LOS ANGELES – On the heels of an historic settlement with Wells Fargo, City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced his office has reached a $13.5 million settlement with the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States, US Bank, to resolve allegations that the bank allowed hundreds of foreclosed properties in Los Angeles to fall into disrepair.
"Banks must be accountable for the condition of the properties they hold," said Feuer. "This significant settlement underscores my commitment that all foreclosed and vacant properties be kept up to code, so they don't become sources of blight or magnets for crime."
Under terms of the settlement, US Bank will pay $13,500,000—$11.9 million in civil penalties, the balance to resolve Municipal Code violations—and maintain foreclosed properties in accordance with all applicable laws and standards for two years. US Bank also agreed to designate one full-time senior employee to serve as a point of contact for city agencies regarding code violations at foreclosed properties owned by the bank.
Originally filed in July, 2012, by then City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, the civil complaint focused on 170 of the over 1,500 properties US Bank had acquired in Los Angeles through foreclosure. The complaint alleged that despite repeated notices to comply and hearing notices from various City agencies, US Bank failed to respond and bring its properties, many vacant and in primarily low-income areas of South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, into compliance.
Chief Deputy Jim Clark, Chief Assistant City Attorney Thomas Peters, Assistant City Attorneys Tina Hess and Michael Bostrom, and Deputy City Attorneys Suzanne Spillane, Ben Delfin, Miguel Bahamon, Travis Austin, George Sami, Janet Karkanen, Jessica Howell, and Jennifer Lam handled the litigation and settlement.
The settlement is subject to Court approval.