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HUD today announced a new Fair Housing Act rule to “affirmatively further[] fair housing.”  The Fair Housing Act, passed in 1968, directs HUD to promote fair housing and equal opportunity, including addressing segregated housing patterns.  This new rule “aims to provide all HUD program participants with clear guidelines and data they can use to achieve those goals.” The key features of the rule, according to HUD, include (1) “clarifying” existing fair housing obligations, (2) publicly…
After years of debate and false starts, the Supreme Court has held that the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) permits disparate impact claims.  In Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., No. 13-1371, 576 U.S. __ (2015), a divided Court held that specific language in the statute permits plaintiffs to challenge housing practices that have an unintentional but “disproportionate adverse effect on minorities.”  The Court cautioned that such practices must be…
Last week, the Bureau announced a $730,000 settlement with Franklin Loan Corporation (Franklin) based on alleged violations of the loan originator compensation rule in Regulation Z. That rule prohibits mortgage lenders from paying loan originators based on the terms and conditions of the loan. It is designed to eliminate loan originators’ incentives to steer borrowers to higher priced loans. The Bureau alleged that Franklin violated the loan originator compensation rule by paying its loan originators…
The District Court of the District of Columbia has issued a decisive order vacating HUD’s 2013 Fair Housing Act disparate impact rule. The rule, as we’ve discussed, has always been based on a shaky legal foundation, but is one on which HUD and the DOJ have relied on in increasingly aggressive fair lending enforcement. Plaintiffs the American Insurance Association and National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies sued HUD and the HUD Secretary in…
The Bureau has released updated Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, updating its massive database to include 17 million records from 2013. Anyone can now go to the website and slice and dice more than 130 million records to “compare data across state, loan type, and more.” For its part, the Bureau observed that home purchase volume continued to increase in 2013, while refinancings declined in part due to rising interest rates. Of course, all this…
On October 2, 2014, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. v. Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, No. 13-1371, to decide whether disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Of interest, the Court declined to grant cert. on the question of the appropriate standard for evaluating disparate impact claims. In summary, at a bench trial, Inclusive Communities argued that the Texas Department of Housing and Community…