From the Courier Post:
Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law a measure empowering towns and cities to fine banks or creditors that fail to properly maintain vacant properties in foreclosure.
The bill was approved by the New Jersey Legislature in June and signed by Christie on Friday. It authorizes municipalities to pass ordinances regulating the care of vacant properties in foreclosure and permits them to levy fines of up to $2,500 a day for violations that have not been remedied within 30 days of receiving notice.
The new law also allows towns to mandate that banks and other lenders name an in-state representative or entity that would be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of properties in foreclosure.
Sponsors of the law said it was intended to give towns teeth to address vacant homes that create blight and attract crime.
“Vacant properties are neighborhood eyesores that attract pests and criminal activity and drag down property values,” Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-32nd of Secaucus, said in a statement. “Municipalities will now be able to take action against creditors who create nuisance situations for neighborhoods and municipalities by failing to maintain vacant properties that are set for foreclosure.”