A report on foreclosures in Los Angeles indicates penalties folded into a foreclosure registry program established in 2010, a program intended to scare property owners into maintaining houses, were never collected.

Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin summed up his report on the issue in a letter to the Housing and Community Investment Department. Galperin found that the ordinance that created the registry "cast too wide a net" and required registration at the wrong point in the process. That meant many property records in the database remained incomplete and never received a follow-up.

Since the report was presented, the city council passed a motion to try and collect fines retroactively, as well as to address some recommended actions.

The registry program was supposed to help Los Angeles reduce blight and safety problems that come with derelict, foreclosed houses. But Galperin said that processes were not put in place to share the registry information with, say, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, which in theory would have handled inspections and enforcement.

The report also included suggestions on how to make the registry better, which seems to at least give a vote of confidence in the idea of a registry as a good method for mitigating the repercussions of having abandoned, foreclosed houses in a neighborhood.

Here are four recommendations:

· Collect the fees the city threatened to collect?

· Create "a more accurate, self-populating geo-coded virtual map" of all properties in foreclosure regardless of what stage in the process

· Share information with other city departments so that inspections and complaints can be followed

· Make sure that the buildings are maintained and squatter-free

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