Friday, March 21, 2008


Fun in the California sun.

Indio, with nearly 1,500 homes in foreclosure in the city's limits, is leading valley cities in taking a stand.

A new law goes into effect April 4 targeting abandoned homes with overgrown landscaping, stagnant pools and other eyesores that scream "empty" to squatters.

The law requires that abandoned properties be registered with the city and maintained. If not, the owner - usually the bank in foreclosed situations - could face fines or criminal prosecution.


In Desert Hot Springs, where abandoned homes also are being used for unsupervised parties by youths, a similar ordinance was approved Tuesday by its City Council.

In Palm Springs, the subject of abandoned buildings including homes was discussed at a recent City Council study session.

The problem Indio and other cities face with foreclosed homes is not knowing who the owner of a home is and who is responsible for its maintenance.

Homeowners are walking away from their homes without notifying their lenders, Meadows said.

And banks in some cases won't take responsibility for properties until more than six months into the foreclosure process, he said.