Pam Barrett, speaking on behalf of the San Diego chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, appeared before the San Diego City Council on July 27 to request that an ordinance be passed that would require lending institutions to register properties that are in default. According to Barrett, a similar ordinance has been passed in Los Angeles, and banks are charged an annual registration rate of $155 per property.
“Such a fee would add over $1 million to our city’s revenue and would easily pay the salaries of additional inspectors, if needed,” she said.
Barrett claims that the City keeps no records of foreclosures and inspectors are not assigned to check on foreclosed homes, leaving neighbors to police unmaintained bank-owned properties. Upon receiving complaints, the lack of city records makes it difficult to track down which banks are responsible for maintenance.
“The deterioration of a property begins with the first default notice, not with foreclosure,” said Barrett who argued that banks delay the foreclosure process to avoid having to maintain properties.
She added that the Los Angeles ordinance allows the City to assess a $250 daily fine for not registering on time and as much as $1000 per code violation.
“Why are we going easy on our banks here in San Diego?” Barrett asked the council.