General Assembly OKs bill that would impose penalties for failure to promptly record foreclosure deeds
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Michael Morin (D-Dist. 49, Woonsocket) and Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence) that would impose penalties for failing to promptly record foreclosure deeds, which has led to property blight and public safety issues. The measure now moves to the governor’s office.
The legislation (2017-H 5397A, 2017-S 0388A) would impose a penalty of $300 per month up to an aggregate total of $2,000 upon financial institutions failing to promptly record foreclosure deeds and pay outstanding taxes. Most holders of a private mortgage would be exempt from the penalty requirements.
“The impetus for this bill came from the number of abandoned and blighted properties we have in Woonsocket and the problems they cause,” said Representative Morin. “These properties are not only eyesores that bring down values of the homes around them; they also raise public safety issues with people vandalizing them and squatting in them.”
While the mortgage company is recorded on the deed when someone buys a home, many times the mortgages are sold and never recorded, making it difficult for the city to track down the owner to secure and clean up the property.
“We’ve even seen cases where mortgage companies will take over a year and a half to record a foreclosure,” said Senator Quezada. “The current fine of $40 just isn’t enough of a deterrent. This legislation tightens the language of the law and stiffens the penalties to motivate mortgage companies to do things in a timely manner.”
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903