MIAMI, FL – May 1, 2017 – Supreme Court Gives City of Miami Green Light to Continue Suing Banks
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday morning that the City of Miami can pursue Bank Of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. under the Fair Housing Act on claims that those lenders’ discriminatory and predatory lending practices led to a major shortfall in city tax revenues and increased costs in maintaining foreclosed properties, finding that the City’s claims fell within the so-called “zone of interests” established by the FHA. The question presented in the case was whether cities like Miami can sue banks and other lenders to recover lost tax revenues and upkeep costs that, Miami argued, accrued because of discriminatory lending practices under the FHA. The case landed before the High Court because Wells Fargo and Bank of America asked the Justices to consider whether the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals incorrectly ruled in Miami’s favor when reviving a fair lending lawsuit the City brought under the FHA. Miami claims that Bank of America and Wells Fargo handed out predatory loans to Black and Hispanic borrowers, which led to a wave of foreclosures that lowered municipal tax revenues as the costs of maintaining the often abandoned foreclosure properties rose. The Supreme Court remanded the case back for further proceedings on whether Miami can prove that the banks’ lending practices proximately caused the damages.
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