September 29, 2008

Thousands in Fines Levied on Eyesore Properties


The city has slapped 130 foreclosed properties with thousands of dollars in fines for illegal dumping, overgrown weeds and trash violations in an effort to force faraway banks to keep their Hub holdings from becoming eyesores.

"It keeps us down," said Victor Pena, 22, whose aunt lives next- door to a blighted three-family on Stratton Street in Dorchester. "I think they don't care. I think they just care about the money."

Under a city ordinance that went into effect Feb. 27, financial institutions must register all vacant and foreclosed properties as soon as foreclosure proceedings are initiated.

The ordinance also requires that a local property manager be appointed to respond to any problems on the premises. Of the 769 properties registered so far, 622 have identified a local property manager, according to the Inspectional Services Department.

A partial list of the violations shows $21,890 in fines have been levied since mid-April. Among the violations are $3,540 in fines for illegal dumping, weeds and improper trash storage at 37 Stratton St. The yard is littered with mattresses, kitchen cabinets, ironing boards, shopping carts and bicyles.

"Every house that's been closed by the bank has been like that," said Pena. "It's not good."

Accredited Home Lenders of San Diego, Calif., which foreclosed on the home April 7, did not respond to requests for comment.

Another property, 14 Batchelder St. in Dorchester, has been fined nine times for improper trash storage and overgrown weeds since July. GRP Loan LLC of White Plains, N.Y., foreclosed on the two- family home April 17, 2007, Suffolk County land records show.

But GRP Financial Services spokesman Rick Castellano said they haven't received any violation notices from the city. The property was registered April 28 and is under the management of GRP Financial Services office in West Roxbury, city records show.

"We're registered with the city," Castellano said. "They know where to find us."

CAPTION: ON MISSION: Inspectional Servies Department Commissioner William J. Good III said his office is mailing notices to lenders who have not paid foreclosed-property fees. STAFF PHOTO BY TED FITZGERALD

Originally published by By LAURA CRIMALDI.

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