Fair Lending Developments: Disparate Impact Lives On

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[co-author: John Ropiequet]

The fair lending cases filed by Miami against four major mortgage lenders, reported in several previous Annual Surveys, came to a sudden, anticlimactic end when the city voluntarily dismissed all of them in January 2020.1 None of the dismissals were the result of a settlement, although some municipal fair lending cases elsewhere were settled during the past year. Other fair lending litigation remains active.

Both the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) filed enforcement actions alleging racial discrimination, and the DOJ also filed actions to protect the rights of the disabled and servicemembers. The CFPB issued its considerations for rulemaking for lending to small businesses, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development finalized the disparate impact rule that it issued in 2019.

Originally published in The Business Lawyer; Vol. 76, Spring 2021.

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