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The original item was published from 12/18/2019 3:22:48 PM to 2/4/2020 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: December 2, 2019





CHICOPEE – Under Mayor Richard J. Kos's administration, the City of Chicopee has expanded its approach to delinquent properties. Complaints are now filed civilly instead of criminally, which allow the Court to grant equitable relief against owners in violation of the state sanitary code, state building code, and city ordinances. This includes appointing a receiver to take control of a property, which is a remedy of last resort.

"It's important that we address problem properties given its negative effects they can have on neighboring residences," says Mayor Richard J. Kos.

M.G.L. c.111 s. 127I allows the appointment of a receiver to take control over a property with state sanitary code violations if the petitioner shows that the violations will not be promptly remedied unless a receiver is appointed, and the Court determines that such appointment is in the best interest of occupants residing in the property. Additionally, receivers may be appointed to take control of vacant and abandoned properties. This is a remedy of last resort and of an emergency nature, which means that there are no other options to bring the property into code compliance except for appointing a third party to take control.

After the appointment, the receiver presents a realistic rehab plan for the review and approval of the Court. In addition, receivers are required to submit periodic reports, as determined by the Court, to detail all funds received, owed, and dispersed.

Pursuant to M.G.L. c 111 § 127I, a receiver is authorized to:

Collect rents and shall apply the rents to payment of any repairs necessary to bring the property into compliance with the sanitary code and to necessary expenses of operation, maintenance, and management of the property, including insurance expenses and reasonable fees of the receiver, and then to payment of any unpaid taxes, assessments, penalties or interest. Any excess of income in the hands of the receiver shall then be applied to payments due to any mortgagee or lienor of record.

Receivers are allowed to place a super-priority lien on the property that covers all property-related expenses. This lien has priority over all mortgages and private liens, with the exclusion of municipal liens (i.e., tax liens).

Any interested party, such as the owner or mortgagee, may redeem the property by reimbursing the receiver for all costs incurred. However, if the property is not redeemed, the receiver may seek permission from the Court to foreclose on their lien and auction the property to recover any outstanding monies owed or request permission to list the property on M.L.S.

Each summer, the Western Division Housing Court holds an application process for persons or companies to apply to be on the Court approved receiver list. By vetting applicants, the Court has a better understanding of which potential receivers have the financial wherewithal and ability to take on the responsibility. The City uses this list to select proposed receivers.

Below is a list of Chicopee properties which are currently in receivership or a receivership has been completed:

46-48 St. James Avenue

231-233 Chicopee Street

36 Erline Street

690 Chicopee Street

520 Chicopee Street

340 Grattan Street

44 Rochester Street

20 New Ludlow Road

1640 Westover Road

521 Broadway Street

58 Bonner Street

162 Trilby Avenue

65 Langevin Street

75 Longwood Drive

19-21 Emerald Street

114 Chapel Street

122 Pine Street

30 Larchmont Street

157 Shepard Street

114 Chapel Street

65 Frederick Street

625 McKinstry Avenue

187 Prospect Street

Currently, the Law Department has approximately 65 open court cases regarding properties involving code enforcement matters.

"The Receivership Program has significantly enhanced the ability to classify problem properties, determine the appropriate course of action and implement the process necessary to bring these properties back into use," stated Mayor Richard J. Kos.


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