Easthampton Savings Bank v. City of Springfield

874 F. Supp. 2d 25 (2012)

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Easthampton Savings Bank v. City of Springfield

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
874 F. Supp. 2d 25 (2012)

Facts

The City of Springfield (city) (defendant) enacted a municipal ordinance that affected mortgage contracts between borrowers and lenders. Under a mortgage contract, the borrower assumed responsibility for maintaining the property. But the ordinance stated that if a lender was foreclosing on a property, the lender was required to maintain the property during the foreclosure process. Maintenance included removing hazardous material from the property and ensuring that the property was free from overflow trash. The ordinance did not alter the fundamental aspects of a mortgage contract, such as the value of the property or the lender’s ability to foreclose on the property. A group of banks (plaintiffs) had mortgages in the city. The banks brought suit against the city, contending that the ordinance violated the Contracts Clause of the United States Constitution. The banks filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law, asking the district court to declare the ordinance invalid. The district court took the motion under advisement.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ponsor, J.)

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