GENERAL LAND BANK QUESTIONS
Still have questions? Need clarification? You may find your answers here. The information is organized in the following categories:
Why was the Montgomery County Land Bank established?
The Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners created the Montgomery County Land Reutilization Corporation, also known as the Land Bank, at the recommendation of the County Treasurer, in accordance with Section 1724 of the Ohio Revised Code. The organization is the County’s response to the housing crisis and the growing number of tax foreclosures and abandoned, vacant properties in local communities. The Land Bank’s mission is “to facilitate the transition of blighted, foreclosed and abandoned properties into viable, marketable properties by working collaboratively with public and private entities in a financially responsible, transparent manner with a long-term goal of returning these properties to the tax roll.
What is the history of the Montgomery County Land Bank?
The Montgomery County Land Bank was launched in 2012 with the County Treasurer serving as MCLB chair and interim executive director. Startup funding was allocated from the Treasurer’s Office Delinquent Tax and Assessment Collection.
In November 2012, the Board of County Commissioners approved 5 percent of the County’s Delinquent Tax and Assessment Collection be allocated to the Land Bank. These funds are used to operate the organization and its programs. After securing this stable funding source, the MCLB Board of Directors hired its first full-time executive director in November 2013.
How is the Land Bank governed?
The Land Bank is governed by a Board of Directors, which is appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. The Ohio Revised Code establishes the composition of the board, stipulating the appointment of five, seven or nine members, including the following:
- County treasurer
- At least two of the members of the board of county commissioners
- One representative of the largest municipal corporation
- One representative of a township with a population of at least ten thousand in the unincorporated area of the township
- One individual with private sector or nonprofit experience in rehabilitation or real estate acquisitions.
Current Board members include County Treasurer Russ Joseph; Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice; Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge; City of Dayton Director of Planning & Community Development Todd Kinskey; Washington Township Trustee Scott Paulson; Market Metric$, LLC, owner Doug Harnish; and HER Realtor and community development specialist Sheila Crane.
Citizen and Investor Programs
If I’m a citizen or investor, what qualifications must I meet to participate in Land Bank programs?
A citizen or investor must meet these qualifications:
- Current on property taxes
- No nuisance citations/conditions for the last two years on any property owned.
- Not tax delinquent during the previous two years on any property owned (includes corporate members)
- If project is a rehab or new development:
- Financing to complete the project
- Feasible project development plan and time line
- Proof of prior work completed (if applicable)
- Letters of support (at Land Bank’s request)
- o Additional information on a case-by-case basis
- For commercial, industrial and new development projects, further financing and development plans may be required
DIY RENOVATION PROGRAM
What are the steps involved in the DIY Renovation Program?
1. Applicant makes offer and submits Property Purchaser Application.
2. Land Bank accepts offer pending verification of Applicant’s qualifications and receipt of the following documents:
a. Proof of funds for the purchase and rehab of the property
b. Social Security number of the applicant
c. Additional documentation as needed
3. Application information verified
a. Absence of code violations
b. Absence of tax delinquencies
c. Absence of foreclosure actions
d. Absence of bankruptcies
e. Residency Status
f. Renovation Experience
g. Financial ability
4. Qualified Applicant notified and contract signing date scheduled
5. Contract Signing Date:
a. Purchaser and MCLB sign DIY Renovation Sale and Purchase Agreement
b. Purchaser pays purchase price, title reimbursement, and recording fees
c. Purchaser receives possession of property
6. Purchaser begins renovation process as agreed
7. Purchaser notifies MCLB of work completion
8. Property Inspection
9. Deed Transferred at the Closing
Complete program details and requirements are available when you download the DIY Renovation Program application form and instructions from the Resources page on this website.
May I see DIY properties before I submit an offer?
Yes. Information about viewings is provided in the details of the property offering. For specific information, check the Land Bank’s listing of available properties on this website.
How much time do I have to complete the improvements on a DIY Renovation program property?
You have six months to complete the improvements from the time the DIY Renovation Sale and Purchase Agreement has been executed.
When will I receive the property deed?
The Land Bank will transfer the deed after the final inspection of the renovations to confirm that the agreed-upon renovations have been completed and closing costs have been paid.
Since I don’t get the deed until after renovations, how can I finance the improvements?
Most of our purchasers self-finance, obtain a personal loan or equity line of credit using other property they own.
Is there a limit to the number of properties I may bid on through the program?
