Lance Vanzant

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in a case involving alleged predatory lending practices by the Bank of America and whether a municipality, the City of Miami, may file a suit for economic damages under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The City alleges that the bank’s predatory lending practices disproportionately affected minority communities. The high number of foreclosures in minority communities led to diminishing property tax revenue and increased demand for city fire, police and building services. Opponents of the City’s claim argue that the FHA’s zone of interests does not cover economic damages suffered by a third party due to purported discrimination against individuals not parties to the litigation. The City argues that the law of standing was not intended to be so rigorous under the FHA and that individuals who suffer violations are often not able to adjudicate a legitimate claim of discrimination. The Supreme Court will likely issue a decision in early 2017. You can follow the status of Bank of America Corp v. Miami, FL at www.supremecourt.gov.