Here’s a scenario that’s all too common in cities across Ohio: A structure, often a house in a struggling residential neighborhood, stands empty, abandoned by its titled owners and steadily deteriorating year by year. The lender could foreclose and take title to the property through a credit bid if there are no higher bidders at the sheriff’s sale. However, this often does not happen if the mortgaged property is in a blighted or other struggling neighborhood. The lender does not want to be stuck with the property.
There are quite a few land banks in the state of Ohio. The Western Reserve Land Conservancy lists 24 Ohio county land banks on its web site. The first county land bank in Ohio was created in 2008 when legislation was passed in the state to allow the creation of a land bank in Cuyahoga County. The formation of 23 additional county land banks in the past 7 years is testimony to the growing need to deal with vacant blighted properties in the state.