Friday, August 12, 2022

Representative Seeks to Standardize Permit Process for Foreclosed Properties

By on March 13, 2016

SAN JUAN – Rep. Ángel “Gary” Rodríguez has introduced legislation aimed at standardizing the mechanisms established by the Permits & Endorsements Management Office, municipalities and financial institutions for granting use permits for foreclosed properties, of which there are about 77,000 in Puerto Rico.

“There are no uniform regulatory processes for processing the permits of foreclosed properties; once a person acquires the property not even the financial institutions that owned these have evidence of the corresponding use permits,” the New Progressive Party (NPP) legislator said in a statement Sunday.

Rodríguez explained that the situation results in “the purchaser of one of these properties not  being able to conduct other types of activities in these since they cannot provide the State with evidence that meets the requirements for obtaining a government permit.”

According to the data used in the lawmaker’s statement, there is “an alarming situation of foreclosed or properties to be foreclosed on, which rose to 77,718 in December 2015.”

The number of foreclosed properties has increased by 26 percent from 2010 to 2015. About 4,300 properties were repossessed last year and around 22,000 families have lost their homes in the past five years, according to the release.

According to Financial Institutions Commissioner’s Office (OCIF by its Spanish acronym) data, in December 2015 there were 20,150 cases of mortgages in foreclosure and 57,568 in arrears ranging from 30 to 90 days.

The data as of December 2015 reflect reveal that 20,960 mortgages were 30 days in arrears; 9,136 were 60 days late; and 27,472 were behind 90 days.

House Resolution 1451, introduced by Rodríguez, orders the Housing and Urban Development Committee to carry out a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the established procedures and find a solution to the problem.

“While unfortunate for many, this situation of foreclosed properties has also become a business opportunity for others. Acquiring repossessed property at a lower cost…for some represents a way to have a new home or start an economic endeavour, but there is great difficulty in it,” the Toa Alta and Bayamón representative added.

Rodríguez pointed to the existence of foreclosed properties that have been acquired to be turned into “businesses, warehouses and even to build housing units for sale or rent.”

“Obviously, to conduct any activity in these or other properties involves a process of obtaining permits. There is a real problem with the lack of uniformity in permits, which is why we are filing this measure,” stressed the legislator.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login