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The U.S. Bank Tower, formerly known as the Library Tower, is seen on February 9, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. The downtown highrise is more than 1,000 feet high and is reportedly the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.
Its logo tops the tallest skyscraper in downtown, but today the city of Los Angeles is suing US Bank for illegally allowing 150 foreclosed properties to fall into disrepair.
Neighbors near some of the homes in El Sereno described rodent infestations and hot beds for gang and drug activity in the abandoned properties. The lawsuit, which City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is filing on the heels of an 18-month investigation, seeks an injunction and millions of dollars in penalties and restitution. This is the second time the city has accused a major bank of being a slumlord.
US Bank said in a statement that they are “extremely disappointed that the City Attorney’s office has chosen to file this lawsuit,” and claim the city attorney “has chosen the wrong party” because banks are not “owners of the properties, nor are we responsible for the servicing of the properties. The homes are owned by trusts, consisting of investors, and are serviced by other companies ... Our role as trustee is purely administrative."
Who to contact to report bank blight:
Bank Blight Hotline at LA City Attorney's office
Do you believe US Bank is responsible for foreclosed homes?
Carmen Trutanich, Los Angeles City Attorney
Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate and professor of finance at UCLA Anderson School of Management