The below discusses the impact upon U.S. city budgets of the foreclosure crisis; however, the ripple effect doesn't stop anywhere. Everyone in the world is negatively impacted even those who falsely imagine they've made off like the bandits they are.

Those bandits just don't understand that by being dishonest and unethical, etc., they've only succeeded in shooting themselves in the foot by virtue of lowering the general welfare and quality of life of the planet on which they too live. They think they got a leg up on everyone else; however, everyone else in the aggregate has slid down. Therefore, the bandits are operating under the false impression that they are higher then they would otherwise be were they all to stop being crooks.

This isn't rocket science. It's much harder than that. It requires being able to see the world as it would be without evil. It's being able to see the highest Heaven. Think about it. It's visionary.

Can you conceive of perfection? Can humanity live it? I say yes. It's a free will choice. It takes cooperation, not competition; although, conceptions of what is best are in competition for your heart, mind, and the very soul of humanity.

[I]nnovative legal tactics are designed to recoup the city's lost property taxes as well as the cost of fire departments, police, code enforcement or even demolition — any city services needed to clean up or deal with the foreclosed properties.

Cleveland; Baltimore; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Minneapolis, Minn., have all filed lawsuits against lenders or developers based on the devastating effects foreclosures have wreaked on their communities. The lawsuits were filed in recent months under different theories, in state and federal court.

Cleveland and Buffalo filed suits under public nuisance laws. Minneapolis' suit was brought on consumer fraud grounds, while Baltimore took the unusual approach of filing suit in federal court under alleged Fair Housing Act violations.

In addition to filing a lawsuit in February, Buffalo city prosecutors routinely haul banking officials before the local housing court to force them to fix up foreclosed and abandoned properties.


The notion that cities are also victims of the subprime foreclosure crisis started to catch on at the beginning of the year. While the details of the suits differ, they all allege that cities are losing tax revenue from foreclosed and neighboring homes whose values are reduced, and from having to keep the abandoned houses free from rats, vagrants and disrepair — and from potentially turning into crack houses.


Cleveland is seeking to hold lenders accountable for predatory lending practices. "The purveyors of subprime loans could have or should have ... foreseen a foreclosure crisis as inescapable consequence of their conduct," the lawsuit states.

The lenders — which have labeled the Cleveland suit without merit in countersuits — include the biggest financial institutions in the United States, including Bear Stearns, Bank of America, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Wells Fargo.

Merrill Lynch declined comment on the suit. JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley did not return calls for comment by deadline. The American Bankers Association also declined comment.


Baltimore's suit was filed in federal court on Fair Housing Act violations, targeting one lender, Wells Fargo. It alleges that the company discriminated against black borrowers by charging them a higher interest rate than whites. As a result, black borrowers were far more likely to suffer foreclosures than whites. Baltimore v. Wells Fargo Bank and Wells Fargo Financial Leasing, No. L08CV062 (D. Md.).


Despite some early-round victories, James Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program, a Columbia University-based program that provides research to state attorneys general, said cities have an uphill battle.

"The people who have committed the fraud have long since gone," Tierney said.

"A lot of the banks will have good defenses," he added. "They will blame the mortgage brokers who repackaged the loans. These are very difficult cases as a matter of law, and very thorny issues to unravel."

Empty Homes Spur Cities' Suits
Friday May 9, [2008] 3:02 am ET
Julie Kay , The National Law Journal

You are encouraged you to read the entire linked article.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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