Residential Real Estate Civil Rights

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Department of Housing and Urban Development Announces Settlement with National Bank over Alleged Discriminatory Lending Practices

On June 8, 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it entered into a settlement agreement with a national bank over allegations the bank engaged in discriminatory lending practices in violation...more

CFPB Examinations and Investigations: Defense Strategies and Best Practices

The pursuit of examinations and enforcement actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created new challenges for entities that provide consumer financial products and services. Given the CFPB’s broad...more

Increasing Legal Scrutiny of Website Accessibility in the Real Estate Industry

From fair housing laws to licensing requirements, the real estate industry is accustomed to navigating various legal constraints and requirements. However, as a result of current ambiguity in the law, class action lawsuits...more

Not Starry-Eyed: Massachusetts Imposes Rigorous Standard on Fair Housing Disparate Impact Claims in Burbank Apartments

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently answered the question of whether the Massachusetts anti-discrimination statute Chapter 151B recognizes a disparate impact theory of discrimination. In Burbank...more

Landmark Discrimination Case: Fair Housing Act Thwarts NIMBYs - Avenue 6E Investments, LLC v. City of Yuma (March 25, 2016)

Why It Matters: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision in favor of the City of Yuma, Arizona, and concluded instead that there was sufficient evidence to present to a jury that the City had rejected the...more

Housing and Criminal Background Checks

HUD has issued guidance indicating it will review of the use of criminal background checks in determining qualifications for residents in housing. HUD is following the lead of the EEOC concerning criminal convictions and...more

Industry trade groups’ renewed challenge to HUD disparate impact rule could yield helpful precedent for ECOA cases

The D.C. district court recently granted two industry trade associations whose members sell homeowners insurance leave to file an amended complaint in their lawsuit challenging the Fair Housing Act (FHA) disparate impact rule...more

Massachusetts High Court Examines Disparate Impact Theory in Light of Recent Supreme Court Decision

A ruling last week by Massachusetts' highest state court demonstrates courts' vigorous examination of disparate impact housing claims in light of recent judicial guidance, as well as the type of proactive measures property...more

Industry Trade Groups Renew Challenge to HUD Disparate Impact Rule

Two industry trade associations whose members sell homeowners insurance have been granted leave to file an amended complaint in their lawsuit challenging the Fair Housing Act (FHA) disparate impact rule (Rule) adopted by the...more

HUD Releases Guidance on Criminal Background Checks by Housing Providers

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on April 4, 2016, issued guidance addressing Fair Housing Act liability regarding the use of criminal background checks or screenings in housing determinations....more

HUD Releases Guidance on Fair Housing and Criminal Screening in Private Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued new guidance on April 4, 2016, on the use of criminal conviction records by housing providers in screening applicants. The guidance advises housing providers...more

HUD Determines That Blanket Bans of Ex-Offenders is Illegal Under the Fair Housing Act

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) issued guidance on its interpretation of how the Fair Housing Act applies to housing providers’ policies that ban residents with criminal records....more

News from the Vermont State House - An analysis from DRM's Government & Public Affairs Team

PFOA Contamination Likely to Spur Legislative Action - The discovery of Perfluorooctanoic Acid contamination in southern Vermont drinking water has prompted legislators to examine whether more action is necessary to...more

HUD publishes new Fair Housing guidance on criminal background checks

On Monday, HUD published new guidance for landlords conducting criminal background checks as a condition of renting housing. This guidance is applicable to all providers or operators of housing and real estate related...more

Divided Supreme Court Results in Non-Uniform Application of Reg B

In what goes for kicking the can down the road at the Supreme Court, the Court has evenly split on an appeal arising from the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, 761 F3d 937 (CA8...more

HUD issues PHA Tool for Fair Housing Assessment; Comments due May 23rd

On March 23, 2016, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register to announce the issuance of an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment Tool for Public Housing Authorities (the “PHA Assessment Tool”). Under the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Decision Excluding Guarantors from ECOA Protection

4-4 Decision Keeps Issue Unresolved Outside of 8th Circuit - On March 22, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of Lathrop & Gage LLP client Community Bank of...more

HUD publishes state tool for AFFH

Last week, HUD is scheduled to publish its proposed tool for affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) for use by states and insular areas as they implement the new AFFH rule. Public comment is solicited for 60 days....more

Consumer Financial Regulation: Pennsylvania

A Q&A guide to consumer finance regulation in Pennsylvania. This Q&A addresses state-specific laws governing the offering and sale of consumer financial products and services, including credit cards, residential...more

Update on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Inclusive Communities Decision

As previously reported on this blog, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 2507 (2015) adopted a burden-shifting approach to...more

West Coast Real Estate Update: Feb. 2016 #4

ASTM Updates Property Condition Assessments Standard - The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) published at the end of 2015 the latest version of the Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments:...more

Fair Lending Year in Review – 2015

2015 was an action-packed year for fair lending, including a long-anticipated Supreme Court decision on disparate-impact claims under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), record-breaking redlining settlements, a new round of...more

DOJ Settles Action Alleging Bank Discriminated Against Disability Income Recipients

The U.S. Department of Justice recently entered into a consent order with Evolve Bank & Trust to settle charges that the bank discriminated against mortgage loan applicants on the basis of disability and receipt of public...more

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s New Rule for Compliance with the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act

This past October 15th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the purported finalization of its “new rule” for “updating the reporting requirements” under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act HMDA.” The point of the...more

How the Current Regulatory and Legal Landscapes Can Lead to Fair Lending Violations

The CFPB's website states, "Other regulators focus on the safety and soundness of the financial institutions first. The CFPB is the first to focus primarily on the American consumer." The CFPB's actions, however, may have the...more

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