Substitute Senate Bill No. 418
          Substitute Senate Bill No. 418

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-320


AN  ACT  CONCERNING   NOTICE   TO   HOMEOWNER   OF
PROTECTIONS  FROM  FORECLOSURES   AND   CONCERNING
PREVENTION OF NEIGHBORHOOD BLIGHT.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Section  49-31e  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)   In   an  action  by  a  lender  for  the
foreclosure of  a  mortgage  of  residential  real
property,  such  lender  shall  give notice to the
homeowner of the availability of the provisions of
sections  49-31d to 49-31i, inclusive, at the time
the action is commenced.
    (b)  A  homeowner  who  is given notice of the
availability of the provisions of sections  49-31d
to  49-31i,  inclusive,  must make application for
protection  from  foreclosure   within   [fifteen]
TWENTY-FIVE days of the return day.
    (c)  No judgment foreclosing the title to real
property by strict foreclosure or by a  decree  of
sale   shall   be  entered  unless  the  court  is
satisfied from pleadings  or  affidavits  on  file
with  the  court that notice has been given to the
homeowner against whom the foreclosure  action  is
commenced of the availability of the provisions of
sections 49-31d to 49-31i, inclusive.
    (d)   If   a   homeowner   against   whom  the
foreclosure action  is  commenced  was  not  given
notice  of  the  availability of the provisions of
sections 49-31d to 49-31i, inclusive, at the  time
the  action  was commenced, and such homeowner was
eligible to apply for protection from  foreclosure
at  such  time,  the court, upon its own motion or
upon the written motion  of  such  homeowner,  may
issue  an order staying the foreclosure action for
fifteen days during which period the homeowner may
apply to the court for protection from foreclosure
by  submitting  an  application  together  with  a
financial  affidavit as required by subsection (a)
of section 49-31f.
    Sec.  2. Section 49-4b of the general statutes
is repealed and the following  is  substituted  in
lieu thereof:
    (a)   If   an   open-end  mortgage  meets  the
requirements of this section, such mortgage  shall
BE  DEEMED TO GIVE SUFFICIENT NOTICE OF THE NATURE
OF THE OBLIGATION TO secure the obligation of  any
person  who  is secondarily liable for an open-end
loan, including (1) a commercial  revolving  loan,
as  defined  in  subsection  (c)  of section 49-2,
without regard to whether the authorized amount of
indebtedness  of  such revolving loan constituting
the underlying obligation shall at that time or at
any  time  have  been  fully  advanced, (2) future
advances under such open-end loan, to  the  extent
that such mortgagor is secondarily liable for such
future advances, and (3) a letter of credit.  Such
mortgagor's  secondary  liability  for such future
advances  shall  be  secured  by   such   open-end
mortgage  equally  with  the obligation secured by
such  mortgage  at  the  time  of  recording  such
mortgage  deed  and  shall  have the same priority
over the rights of  others  who  may  acquire  any
rights  in,  or  liens  upon,  the  mortgaged real
estate  subsequent  to  the  recording   of   such
mortgage deed.
    (b)  The  heading  of such mortgage deed shall
be clearly entitled "Open-End Mortgage".
    (c)   The  loan  constituting  the  underlying
obligation for which the mortgagor is  secondarily
liable,  which  secondary  liability is secured by
such open-end mortgage, shall be described in such
open-end mortgage deed. A description of such loan
meets the requirements of this subsection if  such
open-end  mortgage  deed  states: (1) The name and
address of the person who is primarily liable  for
such  loan;  (2)  that  such underlying obligation
specifically permits  such  advancements  and,  if
applicable,   that   such  advancements  are  made
pursuant to a revolving loan  agreement;  (3)  the
full  amount  of  the loan authorized; and (4) the
[terms of repayment of such] MAXIMUM TERM  OF  THE
loan.
    (d)  The  secondary liability of the mortgagor
shall be described in such open-end mortgage deed.
A  description  of  such secondary liability meets
the  requirements  of  this  subsection  if   such
open-end mortgage deed states: (1) The full amount
of the obligation of the mortgagor if such  amount
is  different  from  the  full  amount of the loan
authorized for the underlying obligation; AND  (2)
the date, if any, on which the secondary liability
of  the  mortgagor  will  terminate.  [;  (3)  the
conditions, if any, which will cause the mortgagor
to pay all or part of the  loan  constituting  the
underlying  obligation; and (4) the conditions, if
any, which will relieve the mortgagor of liability
for  all  or any part of the loan constituting the
underlying obligation or which will release all or
part  of  the  mortgaged premises from the lien of
such open-end mortgage.]
