| NEW YORK, April 24
NEW YORK, April 24 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
"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
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
Los Angeles is one of many cities across the United States
to grapple with the problem of blighted properties after a wave
of foreclosures that followed the housing bust. It has passed a
law requiring banks to fix the blighted homes they own, or pay a
fine, but enforcing that has proven difficult.
The city's low-income areas are most affected, the city
said. The blighted properties have led to decreased property
value, increased crime rates and additional stress on city
services, it argued in the 2011 complaint.
The bank did not immediately return a request for comment
Wednesday evening. Deutsche Bank said at the time the complaint
was filed that the action was misguided, and that third-party
loan servicers are responsible for the properties.
Los Angeles is seeking a court order compelling the bank to
bring foreclosed properties up to code and halting illegal
evictions. It is also seeking monetary damages that could
potentially reach hundreds of millions of dollars, the city