any person or corporation, upon conviction by any court of a violation of § 164-5 and/or § 164-6, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,500 per day, to commence 31 days after receipt of the notice or, if the violation presented an imminent risk to public safety and health and was so noticed, commencing 11 days after receipt of this notice.