Feds sue Chicago over vacant building ordinance

ALEX KEEFE | DEC. 13, 2011 (AP/file)
The federal agency overseeing mortage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is suing the city of Chicago over a new ordinance aimed at cracking down on owners of vacant and abandoned buildings.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency argues in a lawsuit filed Monday that the city can’t impose fines and regulations on the federal government. The ordinance passed last month requires lenders to register and maintain vacant buildings, or face fines of up to $1,000 a day.

The agency also says Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are being unfairly saddled with all responsibilities of property ownership – mowing lawns, shoveling snow and boarding up windows – even on homes that are still going through the foreclosure process.