[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Independence as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-12-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-07]
In conformity with N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51, the intent of this article is to provide for the enforcement of Township property maintenance standards and State Housing Code against vacant properties pending foreclosure.
A creditor serving a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage on residential property located within the Township of Independence shall serve the Municipal Clerk with a notice indicating that a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage has been filed against the subject property. The notice may contain information about more than one property and shall be provided by mail or electronic communication at the discretion of the Municipal Clerk.
The notice shall be served within 10 days of service of a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage against the subject property.
Within 60 days of the adoption of this article, any creditor that has initiated a foreclosure proceeding on any residential property which is pending in Superior Court shall provide to the Municipal Clerk a notice as described below for all residential properties in the Township for which the creditor has pending foreclosure actions.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51a(1), the notice shall contain:
The name and contact information for the representative of the creditor who is responsible for receiving complaints of property maintenance and code violations;
Whether the property being foreclosed on is an affordable unit pursuant to the "Fair Housing Act";
The street address, lot and block number of the property; and
The full name and contact information of an individual located within the state authorized to accept service on behalf of the creditor.
If the owner of a residential property vacates or abandons any property on which a foreclosure proceeding has been initiated or if a property is otherwise vacated subsequent to the filing of the summons and complaint, but prior to the vesting of title in any third party, and if the property is found to be nuisance or in violation of any applicable state or local code, the local public officer shall notify the creditor.
The creditor shall have the responsibility to abate the nuisance or correct the violation 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 state law or municipal ordinance.
In the event of a violation of state or local ordinance, the municipality shall serve the creditor with a notice that shall include a description of the condition(s) that gave rise to the violation with the notice and shall provide a period of not less than 30 days from the creditor's receipt of the notice for the creditor to remedy the violation or within 10 days of receipt of the notice if the violation presents an imminent threat to public health and safety.
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 the provisions of § 380-4 but failed to abate the nuisance or correct the violation as directed, the municipality 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 provided at N.J.S.A. 55:19-100.
Any person, firm or corporation who or which violates § 380-2 of this article shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $2,500.