• Posted On: January 27, 2015

The economic downturn of 2008 was particularly felt by homeowners. Many found that they had mistakenly purchased more house than they could afford, and even those that could swing the payments watched their home values drop, squashing an expected return on investment.

While the economy continues to show signs of improvement, not everyone is experiencing solid financial ground. Foreclosures are still a problem, and some areas are more heavily hit than others.

Foreclosures can be difficult to keep up with for code enforcement officers. The owners often become poor caretakers of the property as they realize they will lose it, and as ownership returns to the lender, it may become difficult to determine who is responsible for the care of the property.

This can have a negative impact on the community surrounding the foreclosure. Neighbors are usually among those first affected by code violations, in which the property can have a neglected yard and broken windows. Valuable elements of the property such as copper pipes and aluminum siding can draw thieves to the property.

Code enforcement on a lone foreclosure may not be a significant problem for your municipality, but it can get more complicated if there are areas where foreclosure rates are high. Since your community may rely on citizen complaints, or a more passive system to record code violations, you can quickly become backlogged when foreclosures surge.

One problem is that in a more passive approach to the enforcement of codes, complaints may only come in when violations have become severe and affected neighbors’ property value and quality of life. The second problem is that when those enforcement complaints come in, your agency can quickly become overwhelmed with code violation reports.

It may be helpful to operate on a targeted approach when you face a heavy foreclosure rate in a particular neighborhood or area. In a targeted approach your department may enlist the help of community groups, providing training on basic code violation, and look for violations while they are still minor and easily resolved.

The high rate of foreclosure in some areas highlights the need for an efficient system to manage the enforcement issues in your area. Mobile app technology allows citizens to log complaints while the violation is in its early stages, and automatic updates and reminders make it easy to avoid bottlenecks and resolve code violations in a reasonable time.

The same economic downturn that has affected homeowners and led to a high rate of foreclosures is also affecting the budgets of local governments. Municipal code enforcement requires updated technology that quickly provides a return on investment to manage the caseload associated with foreclosures.

Comcate provides the technology that makes targeted enforcement run smoothly. Our mobile solutions will keep your trained inspectors out in the field where they can address code violations and reduce their time dealing with paperwork. Automatic updates and reminders mean that violations will be quickly addressed, leading to citizen satisfaction and making your community a nicer place to live.

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