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FHFA reaches settlement with City of Chicago over vacant property lawsuit

FHFA reaches settlement with City of Chicago over vacant property lawsuit

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reached a settlement with the City of Chicago over the city’s vacant property ordinances, ending a 2½ year legal battle.

The FHFA, as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, sued the city on December 12, 2011, after the city amended its vacant and abandoned building ordinances to require mortgagees to register, secure and maintain foreclosed properties.

The city’s ordinance requires that mortgage holders of vacant buildings register the buildings with the city, pay a $500 registration fee, and maintain the property, including securing the building, maintaining the lawn, clearing and removing snow from the building’s walkway, maintaining the building’s fence and gates and maintaining the exterior of the building.

The ordinance also states that a watchman must be posted at the vacant building between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., unless the building had been secured by methods approved by the city’s commissioner of buildings

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