Foreclosed properties

Cincinnati's vacant foreclosed property registry is still showing good results. Now City Council could vote Wednesday to close a loophole in the program.

Cincinnati's vacant foreclosed property registration program is still showing results.  Nearly 1,500 properties are enrolled; requiring lenders to make sure the properties are maintained.

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld helped launch the program about three years ago with unanimous support from Council

“You know major banks and lenders need to be held accountable for their property just like any other ordinary citizen,” Sittenfeld said.  “So we have what has already been a very effective set of tools in the toolbox.  We’re adding some new tools to that.”

Cincinnati Council is likely to approve an ordinance Wednesday expanding a program that requires banks to register their foreclosed properties with the city.  It has been operating as a pilot effort in five city neighborhoods.  

Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld, who proposed the registry a couple of years ago, said it is showing good results.

According to RealtyTrac, Cincinnati ranked fifth nationally in December when it came to the cities with the highest percentages of institutional investor purchases. These real estate investors are known as flippers and they buy lots of bank-owned foreclosed properties.

Read the report here.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

A Cincinnati Council Member wants to expand a pilot program that requires banks to register their foreclosed properties with the city.  Right now it's being used in East and West Price Hill, Westwood, College Hill and Madisonville.  

P.G. Sittenfeld said it has worked and the program is self-sustaining.  He said banks are taking better care of the properties they own and the fees are generating enough revenue to pay for it.

Jay Hanselman

A new report released Thursday from RealtyTrac finds Ohio fourth on the list among owners who had vacated 167,680 foreclosure properties nationwide. Vacant foreclosures represent 20 percent of all U.S. properties in the foreclosure process.

Florida was first with 55,503, or 33%. Illinois posted the second highest total (17,672), followed by California (9,802), Ohio (9,723), and New York (9,173).  The tenth largest metro area for vacant foreclosures was the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor area.

As WVXU reported earlier, Ohio is bucking a nationwide decline when it comes to home foreclosures. The state's foreclosures numbers increased in 2012.

An annual study by Working In Neighborhoods finds completed foreclosures in Hamilton County rose 45 percent from 2011 to 2012.

Jay Hanselman

On Tuesday the organization Working in Neighborhoods  will release the latest Hamilton County foreclosure data.

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati Council Member P.G. Sittenfeld is continuing his push to fight blight in the city's neighborhoods.  

He held a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss his latest plan.

“The Restoring Our Communities Initiative is aimed entirely at combating blight, improving safety and bolstering property values in our neighborhoods,” Sittenfeld said.