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Deutsche Bank is accused of discriminating in upkeep of foreclosed homes
Fair housing lawsuit says those in African-American neighborhoods in Toledo are allowed to crumble, but not in white neighborhoods

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M.L. Schultze
Home in an African-American neighborhood in Toledo
Courtesy of National Fair Housing Alliance
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In The Region:

A lawsuit accusing an international bank of allowing vacant houses to crumble in minority neighborhoods around the country has expanded to Ohio. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.

LISTEN: Deutsche Bank housing allegations

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The complaint by the National Fair Housing Alliance says Deutsche Bank treats neighborhoods far differently when it comes to houses known as REO properties. Those are foreclosed properties that don’t sell at auction. 

The Alliance says houses in minority neighborhoods are allowed to fall to ruin, while those in mostly white areas are maintained. 

Showing slides of houses in decay, Michael Marsh of the Toledo Fair Housing Center says the patterns show up even in strong in African American neighborhoods of his city.

“These are beautiful, beautiful, well-maintained homes and when you have an unmaintained REO in the same neighborhood, it tends to introduce blight and crime into a neighborhood, it increases safety hazards and it decreases property values throughout the entire neighborhood.”

Deutsche Bank declined to go on tape with a response. But it says in a statement that loan-servicing companies  -- not the bank itself “are solely responsible for the maintenance, marketing and resale of foreclosed properties.”

Besides Toledo, the complaint covers areas of Virginia, Baltimore, Washington, Memphis and Chicago. 

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