Island views: What is your opinion of the proposed amnesty policy for owners of properties in the foreclosure process, who are out of compliance with Marco Island codes?

Kathy Malerba

Marco Island

I don’t know of any reason why anybody else should be responsible for paying the expenses incurred by a property than the owner. Do you? Why should we, as taxpayers, pay for something that does not belong to us? What will happen once they pay the bill? Will Marco Island then pay for it 100 percent after that? Or will the City then continue to pay for 75 percent of it? Could I have that deal, too? We’re all struggling. It’s hard times for everybody.

Eddie Vasquez

Marco Island

We should go after the people who are not paying their taxes and upkeep, and let the people who are paying their bills only pay 25%. That’s the proper way to do it. Otherwise, it’s the banks that getting the free ride, not the people. When a property is truly in foreclosure, it is the bank that is supposed to pay for these services. How much are we going to give the banks? They just got all this stimulus money, now they are coming after taxpayers. Banks should be responsible for their own problems. They made the mistake, they should pay the price. That’s just the way it is. Why should the taxpayer bail out the banks again? How many times are they going to get bailed out? Banks don’t give you a break, why should you?

Dave Stonier

Marco Island

Here’s what’s going on. Once you get a lawyer involved, they can keep stalling it. Because when they ask for an interrogatory, they can answer with another question, so it just goes back and forth. You can do that for two or three years, easy. We live in a market right now that is in the bottom of a trough. We know that, unfortunately, in the United States, the pendulum swings back and forth dramatically, and never seems to center. So, now we are waiting for price increases. If the people in foreclosure can drag it on, then the market picks up, and the property will have enough value that the owner will begin paying the expenses on it. Time is on their side. We are in a situation which has two sides. The seller, if they lien the property, the bank has to recognize the lien, and the City of Marco Island will be paid. So in this situation, I hate to say it, but I’m on the side of Marco Island, to collect as many fees as possible. The thing is, there’s no right or wrong answer. If you have a seller who is despondent over finances, trying to save his or her home, and living in the property, you have to cut the person a break. But, if the owner has abandoned the property, that’s abandonment, and he or she should pay the penalties.

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