There is no limit on the number of properties you may acquire through this program as long as you continue to meet the qualification criteria and fulfill the terms of the sale and purchase agreement.
How can I learn about new properties as they become available?
Sign up for the Land Bank’s emails about new properties, regularly check the Land Bank-owned property listing on this website or call the Land Bank at (937) 531-6926.
How does the Land Bank acquire properties for the DIY Renovation Program?
DIY Renovation properties come to the Land Bank in various ways, including tax foreclosure, donations by lenders and private citizens, or acquisition of REO property through government programs, local governments, individual citizens and banks. The Land Bank inspects each property to ensure its reuse potential. If it meets established standards, the Land Bank acquires the deed and offers the property for bid to citizens and investors interested in rehabbing it through the DIY Renovation Program.
Does the Land Bank’s property listing include REO properties and HUD homes for sale?
The property listing on this website may include some types of REO homes or HUD foreclosed homes, but all are under the ownership of the Land Bank.
FORECLOSURE ACQUISITION PROGRAM
What types of properties qualify for the Foreclosure Acquisition Program?
Property qualifications for the Foreclosure Acquisition Program include
- Residential property of 1-4 units. Please note, at this time, the Land Bank does not take applications for properties which are classified as condominiums.
- Taxes have been delinquent for at least one year.
- Property “unoccupied” per Ohio Revised Code 323.65 (Unoccupied means the property is physically uninhabited, there is an absence of utility connections, it is not being actively marketed and no person or business is visibly present)
How can I find properties which may be eligible for tax foreclosure?
You can search through an online mapping tool for tax-delinquent properties. Tax-delinquent properties in Montgomery County, outside of the City of Dayton, are marked in the Land Bank’s property search tool, GoGetProperties.com. (The City of Dayton has determined that tax-delinquent properties inside the City of Dayton are to be pursued through depositor's foreclosure with the Montgomery County Treasurer's Office.) A property will also need to be deemed as tax lien eligible, noted on the Treasurer’s website, in order to be eligible. See our Go Get Properties Tutorial for more details.
Next, you will need to research if the property is vacant. Please contact two utilities (water, electric, gas) to determine if the property has active service.
May I see the property before starting the Foreclosure Acquisition process?
Prior to foreclosure, neither the Land Bank nor the applicant has the legal right to enter the property.
The property is delinquent more than a year and is vacant, but is not eligible for tax foreclosure. Why?
A property might not be eligible for tax foreclosure for a number of reasons. It could be part of probate case or part of a bankruptcy. The property might be part of a community’s redevelopment plan, and the community is going to acquire it. The Montgomery County administrative offices may wish to foreclosure through other methods. In certain cases, the Land Bank will instruct applicants to work directly with the Treasurer’s office to acquire tax delinquent properties.
What steps are involved in the Foreclosure Acquisition process?
For more details regarding the Tax Foreclosure Acquisition Program's process and requirements, please see the Step 1 Program Overview document.
How long does the foreclosure process take?
There are two types of foreclosure processes, and the circumstances surrounding the property you request will impact the timeframe. The typical judicial foreclosure process can take up to 24 months. Various county offices have worked together to establish an expedited process. If your property qualified for this process, the timeframe is reduced to approximately 12-18 months. The Land Bank assists with tax foreclosures which qualify for the expedited process.
Are liens and encumbrances erased on Foreclosure Acquisition properties?
Yes, the Land Bank transfers a clean title. In certain instances, special assessments and utility bills may not be removed.
As a reminder, you will be responsible for the property taxes going forward. Once the property is transferred in your name, you will need to pay the next property tax bill. These are typically billed in February and July. This bill is not pro-rated based upon when you acquired the property.
Once I submit my application, am I guaranteed to get the property?
No. There are numerous reasons why the tax foreclosure may not go through. For example, the property owner may bring their taxes current in order to maintain their ownership of the property.
If I am not able to acquire the property I applied for, is my application fee fully refunded?
No. If during initial review, the property is found to be ineligible for this program, the fee minus $250 per property will be returned to the applicant.
If after submission of the property into the tax foreclosure process it fails to meet the program’s criteria, or due to circumstances out of the control of the applicant, the property will be removed from the foreclosure process, and MCLB may return a portion of the unused fee to the applicant.
If, in the sole opinion of MCLB, the applicant is found to have falsified statements on the application or fails to fulfill his/her obligations for any reason, the entire fee will be forfeited. This includes verification of utility consumption at the property.
