Court invalidates St. Louis County foreclosure law

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri’s top court has invalidated a St. Louis County ordinance that required lenders to try to mediate disputes with homeowners before foreclosing on their properties.

The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the 2012 ordinance was void and unenforceable from the outset because the county lacked authority to implement it under its charter form of government.

The ruling has the same result as 2013 appeals court decision, but for a different reason. The appeals court had said the St. Louis County ordinance became moot when a 2013 state law was enacted prohibiting local ordinances from imposing additional obligations on mortgage agreements.

Supreme Court Judge Richard Teitelman cast the only dissenting vote in Wednesday’s decision. He said the foreclosure ordinance should have been valid under a charter county’s powers.