Deutsche Bank can’t shake L.A. claims over foreclosure blight
(Reuters) – A judge has denied Deutsche Bank AG’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit by the city of Los Angeles accusing it of letting hundreds of foreclosed properties fall into disrepair and illegally evicting low-income tenants, a representative for the city’s attorney said on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle allowed the 2011 civil enforcement action to proceed, according to the city attorney’s office. The ruling was made during an April 8 hearing and a written decision was issued late on Tuesday, the city said.
“This ruling will now allow our action to move forward to trial and ultimately to holding the bank accountable for its intolerable practice or perpetuating blight,” city attorney Carmen Trutanich said in a statement.
During the housing boom and subsequent bust, Deutsche Bank subsidiaries acquired the title to more than 2,000 properties in Los Angeles, according to the city’s 2011 civil enforcement action.
The city accused Deutsche Bank of becoming one of its largest “slumlords,” allowing vacant properties to turn into nuisances, neglecting to maintain occupied properties, and illegally evicting low-income tenants to clear the way for a potential sale.