In October 2009 the City of Jacksonville convened a working group of professionals, known as the Foreclosure Task Force, to review the issues and recommend activities to address the profound impact that foreclosures are having on the city. As a result of the Task Force, the following issues were identified:
Foreclosure impacts are felt in every facet of the Jacksonville community, transcending to more than just the homeowner and the lender. Communities, neighbors, schools and businesses are affected. Homes that are foreclosed upon are often abandoned, breeding crime, vandalism, theft, and a reduction of property values for neighboring properties. Foreclosures in neighborhoods no longer generate tax revenue for the city, intensifying the local government's financial shortfall and causing a reduction in the services and resources typically paid for by the revenue generated from property taxes. These consequences have a negative impact first on neighboring residences, then on entire neighborhoods and ultimately throughout all of the City of Jacksonville.
The Task Force determined that a foreclosed property registration process would be a valuable tool to address neighborhood safety and aesthetic concerns. Owners of foreclosed properties would be more easily identified and compelled, under the existing Jacksonville Property Safety and Maintenance Code found in Ordinance 96-458-297, to correct the negative impacts and blighting conditions that occur as a result of foreclosure and to maintain the properties that are in the foreclosure process or that have been foreclosed.
On May 25, 2010, the City of Jacksonville enacted Ordinance 2010-327-E which created a Vacant Property Registry Process and added Chapter 179: Mortgage Foreclosure Registration to the city's current Ordinance Code. The City Council of the City of Jacksonville determined that the addition to the city's ordinance code would serve and contribute to promoting and protecting the general health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City of Jacksonville.
The Ordinance requires that all properties in default be registered with the City of Jacksonville. The Property Registry is a tool designed to improve the physical attributes of a neighborhood by compelling the owner of record (lender, management company, etc.) to act responsibly in the maintenance of the property (i.e. overgrown weeds, broken windows, graffiti, trash, etc.)
Through a competitive bid process, the Housing and Neighborhoods Department contracted with Federal Property Registry Corporation (FPRC) to manage the registry. A website has been set up at: www.vacantregistry.com for all lenders/vendors to comply with the Ordinance. Questions can be emailed to email@example.com.