May There Be Enough Wind in Chicago to Blow This Ordinance Amendment Away


Sure, vacant properties bring to mind decay, blight, vandalism and the like, and Chicago’s south and west sides are plagued (pdf) with vacant properties; but is the answer requiring lenders to shoulder the responsibility (and liability) for the maintenance and upkeep of these properties?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel thinks so. On July 28, Chicago’s City Council passed an ordinance amendment that would require mortgage holders (and assignees named in RMBS securitizations) to assume liability for the maintenance, security and upkeep of vacant properties, regardless of the delinquency or foreclosure status. The ordinance would define as an “owner” of a vacant building a mortgage holder -- even before the mortgage holder has foreclosed on the property. Unless it is delayed, the ordinance is expected to become effective on September 18, 2011.

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