Skip to Content


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3172         FILED ON: 1/21/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2995

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Russell E. Holmes and John Hart, Jr.

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act protecting neighborhoods from hazardous properties.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Russell E. Holmes

6th Suffolk

Sonia Chang-Diaz

 

Linda Dorcena Forry

12th Suffolk

Carlos Henriquez

5th Suffolk

Byron Rushing

9th Suffolk


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3172        FILED ON: 1/21/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2995

By Representative Holmes of Boston and Senator Hart, a joint petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2995) of Russell E. Holmes and others relative to foreclosed property purchased or taken for non-payment of taxes.  Revenue. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

_______________

 

An Act protecting neighborhoods from hazardous properties.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 60 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting the following new definition:-

              “Hazardous property” a structure or parcel of land that is occupied, partially occupied or unoccupied, and that in the determination of the local housing inspector, local inspector of buildings, fire marshal, police commissioner or public health department, is unfit for human habitation, unsafe, and/or poses a threat to the life and safety of any occupants, public safety, public health, constitutes a fire hazard, or is otherwise deemed a nuisance.

              SECTION 2.  Section 65 of chapter 60 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after the word “parcel”, in the first sentence, the following words:- 

              or the property has been determined to be a hazardous property pursuant to section 81C;

              SECTION 3.  Said section 65 of chapter 60 is hereby further amended by inserting after the first paragraph the following paragraph:-

              Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, if a city or town files a petition for the foreclosure of all rights of redemption in the land court pursuant to Section 81A or 81C of chapter 60, the court shall schedule a status conference expeditiously and in no case later than 90 days after such petition was filed. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary,  if a city or town files a petition for the foreclosure of all rights of redemption in the land court pursuant to Section 81B of chapter 60, the court shall schedule a status conference expeditiously and in no case later than 90 days after such petition was filed.

              SECTION 4.  Section 69A of chapter 60, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “section”, at the end of the second sentence, the following words:- 

              If said foreclosure petition was filed for a hazardous property as set forth in sections 1 and 81C of chapter 60, no petition to vacate a decree of foreclosure entered under section 69 of chapter 60 and no proceedings at law or equity for reversing or modifying such a decree shall be commenced by any person other than the petitioner except within thirty calendar days after the final entry of the decree.

              SECTION 5. Said section 69A of chapter 60 is hereby further amended by inserting after the first paragraph the following paragraph:-

              Any individual or entity that holds title to the subject structure or parcel of land in any capacity, directly or indirectly, and wishes to file a petition to vacate a decree of foreclosure in which a city or town has filed a petition to foreclose the owner’s right of redemption pursuant to section 81A, 81B or 81C of chapter 60 shall be required to post a bond within 30 days in an amount not less than twenty five percent of the outstanding property taxes owed.  Failure to do so shall result in the dismissal of the owners petition to vacate the decree of foreclosure.  The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to any individual or entity that has applied for an abatement, pursuant to section 59 of chapter 59.

              SECTION 6. Said chapter 60 is hereby amended by inserting after section 81B the following section:-

              Section 81C. Whenever a city or town shall have purchased or taken land for non-payment of taxes under section 43 or 53 of chapter 60, respectively, and the treasurer of said city or town has reason to believe that structure or parcel of land may constitute a hazardous property, said treasurer shall forthwith request the inspector of buildings, or such other person designated by the mayor or board of selectmen to perform the duties of the inspector of buildings as defined in section 6 of chapter 143, to inspect the structure or parcel of land.  Said inspection may be in addition to and need not be in conjunction with the inspection as performed by the inspector of buildings pursuant to said section 6, and shall not preclude a city or town from taking any action prescribed in said chapter 143, relative to said land.

              If structures or parcels of land are deemed a hazardous property, the local housing inspector, local inspector of buildings, fire marshal, police commissioner or public health department, shall notify the record owner, and, if appropriate, the mortgagee in possession or lessee, of this finding.  Such notice shall include a statement that the inspection was conducted at the request of the local treasurer and that the failure of the record owner, or other interested party, to correct the conditions described in the notice within thirty days of receipt or publication of the notice will result in proceedings to foreclose the record owner’s right of redemption. Such notice may be served in the manner required by law for the service of subpoenas on witnesses in civil cases or may be published. The inspector of buildings shall also, at the time of service or publication, post a copy of the notice at the hazard property as well as an additional convenient public place.

              If at the expiration of the thirty-day period, the inspector of buildings is of the opinion that action has not been initiated to correct the conditions described in the notice, he shall forthwith notify the local treasurer in writing, under penalties of perjury, that the structures or parcel of land have been found to be hazardous property. Such written notice shall include therein the facts and circumstances which formed the basis of his findings, and a copy of the notice served on the record owner, or if service was by publication, an account of the steps taken to locate the record owner and a copy of the published notice.

              Upon receipt of such written notice the treasurer shall immediately notify the commissioner of revenue in writing, under the penalties of perjury, of such finding. Said notice to the commissioner of revenue shall include a copy of the notice filed by the inspector of buildings, such information appearing in the records of the assessors and of the collector and tending to establish the validity of the tax title on such land, and any further information that the commissioner may deem appropriate.

              If the commissioner of revenue is of the opinion that the facts and circumstances as found by the inspector of buildings are sufficient to establish that the buildings on the land so taken or purchased are a hazardous property and that the facts essential to the validity of the tax title on such land have been adequately established, he shall make an affidavit of such finding which shall be recorded in the registry of deeds for the district wherein the land lies.

              The commissioner of revenue shall incorporate in his affidavit the statements of the inspector of buildings and the treasurer, or such portions thereof as the commissioner finds pertinent, and when recorded, shall be prima facie evidence of such facts.

              Upon the recording of the affidavit the treasurer shall bring a petition in the land court pursuant to section 65 of chapter 60 for the foreclosure of all rights of redemptions of said land.

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

Error