Land banker

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Land banker
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Land banker it is a person who provides land banking services and should not be mixed up as finance services provider. Land banks are not recognized as financial institutions. They are semi-governmental and community-owned organizations created for a single purpose – to manage, maintain, acquire and remodel vacant and abandoned properties. Usually those are forgotten buildings, abandoned houses and empty lots. Lands banker is responsible of improving raw lands and maintaing an ivenotry of improved lots [1].

Process of land banking

Land banks get properties through tax foreclosures, nonprofit or intergovernmental transfers, and purchases on open-market. The most popular method of acquisition is tax foreclosures. They give opportunity to local or state taxing authorities to retrieve delinquent back taxes, due to possibility to impose a lien on a property with no owner's consent. After this, according to state/region foreclosure laws, properties are sold to public auctions. In case of any remaining unsold properties are deeded to land banks. Subsequently, land bankers [2]:

  • promote acquisition process and the redevelopment of blighted properties by prosecution powers authorized in local statutes, including the ability to waive taxes and clear titles
  • provide maintenance services for abandoned properties and vacant lots

Often happens, that land bank acquires a large number of properties which are not sold immediately; those create a need for upkeep. Such activities include routine maintenance of property and demolition of dilapidated structures (especially in case of places that pose safety hazards). [3].

The significance of the economic and housing crisis – roots of land banking

The economic and housing crisis in recent has been observed in United States since the early 2000s and even nowadays America's communities are facing deep and far-reaching consequences. Throughout most of the states, residential mortgage foreclosures raised to levels which had not been experienced in 75 years, while other communities experienced 25% or more declines in property values. With those overwhelming density of foreclosures in particular regions, the amount of vacant properties reached record levels. Land bankers has been supporting local communities especially during crisis and avoiding collapses on local markets. In case, when demand for housing disappears, what has been a strong and vibrant community or neighborhood once, may change to a declining wasteland. What is more, in many examples local governments lack effective tools, this should support local community and revers such a serious consequences [4].

Footnotes

  1. Alexander S.F., 2011
  2. Sage Computing, Inc., 2009
  3. Leonard B. and others, 2009
  4. Alexander S.F., 2015

References

Author: Anna Stach