WELL IT'S ABOUT &*%# TIME!!!
Today, the city of Los Angeles filed a lawsuit asking a judge to fine Deutsche Bank hundreds of millions of dollars and issue an injunction forcing the bank to clean up the more than 2,000 foreclosed properties it owns in Los Angeles.
The City Attorneys office states that Deutsche Bank is the largest slumlord in Los Angeles and that an extensive investigation has revealed that the bank and it's representatives (ie. servicers & listing agents) have not only let these properties turn into graffiti-scarred dens for squatters, gang members and other criminals but have basically destroyed the quality of life in hundreds of neighborhoods and driven up crime rates in the process.
Furthermore, city officials have discovered that Deutsche Bank and their reps have illegally evicted tenants and have terminated their utilities. If successful, the suit would be the first of its kind in the U.S. in which a city was able to collect penalties and restitution from banks for the havoc that their foreclosured properties have wrought on the city.
I am so glad to hear that something is finally being down about this matter. This is such a huge problem here in Los Angeles county as well as in Ventura county too. Frankly, I would like to see more city and county municipalities take similar action against all bank sellers and their representatives for their failure to maintain their REO properties to minimum building code standards.
I know that in a couple of my transactions, the county of Ventura got involved because they had put liens on the properties that my borrowers were buying for numerous bldg code violations. When a municipality does this, it creates a cloud on title and the property can't be transferred to a new owner until the liens are paid in full.
Good grief, some REO properties are flat-out health and safety hazards to even walk into. When walking into some properties, you are literally taking your life into your hands and I'm not referring to the crime rates of the neighborhood either. There are so many properties that have seriously dangerous health and safety issues that they are literally not safe walking into.
Don't even get me started on how some banks are flat out violating CA tenants rights. Yeah, I know, everyone hates having to deal with tenant occupied properties but the fact remains that here in CA, tenants have rights and a landlord must adhere to the laws in dealing with them. I have seen first hand from some of my own borrowers who decided to buy after being evicted by bank sellers. These were tenants who made their rent payments every month, on time (and had cancelled checks to prove it) but were thrown out with no regard to their lease contracts or deposits.
Anyway, I am so glad to see that Los Angeles is finally doing something about it. Hopefully, other cities will follow suit.
Realtor® - CalState Realty Services
DRE#: 01364050 / NMLS#: 249822
Serving low-medium income individuals and families as well as first time buyers with both their real estate as well as their mortgage needs including down payment assistance
Los Angeles County -- Ventura County
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