On the heels of major mortgage lending settlements involving Wells Fargo ($175 million) and Bank of America/Countrywide ($335 million) , this week Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich filed a civil law enforcement action against the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States, US Bank, alleging that hundreds of foreclosed properties have fallen into serious disrepair and the alleged illegal eviction of hundreds of low-income tenants. Click here to read a copy of the 103 page complaint.
The case was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court: People v. U.S. Bank NA et al, Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, No. BC488436
The City Attorney’s complaint focuses on more than 170 properties as examples of US Bank’s illegal conduct. The complaint alleges violations of federal, state and municipal laws regulating housing conditions, nuisance properties and tenancies by US Bank. Specifically, the City alleges cause of action under the California Unfair Competition Law and the Los Angeles Municipal Code, which encompass a myriad of violations, including California Public Nuisance laws, the Los Angeles Vacant Building Ordinance and the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance, among others.
The lawsuit seeks immediate injunctive relief, including a complete inventory, registration and inspection of foreclosed properties; compliance with all applicable state and municipal code requirements; and a stop to all illegal evictions.
The City Attorney is also seeking restitution to current and former tenants for amounts paid in excess of the actual value of their units and unpaid relocation fees; reimbursement to the City for costs of repair, abatement, inspection and investigation; and penalties.