Foreclosed, Distressed and Abandoned Properties: Legal Challenges for Municipalities

Leveraging Ordinances, Judicial and Agency Proceedings, Land Banks and Other Tools to Minimize Burdens and Maximize Opportunities

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will prepare counsel to municipalities to mitigate the burdens and take advantage of opportunities in foreclosed, abandoned and distressed property through implementation of ordinances, properly managing judicial and administrative proceedings, and effectively utilizing land banks, among other tools.


Vacant, abandoned and distressed residential and commercial properties, stemming in part from the foreclosure crisis, cause a range of problems for municipalities. These vacant and abandoned properties diminish an area, generate less tax revenue, and create greater expenses for local governments.

Local authorities must adopt ordinances and policies to prevent and address the negative impact of distressed properties—and seek ways to take advantage of opportunities presented by these properties.

Some solutions include property maintenance ordinances, judicial proceedings including demolition, vacant building registries, administrative adjudication systems, and land banking. Local governments can also draw on letters of credit to complete public improvements of abandoned developments.

Listen as our authoritative panel of municipal law attorneys discusses available tools and strategies for mitigating the impact of foreclosures, distressed properties, and abandoned developments.



  1. Impact to municipalities caused by vacant, distressed and abandoned property
  2. Municipal enforcement tools
    1. Property maintenance ordinances
    2. Vacant building registries
    3. Administrative adjudication systems
    4. Demolition
    5. Nuisance abatement
  3. Available strategies
    1. Letters of credit
    2. Other security to complete public improvements
    3. Land banking
    4. Special financing tools
    5. Repositioning properties; zoning strategies
    6. Development partnerships


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What tools are available to municipalities to deal with problems created by vacant, abandoned and distressed properties?
  • How can local governments draw on letters of credit to complete public improvements in abandoned developments?
  • How can land banks be used as an effective tool in stabilizing neighborhoods particularly hard hit by foreclosures?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Julie A. Tappendorf
Julie A. Tappendorf

Ancel Glink Diamond Bush DiCianni & Krafthefer

Her practice focuses on representing local governments in transactional and litigation matters, including defending...  |  Read More

Dwight H. Merriam
Dwight H. Merriam

Robinson & Cole

He represents local governments, developers, landowners, and advocacy groups in land development and conservation...  |  Read More

David S. Silverman
David S. Silverman

Ancel Glink Diamond Bush DiCianni & Krafthefer

He concentrates his practice in the areas of land use, economic development, and general local government law. His...  |  Read More

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