    (e)  As  used  in  this  section,  "mortgagee"
includes  any  assignee  of  the  mortgagee,   and
"mortgagor"   includes   any   assignee   of   the
mortgagor, and  "any  person  who  is  secondarily
liable"   [means]  INCLUDES  any  person  who  [is
secondarily liable for or who is also liable  for,
or  who]  has  guaranteed  or endorsed an open-end
loan.
    (f)  NOTHING  IN  THIS  SECTION,  AS IN EFFECT
BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE  OF  THIS
ACT,  INVALIDATES ANY MORTGAGE THAT WOULD BE VALID
WITHOUT THIS SECTION.
    Sec. 3. (NEW)  Any  unpaid  fine  imposed by a
municipality  pursuant to  the  provisions  of  an
ordinance regulating blight,  adopted  pursuant to
subparagraph  (H)(xv)  of   subdivision   (7)   of
subsection (c) of  section  7-148  of  the general
statutes, as amended  by  section  4  of this act,
shall  constitute a  lien  upon  the  real  estate
against which the  fine  was imposed from the date
of such fine.  Each  such  lien  may be continued,
recorded and released  in  the  manner provided by
the general statutes for continuing, recording and
releasing property tax liens. Each such lien shall
take precedence over  all  other liens filed after
the effective date  of  this  act and encumbrances
except taxes and  may  be  enforced  in  the  same
manner as property tax liens.
    Sec.  4.  Subparagraph  (H)(xv) of subdivision
(7) of subsection (c)  of  section  7-148  of  the
general  statutes is repealed and the following is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    Make   and   enforce   regulations  preventing
housing  blight,  INCLUDING  REGULATIONS  REDUCING
ASSESSMENTS,   provided  such  regulations  define
housing blight.
    Sec.    5.   (NEW)   The   assessor   of   any
municipality  that  has   adopted   an   ordinance
pursuant  to  subparagraph  (H)(xv) of subdivision
(7) of subsection (c)  of  section  7-148  of  the
general  statutes, as amended by section 4 of this
act, may reduce the  assessment  of  any  building
that has been rehabilitated in accordance with the
provisions of such ordinance. The assessment shall
be  adjusted  after the building is rehabilitated.
The adjusted assessment shall reflect the value of
the   structure   prior   to  rehabilitation.  The
adjusted assessment  shall  be  applicable  for  a
period   determined   in   accordance   with   the
provisions of the ordinance.
    Sec.   6.   Section   49-73b  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)   Any   municipality  which  has  incurred
expenses for the inspection,  repair,  demolition,
removal  or  other  disposition of any real estate
[damaged by fire] in order  to  secure  such  real
estate  or to make it safe shall have the right to
recover such expenses from the owner of  the  real
estate for which such expenses were incurred.
    (b)  The  interest of each person in such real
estate shall be subject to a lien for the  payment
of such expenses, which lien shall take precedence
over any other encumbrance  except  municipal  tax
assessments  on  such  real  estate.  No such lien
shall be valid, unless  the  municipality,  within
thirty  days  after  such work has ceased, files a
certificate of such lien and gives notice  to  the
owner  of  the  real  estate in the same manner as
provided in section 49-34.
    (c)   The  interest  of  each  person  in  the
proceeds of any policy  providing  fire  insurance
coverage issued by an insurance company, including
any policy written pursuant to the  provisions  of
section  38a-670,  shall  be  subject to a lien on
such proceeds  for  the  expenses  incurred  by  a
municipality   pursuant   to   the  provisions  of
subsection (a)  of  this  section,  provided  such
municipality,  within  thirty days after such work
has ceased, files a certificate of such  lien  and
gives notice to such interested person in the same
manner as provided in section 49-34.
    (d)  Any  municipal lien filed pursuant to the
provisions of this section may  be  foreclosed  in
the same manner as a mortgage.
    (e)  Any certificate of lien filed pursuant to
this section shall exist from  the  fifteenth  day
succeeding  the  date of entry of such certificate
in the land records.
    (f)  Any municipal lien filed pursuant to this
section may be  discharged  or  dissolved  in  the
manner  provided  in  sections  49-35a  to  49-37,
inclusive.
    (g)  Nothing  in this section shall prevent an
insured  owner,  mortgagee,  assignee   or   other
interested party from negotiating a dissolution of
any such lien  on  the  fire  insurance  proceeds,
enabling  the  insurance  company to disburse said
proceeds.
