Cuyahoga County, Ohio Judge Nancy Margaret Russo Requires Property Status Report

Cuyahoga County, Ohio Judge Nancy Margaret Russo Requires Property Status Report
by Lee Cuilli

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret Russo recently implemented a new policy requiring something called a Property Status Report Form (“PSRF”) be filed in every foreclosure assigned to her docket. The PSRF was prepared by Judge Russo and has been circulated to creditors’ foreclosure counsel. A copy of the same is included as an attachment to this Bulletin. Failure to file a completed PSRF within twenty (20) days of the filing of the foreclosure may result in a dismissal without prejudice.

Among the information requested, Plaintiff’s counsel must advise whether or not the property is occupied and if there are any existing building code violations. Also, Plaintiff’s counsel must include a picture of the property current within ten (10) days of filing the foreclosure.

Our firm plans to use Provest, a company we already use as a process server, to verify the occupancy status and take a current of picture of the properties. The cost of this service will be included as an additional foreclosure cost.

Most of the other requested information can be obtained by Plaintiff’s counsel without directly involving Plaintiff or the loan servicer. To obtain this information, our office will be utilizing internet searches of court and local government websites along with phone calls to local government offices. On occasion, it may be necessary for our firm to verify certain information directly with Plaintiff or the loan servicer. However, we believe this will occur on a limited basis and will strive to keep these inquiries to an absolute minimum. A nominal fee will be charged for the additional work our firm must perform to accurately complete the PSRF.

To put this in perspective, Judge Russo is just one of thirty-four (34) total Common Pleas judges presiding in Cuyahoga County. To date, no other Common Pleas judge has followed Judge Russo’s lead and instituted this requirement. Therefore, this new policy will currently only impact a limited number of all foreclosures being filed in Cuyahoga County.

Our office will advise of any changes or the adoption of this new policy by any other judges in Cuyahoga County.