Wednesday, July 18, 2012

LA city attorney calls USBancorp 'slumlord'

One million California homes in foreclosure

Los Angeles – Carmen A. Trutanich said fraud on Wall Street has turned into blight on Main Street in a lawsuit against U.S. Bank.

With 326 million California homes in foreclosure – nearly a million over the past 5 years – the L.A. City Attorney accused the giant New York banking conglomerate of becoming the world's biggest slumlord.

According to Ms. Trutanich, the bank kicked people out of their homes illegally, harrassed, intimidated, and threatened them, and then left the empty houses to become vermin-infested, trash-strewn eyesores.

In the second such suit filed over past year, the city is seeking damages for the need to condemn and raze unsafe properties.In a similar suit against Duetsche Los Angeles, alleged that the German bank forced out hundreds of tenants illegally.

According to a top executive vice president of U.S. Bank, the organization is actually unaware of which properties it owns through foreclosure, and cannot take responsibility.

"We don't have the ability to force the loan servicers to maintain these properties," said Tom Joyce. "We don't even know when they are foreclosed on."
US Bank has repeatedly asked for information on properties considered in disrepair but "until very recently, the city has refused to provide us with that information," Tom Joyce, the company's senior vice president and spokesman, told the Los Angeles Times.

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