Oakland Expands Crackdown On Blighted Homes

By: Ja'Mein Beale - Wed, 16 May 2012 08:23:33 -0800

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Oakland officials are expanding efforts to cut down on blighted homes by going after properties in the earliest stages of foreclosure.
     
The City Council unanimously approved a measure on Tuesday that requires banks to maintain vacant homes that have received an initial mortgage default notice.
     
Councilwoman Jane Brunner, the measure's sponsor, says blighted homes bring down the value of all homes in an area.
     
But California Bankers Association spokeswoman Beth Mills says banks don't own the properties when a default notice is sent out, so they shouldn't be held responsible for any blight there.
   
More than 3,000 Oakland homeowners were sent default notices last year. According to city figures, roughly half of Oakland homes that have gone into default and are financed by banks are blighted.
      
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
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