Indiana law expedites transfer of foreclosed homes


Indianapolis, IN: Change in Indiana law will expedite the process of transferring vacant and abandoned structures to new owners.


Previously, when a vacant or abandoned home had been purchased, a waiting period of four months or longer would be necessary as documents were processed. That processing time would create a period where the previous owner of the property was not in charge of keeping the property from falling into disrepair, and since the deed had not been fully transferred to the buyer, the buyer was also not liable for the upkeep of the home.


That waiting period was contributing heavily to blight and further slowing recovery from the housing crisis for some communities.


Senate Bill 415 will now allow code enforcement officials to declare properties vacant without the court proceedings.


Not all areas of the new law will alleviate blight. So-called “zombie homes” have become protected, after a fact.


Municipalities cannot establish ordinances to hold banks responsible for the maintenance of those properties in the foreclosure process where owners abandoned the homes during the process yet still own the title.


Officials and community leaders continue to study the remaining problem with zombie homes, and are considering whether a state law will be created establishing firmly whether banks should or should not be responsible for maintenance of those zombie homes.


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