Cities that Sue

December 05, 2016

Did you know that cities are fighting zombies in the Supreme Court?  Well, zombie foreclosures at least.  In 2014, the city of Miami sued major US banks who lent money to homebuyers.  According to the city, the banks had targeted minority homeowners for exploitative loans, leading to a city devastated by foreclosures.  These included homes stuck in the realm of the undead, in the process of being foreclosed but not yet reclaimed by the lender.  The city bore the costs of fighting the spreading urban blight.  It was now trying to collect that money from the banks.  The banks’ response: the city can’t sue.  Miami is the wrong plaintiff for this Fair Housing Act claim.  The fight over when cities can sue has reached the Supreme Court.  This radio commentary previews the pending case: Bank of America v. City of Miami.