[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Trenton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Identification of Abandoned Property
Article II Creditor Responsibility for Residential Property in Foreclosure
[Adopted 10-21-2004 by Ord. No. 04-86]
The public officer designated by the Mayor is hereby directed to identify abandoned properties within the municipality, place said properties on an abandoned property list established as provided in Section 36 of P.L.1996, c.62 (N.J.S.A. 55:19-55), as amended by Section 28 of P.L.2003, c.210, and provide such notices and carry out such other tasks as are required to effectuate an abandoned property list as provided by law.
The abandoned property list shall apply to the City of Trenton as a whole.
The public officer shall provide a report to the Mayor and governing body as required, with respect to the number and location of properties on the abandoned property list, the status of those properties, and any actions taken by the municipality or by any qualified rehabilitation entity designated pursuant to the authority granted the public officer with respect to any property on the list or any other abandoned property within the City of Trenton.
[Adopted 5-21-2015 by Ord. No. 15-11]
Any creditor filing a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on any residential property shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, security and upkeep of the exterior of that property, in the event the property is vacated or abandoned by the title owner of the property during the pendency of the foreclosure process.
If any such foreclosing creditor is located outside of the State of New Jersey, it shall be responsible for appointing an in-state representative or agent to act for the foreclosing creditor. Any out-of-state creditor shall include the full name and contact information of the in-state representative or agent in the notice required to be provided pursuant to Paragraph (1) of Subsection a of Section 17 of P.L.2008, c.127 (N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51).
All foreclosing creditors, and, in the case of out-of-state creditors, their in-state representatives, shall be responsible for complying with the requirements of all other ordinances adopted by the City of Trenton relating to vacant and/or abandoned property in the same manner as those ordinances pertain to the title owners of such vacant and/or abandoned property.
The Director of the Department of Housing and Economic Development or designee is hereby authorized to issue notices of violation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51(b) to any creditor filing a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose if the Director or designee determines that the creditor has violated any of the City's ordinances by failing to provide for the care, maintenance, security, and upkeep of the exterior of any property as required by § 215-4 of this article. Such notices of violation shall require the person or entity to comply by correcting the violation within 30 days of receipt of the notice of violation, or within 10 days of receipt of the notice of violation if the violation presents an imminent threat to public health and safety.
The issuance of a notice of violation pursuant to this section shall constitute proof that a property has been vacated and abandoned by its owner for the purposes of P.L.2012, c.70 (N.J.S.A. 2A:50-73).
An out-of-state creditor subject to this article, found by the Municipal Court of the City of Trenton or by any other court of competent jurisdiction to be in violation of the requirement to appoint an in-state representative or agent pursuant to this article, shall be subject to a fine of $2,500 for each day of the violation. Any fines imposed on a creditor for the failure to appoint an in-state representative or agent shall commence on the day after the conclusion of the ten-day period set forth in Paragraph (1) of Subsection a of Section 17 of P.L.2008, c.127 (N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51), for providing notice to the Municipal Clerk that a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage has been served.
In the event that the Municipal Court of the City of Trenton or any other court of competent jurisdiction finds that a creditor subject to this article has not complied with the notice of violation issued for failure to provide for the care, maintenance, security, or upkeep of property pursuant to the City's ordinances, such creditor shall be subject to a fine of $1,500 for each day of the violation. Any fines imposed pursuant to this subsection shall commence 31 days following receipt of the notice of violation, except if the violation presents an imminent risk to the public health and safety, in which case any such fines shall commence 11 days following receipt of the notice of violation.
If the City expends funds in order to abate a nuisance or correct a violation on a residential property in which the creditor was given a notice of violation but failed to abate the nuisance or correct the violation as directed, the City shall have the same recourse against the creditor as it would have against the title owner of the property, including but not limited to the recourse provided under Section 42 of P.L.2003, c.210 (N.J.S.A. 55:19-100).
All of the funds collected pursuant to this article shall be utilized by the City of Trenton for purposes relating to its municipal code enforcement actions.