Ohio has prohibited the use of plywood to board up certain vacant or abandoned properties in foreclosure.
The ban, which was signed into law Wednesday by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, only applies to properties that are put into a court-appointed expedited foreclosure process. With the new law, Ohio becomes one of the first states in the country to pass such a ban.
In place of plywood, a clear polycarbonate called clear boarding must be used on windows and doors.
Plywood can still be used on vacant or abandoned properties that are not in this expedited process. Banks must file a motion with the court for a property to go into the expedited process.
House Bill 463, which set up the expedited foreclosure process and established the plywood ban, is aimed at addressing issues related to so-called zombie foreclosures.
“House Bill 463 will help alleviate the strain that vacant and abandoned properties put on our local governments, schools, and communities,” Ohio State Rep. Jonathan Dever, R-Madeira, who sponsored the bill, said in a May news release after it was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives. “By modernizing Ohio’s foreclosure process, we are providing additional protections for homeowners, lifting our communities up, and ensuring a transparent process for all involved in a foreclosure lawsuit.”
Recently, the mortgage industry has begun moving toward the use of clear boarding. In early November, Fannie Mae approved its use as part of the government-sponsored enterprise’s efforts to improve maintenance processes on real estate owned.