The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 463, legislation aimed at reforming the way foreclosure cases are managed in Ohio, expediting cases on court-certified abandoned properties, giving power to local governments to manage blight, and providing basic property right protections.

Currently, it can take banks upwards of 18 months to get a decree of foreclosure. During that time, properties lose value, become more susceptible to vandalism and decrease the ability of local governments to fund basic services. These problems were multiplied during the recent foreclosure crisis, which affected thousands of properties and lead, in some cases, to blighted neighborhoods and communities throughout Ohio.

HB 463 expedites that process by also allowing the county prosecutor to go to the court in order to proceed with the sale if the sale is not underway within 12 months.

"House Bill 463 will help alleviate the strain that vacant and abandoned properties put on our local governments, schools, and communities,” said Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira), who sponsored the bill. “By modernizing Ohio's foreclosure process, we are providing additional protections for homeowners, lifting our communities up, and ensuring a transparent process for all involved in a foreclosure lawsuit.”

The legislation also improves public knowledge of who buys these properties, aleviating additional blight that goes without enforcement, and protecting hard-working families from losing value in their greatest asset, their homes.

This bill strikes a balance, making the process fair for everyone--those facing foreclosure and the communities hardest hit. It now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

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