From who must register, to when to register, to where to register, to how to register, banks mortgage companies and mortgage servicers face continued challenges in meeting vacant property registration ordinance compliance (VPROs). With more than 2,000 VPROs now enforced around the country, it’s no wonder that more and more banks and preservation companies have begun to turn to registration professional such as PRS to meet, maintain, and lower their overall cost of vacant and foreclosed property registration compliance.
Vacant Property Registration Ordinances
VPRO’s sprang up in vast numbers over the past decade as municipalities and local governments looked for ways to mitigate the negative fallout of the housing market crash of 2007. The multitude of ordinances deal with everything from residential properties to rental properties to commercial and industrial businesses either in some stage of the foreclosure process or otherwise abandoned and vacated. And despite their differences, each VPRO has these factors in common: they require legally identified property ownership to register foreclosed and vacant properties within a specified period, pay an annual registration fee to municipalities, and renew the registration periodically if properties remain in this state for extended periods of time. Some of the ordinances are extremely complex and contain requirements for minimum security and code enforcement provisions, periodic inspections, notifications of ownership changes and changes in foreclosure status affected by different “triggering events.” And while property registration fees are nominal at the outset, failure to maintain compliance and meet the specifics of these respective ordinances can become extremely costly to property ownership in a New York minute when fines and penalties for failure to meet compliance are levied. The state of California is a good example of how cumbersome maintaining compliance can be, especially for banks and other property title holders with large portfolios of properties that fall into the foreclosure and vacant categories. Those difficulties are illustrated in a recently published real estate law article in Western Real Estate Business
Rely on Registration Experts
Banks, mortgage companies, mortgage servicers and even property management companies are not necessarily experts at navigating VPROs and often lack the resources to track them and remain current on frequent ordinance changes and modifications. Thanks to technology and industry specialists like PRS, legally identified property ownership is increasingly turning to outside vendors to not only meet property registration compliance, but save themselves considerable time, money and minimize civil and even criminal citation problems that occur when compliance is not met.
Using state-of-the-art cloud-based data bases, combined with industry best practices, PRS removes much of the mystery in meeting VPRO compliance while saving clients time and overall long-term costs.
We utilize two sophisticated Internet programs to accomplish that task. The first is our cloud-based research process called Community Ordinances & Registration Engine (CORE) which tracks and monitors every single existing VPRO currently enforced in the United States and keeps an eye out for any new ordinances under consideration by municipalities. CORE also helps keep a watchful eye on various ordinance language that may impact registration compliance requirements as properties work their way through the complex foreclosure process that is affected by different “triggering events” and often takes considerable time—up to two years in some cases for complete resolution. CORE is a strong tool in helping property ownership avoid the pitfalls of missing registration deadlines, renewals, and fee submission requirements—all of which can cost money.
Check Your Obligation to Register
The second industry resource PRS deploys is our OTR Tool Kit (Obligation to Register), which essentially answers the most important question regarding property registration: which foreclosed properties require registration, which may be exempt, and how and when that status can change.
When combined, the technology teammates of CORE and OTR result in a streamlined and time-sensitive approach to VPRO compliance that among other things results in:
- The ability to access and view every single local property registration currently enforced in the United States.
- Accuracy in determining initial obligation to register, or possible exemption, saving banks and mortgage servicers considerable time and money early in the process.
- Online uploading application processes for foreclosed portfolios large and small.
- Property registration software that scans and monitors changes and modifications to current ordinances.
- Provides end-to-end leverage in assisting legally identified property ownership to meet and maintain compliance.
Banks, mortgage companies, mortgage servicers and other responsible parties are invited to explore how a strategic partnership with PRS can result in long-term cost savings, efficient registration compliance, and industry expertise in solving property registration responsibilities. Visit our web page at or call us at 321-428-0628.