The city of Los Angeles has filed a lawsuit against US Bank accusing the country’s fifth largest mortgage lender of being a slumlord by allowing hundreds of homes to fall into disrepair.
Blighted homes are all too common in many states and although there are laws requiring mortgage servicers maintain foreclosed homes they often are derelict in this duty. These abandoned homes become magnets for crime attracting vandals, squatters and drug dealers. When banks neglect foreclosed homes the cities are on the hook for cleaning up the eyesores.
The office of Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich filed a civil lawsuit against US Bank Monday stating US Bank, “disregarded virtually every one of its legal duties and responsibility as owner, resulting in the creation and maintenance of an alarming number of vacant nuisance properties and substandard occupied housing units,” according to Reuters.
Los Angeles is suing the bank for $2,500 for each violation which can result in a liability of “hundreds of millions.”
US Bank responded by saying mortgage servicers are responsible for the upkeep of foreclosed homes and plan on bringing them into the lawsuit.
When possible, homeowners are encouraged to get the help of a foreclosure attorney to keep their home from being seized by banks which can prevent neighborhoods from being plagued by blighted homes along with keeping home prices from falling.
Once a homeowner has received a default notice, if they act immediately, a foreclosure lawyer can take steps to stop foreclosure.
Since each homeowner’s circumstances differ, their foreclosure attorney will decided on which prevention measure is appropriate. Some troubled homeowners are eligible for a loan modification while others may be able to get their lenders to agree to a short sale.