When an application is submitted, MCLB assumes the applicant has determined that s/he wants to acquire the property even after it has remained unoccupied for an additional 12-18 months after the application. Submitting an application and then attempting to withdraw the application will result in the entire fee being forfeited. Additionally, this decision by the applicant will deem him/her ineligible in future program involvement.
Are there any limitations for the final uses of the property I acquire?
No, as long as the applicant’s capacity to carry out the agreed-upon improvements has not changed and the use is compliant with zoning and housing codes.
What is a reverter deed?
As part of the property transfer process, the applicant signs a quit-claim deed (referred to as a reverter deed) which will transfer the property back to the Land Bank. The reverter deed is held in escrow for 6 months while the new owner is making improvements at the property. Within 6 months of acquiring the property, the new owner is to submit to the Land Bank before and after photos of the property. The Land Bank will also confirm the property’s exterior improvements. If, after 6 months, the new owner has not met the Land Bank’s standard for improving and maintaining the property, the Land Bank may, at its discretion, record the reverter deed and reclaim the property. If the reverter deed is recorded, the Montgomery County Land Bank becomes the owner of the property again and you will have no legal rights to the property.
A house by me was just torn down. Can I own the lot?
If the Land Bank owns the lot and tore the house down, the Land Bank makes the lots available for purchase. Sometimes, the jurisdiction will tear down houses which are considered a nuisance and assess the demolition charges to the property taxes. If the Land Bank is not the property owner, the lot may be able to be acquired through other methods, such as tax foreclosure.
You can find out who is the property owner on the Montgomery County Auditor’s website.
How do you determine which houses are demolished?
Each jurisdiction worked with the Land Bank to determine which properties were added to the Land Bank’s demolition program. Additionally, the Land Bank’s grant funding to demolish properties within Montgomery County had specific requirements.
How can I purchase a lot that the Land Banks owns after the house has been demolished?
Call 937-531-6921 or email firstname.lastname@example.org about which property you’re interested in!
The purchase price for each lot is determined by the end-user of the lot. For example, an eligible property owner who lives next door to the lot (shares a property line) may be able to acquire the lot for $200. If the eligible property owner does not reside next door, the purchase price is based on the lot size and the current market rate for land in the neighborhood. A non-profit organization is also able to acquire the lot for $200 with proof of their active non-profit status. Lots are able to be acquired at or above fair market value for commercial or residential redevelopment .
Please note that there is a preference is given to adjacent eligible property owners. The jurisdiction must approve the transfer, and there will be an application and affidavit to complete.
What are the eligibility qualifications?
In order to apply for a property through tax foreclosure, you must meet the following qualifications:
- You must live or own property in Ohio.
- The real estate taxes for any property you own must have been kept current during the past two years.
- In addition to real estate taxes, local, state, and federal taxes must be paid current.
- You cannot have lost title or had foreclosure actions filed against any property you own, or have been part of a bankruptcy case within the past two years.
- Any property you own cannot have code violations within the past two years, nor there a history of code violations on any properties you have previously owned.
- None of your properties can have a history of being a site for criminal activity.
- Application for adjacent property owner must be in the same name as property owned.
How do I get an application?
Contact us and we will confirm the lot is still available before sending you an application.
If I had maintained the lot next door to me before the Land Bank acquired the property to tear it down, am I able to acquire the property for free after the Land Bank demolishes it?
No. Please see the question above regarding purchasing the lot.
What is the process for donating a property to the Land Bank?
The first step to donate a property is to fill out the donation questionnaire form. If the property meets the qualifications for donation the Land Bank will contact you with instructions on how to transfer the deed to the Land Bank.
What conditions must be met for a property to be donated?
These conditions must be met for the Land Bank to accept a residential property donation:
- The title must be clear and marketable, as verified by a title search conducted by the donor.
- The property may have no judgment liens or other encumbrances such as mortgages, unpaid utility bills, state or federal income tax liens, among others.
- The property must be free of environmental hazards.
- The property must be unoccupied.
Can the Land Bank decline a property donation?
Yes. The Land Bank reserves the right to deny any property donation.
Are there tax advantages to donating a property to the Land Bank?
A property donation to the Land Bank relieves the donor of a future tax burden and maintenance costs. Any other tax benefits should be addressed with your tax professional.
