FHFA and Chicago Settle Vacant Property Dispute
On April 7, Chicago Tribune published an article titled FHFA, Chicago Settle Vacant Property Dispute.
Link to Order and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Please click here for prior reporting. Following is the aforementioned article.
FHFA, Chicago settle vacant property dispute
Almost 2 ½ years after the Federal Housing Finance Agency sued the city of Chicago in federal court arguing it did not have to follow the city’s vacant building ordinance, it now plans to do just that, but for free.
A settlement, reached last week and posted Monday, revolves outstanding issues that had languished following the August decision by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin that properties with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were exempt from the city’s law.
As a result, the case was dismissed.
The ordinance, which took effect in November 2011, requires both owners and mortgage holders of vacant buildings must register them with the city, pay a $500 registration fee and maintain property standards. Violators are subject to fines of up to $1,000 for each infraction. The FHFA sued the city in December 2011.
Under the settlement, vacant properties backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be voluntarily registered with the city — at no cost — so long as the FHFA continues to supervise the two agencies. But if a property is not registered, the city will issue no fine.
Also, the FHFA no longer will seek to recover registration fees or penalties already paid to the city. It was never specified in court exactly how many Fannie Mae and Freddie properties had been registered, the fees paid or the agencies’ exposure within the city.
In addition, the settlement calls for the FHFA to work with the city to identify and potentially find solutions for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac properties in neighborhoods targeted for Chicago’s micro market recovery program.
Please click here to view the online article.
Please note: The official releases from FHFA and the City of Chicago will be added once they become available.
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