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Tuesday May 26th, 2015 5:49AM

Hall County launches foreclosure registry

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - Hall County has launched a new foreclosure registry, and the idea is to make owners of foreclosed and vacant properties more accountable when it comes to keeping those properties in order.

The registry was approved by the Hall County Board of Commissioners in June 2013, but the time is growing close for owners of foreclosed or vacant properties to sign up, according to county officials.

According to Hall County Commission Clerk Melissa McCain, banks and mortgage companies in the area will be receiving a letter letting them know that properties in unincorporated Hall County that were foreclosed on prior to October 1, 2013 need to be entered into the foreclosure registry by Jan. 2, 2014.

In addition to foreclosed properties, the owner of any vacant, real property that has not been inhabited for 60 days and has no signs of utility usage in 60 days is also required to register. The owners of the properties can register by logging on to www.hallcounty.org, filling out the foreclosure registry form and submitting that paperwork to the county along with a $100 payment for joining the registry. McCain said the $100 payment must be submitted, along with a new foreclosure registry form, any time the foreclosed property changes hands.

Payments sent by mail may be made by check or money order and made payable to Hall County Foreclosure Registry and mailed to Hall County Foreclosure Registry, P.O. Drawer 1435, Gainesville, Ga. 30503.

Cash, check or credit card payments may also be made in person at the Hall County Government Center, 4th Floor Administration, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville, Ga. 30504 between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Telephone inquiries can be made to 770-297-5518 or by email at hallcountyforeclosure@hallcounty.org.

Failure to register a foreclosed property is subject to a fine of up to $1,000. Additional fines may be levied if the Hall County Marshal's Office issues citations on the property.

County officials believe the registry will provide the marshal's office with a new tool to track owners of foreclosed and vacant properties, holding those owners accountable for lack of maintenance and security issues at those homes and protecting surrounding property values as well. The registry will give county marshals easy access to contact information for the owner of a property in the case of a code violation or other safety issue that needs to be addressed.

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