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Banks deal with property management

The JPMorgan Chase building is seen in New York City.

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Steve Chiotakis: In Atlanta today, JP Morgan Chase is going to be defending a tire dump. You heard right -- the bank is in trouble for failing to clean up thousands of old tires on some property that the city thinks it owns. Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson has more.


Jeremy Hobson: Whether JP Morgan should be responsible for cleaning up the abandoned lot in Atlanta will be up to the judge. But Cassandra Toroian says the situation the bank finds itself in will only become more common, thanks to all the foreclosures we've seen over the past few years. Toroian is a bank analyst with Bell Rock Capital.

Cassandra Toroian: There's banks of all sizes that now are not only in the banking business, but also in the property management business for the time being.

She says the firms will have to load up on lawyers and create an asset management team to deal with issues like taxes and maintenance for all the properties they now own.

Toroian: You know their alternative would be to firesale a lot of these properties, and, you know, no bank that I've spoken with thinks that that's a good idea.

She says banks are betting the better idea is to delay and pray that home prices rise and they can start selling. Until then, does anyone have a lawn mower JP Morgan can borrow?

In New York, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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