Lisbon law requires notification of foreclosures

LISBON – Banks and other lending institutions will be required to notify the village when a property in Lisbon goes into foreclosure, under a new law passed this week by Village Council.

The law, passed unanimously by council as an emergency measure, was drafted at the suggestion of Councilwoman Mary Ann Gray, who has said before that such a law would provide them with a name and number of someone to contact should the foreclosed property become dilapidated while it sits unsold.

Under the law, the lending institution is required to register with the village whenever a Lisbon property for which it holds the mortgage goes into foreclosure and becomes vacant. The lending institution must provide the property address and contact information of the person who has assumed responsibility for the property.

The filing fee is $100, and failure to comply is a misdemeanor and carries a possible fine of $150 for every day the lending institution is in non-compliance.

The law is in response to the foreclosure epidemic that has resulted in a large number of unsold homes that have become blights due to neglect. Whenever these properties fall into disrepair or the lawns need to be mowed, the village will contact the property owner to get action.

“It protects the neighborhoods and protects the village,” said village Solicitor Virginia Barborak, who noted East Liverpool and Leetonia have passed similar laws.

When asked how they were going to monitor compliance, Barborak suggested watching for the foreclosure filings and notices in the local newspapers. This job will fall to Alisa Gostey, the mayor’s secretary.

In other action at the meeting, council passed on third and final reading an ordinance repealing a 30-year-old ban on serving liquor in the village on Sundays.

This was done at the request of the Shale Tavern and Grill, which is the only restaurant open on Sundays in the village that serves alcohol. Last fall, the tavern filed an application seeking voter approval to serve alcohol on Sundays, but the issue never made it to the ballot due to lack of valid signatures on the petition.

The law goes into effect in 30 days.