Can Public Nuisance Law Protect Your Neighborhood from Big Banks?

Can Public Nuisance Law Protect Your Neighborhood from Big Banks?

Kermit J. Lind
Cleveland State University

Suffolk University Law Review, Vol. 44, No. 4, p. 89, 2011

One manifestation of the mortgage crisis of the past decade is the destabilization of housing markets and neighborhoods where mortgage defaults were concentrated. As banks and their mortgage servicers employ business practices that result in banks or their agents controlling or owning vacant dwellings, the noncompliance with housing and other municipal codes by these institutional absentee owners presents neighborhoods and cities with a huge and costly public nuisance problem.

This article explores both the theory of public nuisance law and the experience of applying nuisance law in practice to mitigate the harmful consequences of bank debt collection and REO management. It looks at how and to what extent public nuisance law provides protection for those non-defaulting homeowners whose health, safety and welfare are threatened by the business practices of big banks. It compares litigation that applies public nuisance law in different ways to distinguish viable uses from unsuccessful uses of public nuisance law doctrine. The recent efforts to use public nuisance law against manufacturers and marketers of harmful products like guns and tobacco are distinguished from the application of public nuisance law against owners of real estate maintenance deficiencies are in violation of laws protecting the public health, safety and welfare.



Can Public Nuisance Law Protect Your Neighborhood From Big Banks

4 Responses to “Can Public Nuisance Law Protect Your Neighborhood from Big Banks?”
  1. Correction to URL;

    Sorry for type

  2. Mark says:

    The state should consider the use of adverse posession by setting up a department of licensed professionals to take over abandoned properties. Rent them to the poor and needy, then provide jobs for them
    maintaining and fixing up properties that the big banksters leave in their glutonous wake.

    • On the Right Track with your thoughts and would suggest that everyone look at what is available to take the foreclosed properties back from the BANKSTERS through the enactment of and enforcement of local community legislation to seize neglected REO for code violations not corrected forthwith and fines not paid forthwith resulting in forfeiture to restore the homes to the homeless and restore the local economy.

      See proposed draft legislation here:

      or request a copy via email to

      Michael-Lynn @ The “MIXED WAR” Room and The Trials of Life

  3. joe parisi says:

    Business as usual, where do we go from here? Do we roll over like Obama did? I’m so glad my daughter campaigned for him, he’s is the epitome of fraud and corruption on Wall st and elsewhere.

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