City to Order Cleanup of Foreclosed Homes

People living in Escondido may soon see an improvement in the appearance of foreclosed properties across the city.
They've been complaining to city leaders about the eyesore the vacant homes are creating. Now, city leaders said they are going after the banks or property managers that own the homes.
In the past, the city would fine property owners if the houses fell into disrepair. Now, they're clarifying and changing the code to make it clear that mortgage lenders, banks, and others with a security interest are responsible for their property.
"The only way to be effective is to hit them where it counts, in the pocketbook, " said Escondido City Attorney Jeff Epp.
The fines aren't cheap either.  Epp is suggesting the city sue property owners and impose fines of up to $1,000 per day. Previous fines were $100 a day for a first offense.
If the owners refuse, the city may take care of the clean up and then recoup the costs by putting a lien on the home.

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