    (h)  The  provisions of this section shall not
apply to policies on single-family  or  two-family
dwellings.
    Sec.   7.   Section   12-182  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    Whenever  used  in  sections 12-182 to 12-194,
inclusive, "municipality" has the meaning given it
in section 12-141 and "tax" includes each property
tax or assessment and  each  instalment  and  part
thereof  due  a municipality, with any interest or
other lawful charges incident thereto. In addition
to   other  remedies  provided  by  law,  the  tax
collector of any municipality  may  bring  in  its
name  an  action in the nature of an action in rem
to foreclose a tax lien or liens  on  real  estate
the  fair  market value of which, in his judgment,
is less than the total of the amounts due upon the
tax liens and other encumbrances upon the property
so liened and is  not  more  than  [twenty]  FIFTY
thousand  dollars  with respect to any one parcel.
No judgment shall be rendered in  such  proceeding
for  the  recovery  of a personal judgment against
the owner of the property subject to such lien  or
liens or any person having an interest therein.
    Sec.   8.   Section   12-183  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    The  tax  collector  may, by his attorney, not
more than once in each calendar year, file in  the
office  of the clerk of the superior court for the
judicial  district  in  which  the   property   is
situated,   a   petition   in   the  name  of  the
municipality for the foreclosure of any  tax  lien
or  liens  on the respective properties so liened,
and may include in one petition any number of such
properties,   each  of  which  shall  be  numbered
serially. Such petition shall be addressed to  the
court, as above stated, and shall be substantially
by   its   tax   collector  hereunto  subscribing,
herewith submits a list of properties  located  in
taxes and states that in  his  judgment  the  fair
market  value  of  each  of such properties is not
more than [twenty] FIFTY thousand dollars and such
value  is  less than the total amount due upon tax
liens and other encumbrances thereon." A  list  of
the  various  parcels  of  property  sought  to be
foreclosed shall follow, containing,  as  to  each
parcel,   the   following   information:   (a)   A
description sufficient  to  identify  each  parcel
affected   by   any  such  tax  lien.  The  latest
description of such parcel as  appears  of  record
shall  be considered a sufficient description and,
in all cases in which such parcel can  be  further
identified by a known street address, such address
shall be included  in  the  description;  (b)  the
name,  residence and, if known, the address of the
owner or owners of such parcel as they  appear  on
the  most  recent  assessment  list  of the taxing
district wherein such property is located; (c) the
principal  of  such tax due thereon, the amount of
which, with interest, if any,  and  the  fees  and
other  charges,  is  secured  by such lien and the
date or dates  when  the  principal  of  such  tax
becomes  due;  (d)  the  name,  residence  and, if
known, the address, of each present record  holder
of any interest in, or encumbrance on, such liened
property and the nature  and  amount  thereof,  as
disclosed by the land records; (e) the last day of
the period  during  which  such  property  may  be
redeemed,  which  shall  be  the  last  day of the
fourth month after the month in which the list  is
filed in court. Such petition shall be verified by
the oath of the tax collector that the information
contained  therein  is  true  to  the  best of his
knowledge and belief.
    Sec.   9.   Section   12-185  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    If  the  report  of  the appraisers shows that
the fair market value of any  parcel  of  property
listed  in such petition is greater than the total
of the amounts due upon the tax lien or liens  and
the   recorded  principal  amounts  of  all  other
encumbrances thereon  or  is  more  than  [twenty]
FIFTY  thousand dollars, the clerk shall write the
word "Withdrawn" opposite the item of property  on
the list and thereafter such property shall not be
within the scope of the proceeding.
    Sec.   10.   Section  29-253  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  The  State  Building  Code, including any
amendment  to  said  code  adopted  by  the  State
Building   Inspector   and   Codes  and  Standards
Committee, shall be  the  building  code  for  all
towns, cities and boroughs.
    (b)  Nothing in this section shall prevent any
town, city or borough from adopting  an  ordinance
governing  the demolition of [hazardous] buildings
DEEMED TO BE UNSAFE.
    [(c)]  AS  USED  IN  THIS  SUBSECTION, "UNSAFE
BUILDING" MEANS A BUILDING THAT CONSTITUTES A FIRE
HAZARD  OR IS OTHERWISE DANGEROUS TO HUMAN LIFE OR
THE PUBLIC WELFARE.
    Sec. 11. This  act  shall take effect from its
passage, except that  sections 3 to 10, inclusive,
shall take effect  July  1,  1997,  and  section 1
shall take effect October 1, 1997.

Approved July 10, 1997