LA sues U.S. Bank over abandoned houses

July 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM
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LOS ANGELES, July 17 (UPI) -- Los Angeles is suing U.S. Bank, accusing the country's fifth-largest bank of allowing more than 150 foreclosed homes to become eyesores.

The lawsuit the second of its kind the city has filed, the Los Angeles Times reported. Last year, Los Angeles filed a similar action against Deutsche Bank.

In court papers filed Monday, Los Angeles also said U.S. Bank had mishandled 1,500 mortgages.

U.S. Bank and Deutsche Bank have similar defenses, the Times said. Both argue that mortgage services are responsible for collecting payments, foreclosing on delinquents and making sure mortgaged properties are maintained.

The two banks do not actually hold the mortgages. Instead, they serve as trustees for mortgage-backed securities.

Almost 1 million properties in California have been foreclosed on during the housing bust, and 362,000 were in foreclosure as of March 31. Empty and abandoned houses have become a big problem in many California cities.

While the Deutsche Bank suit remains unresolved, Los Angeles officials say many of the properties involved have been cleaned up since it was filed.

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