How does the Land Bank dispose of donated properties?
Donated properties may be included in the demolition program or offered for bid in the DIY Renovation Program, demolished or held for other community-based reasons.
Do I pay any fees to the Land Bank if I donate a property?
There is a $300 fee, to be paid when the donation questionnaire is submitted, for title work to be completed on the property.
COMMERCIAL REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
How do distressed commercial properties come to the Land Bank’s attention?
Distressed commercial and industrial properties typically are brought to the Land Bank’s attention by an investor interested in renovation or local government interested in positioning the property for redevelopment.
May I recommend a distressed commercial property to the Land Bank?
Yes. Individuals’ inquiries are the most common way in which distressed commercial properties come to the Land Bank’s attention.
How much time do I have to complete a commercial renovation?
The time allotted for a commercial renovation is negotiated between interested buyer and the Land Bank.
What are the investor qualifications for the Commercial Redevelopment Program?
To qualify for the Commercial Redevelopment Program, an investor must
- Possess a clean record as a responsible property owner
- Have a redevelopment plan for the property
- Demonstrate the financial capacity to implement the plan
What are the costs?
There is a non-refundable fee of $2,000 per property to undertake the due diligence associated with the sale agreement. If the applicant qualifies the terms for the sale of the property will be negotiated, including the remuneration for the property.
How can I find the properties available through the Commercial Redevelopment program?
Potential investors can find tax-delinquent commercial and industrial listed on the Montgomery County Treasurer’s website.
May I inspect the property before participating in the program?
Prior to foreclosure, neither the Land Bank nor the investor has the legal right to enter the property unless permission is granted by the owner.
Must I commit to an end use for the property from the Commercial Redevelopment Program?
An end use must be part of the redevelopment plan proposed to the Land Bank for any property.
Can I acquire apartment buildings through this program?
Multifamily buildings with more than four units are eligible under this program.
Local Government Programs
What activities may my local government undertake with the Planning Grant?
The Planning Grant provides financial resources for jurisdictions to hire professional assistance to create a plan for neighborhood redevelopment in strategic target areas. Specific activities related to the planning process may include
- Highest and best-use analysis
- Strategic planning for a target area
- Market analysis
- Land use concept plans and renderings
- Policy guidelines for jurisdiction’s future decisions on investment and zoning
Is there a time limit for completion of the plan?
The plan must be completed within one year of the grant award, unless an alternate deadline is agreed up by the Land Bank and the jurisdiction.
What are the reporting requirements?
The Land Bank requires the jurisdiction to provide, for five years following the grant award, an annual written status report on the plan’s development and/or implementation. In addition, the jurisdiction must submit supporting documentation for purposes of reimbursement.
Must my local government hire an outside firm to support the planning process?
Yes. The Land Bank requires the hiring of a firm with professional planning credentials, if Planning Grant funds are used.
May my local government qualify for more than one planning grant if we have multiple areas to consider?
Yes, you are limited to one grant award per year unless approved by the Board of Directors. The program is also is dependent upon the availability of funds.
LAND BANKING PROGRAM
How does the Land Banking Program help my community?
Land banking supports community and economic development by strategically assembling and holding – tax-free – residential, commercial and industrial properties for future redevelopment. The property must be identified as part of a local redevelopment plan or similar effort.
What qualifications must my local government meet to participate in land banking?
The local government must have a plan, memorandum of understanding with the Land Bank and a negotiated set of business terms for this fee-based program.
Is there any fee for my local government to participate in the Land Banking Program?
The business terms, including fees, are negotiated and based upon the services provided to the property(s).
COMMUNITY RESIDENTIAL REHAB LOAN PROGRAM
Who can apply for the Community Residential Rehab Loan Program?
The Community Residential Rehab Loan Program provides loans exclusively to local governments that have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Land Bank and their not-for-profit corporations. It is not a consumer loan.
What is the cost of the loan?
There is a processing fee of $500, plus 1 percent of loan principle, payable at closing of the sale of the property.
What type of properties can I use the loan for?
The loan program is for distressed single-family homes that are part of a larger neighborhood redevelopment plan. It is intended to help local governments transform these properties to encourage further investment and revitalization throughout entire neighborhoods.
How much may my local government borrow?
Loan amounts range from $10,000 to $50,000
What are the repayment terms?
Loans must be repaid within two years of the signing of the agreement, or upon transfer of the property to a buyer, whichever comes first.