May 8, 2017

Jost on Justice, “Banks May Pay for Ravaging Minority Neighborhoods”

United States Supreme Court

In his latest “Jost on Justice” blog post, legal scholar Kenneth Jost offers his take on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bank of America v. Miami, noting that the city of Miami can now try to use the Fair Housing Act “to try to recover damages from BofA and Wells Fargo for financial losses…

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May 1, 2017

Supreme Court Clears The Way For LA and Other Cities to Sue Big Banks Over Foreclosure Crisis

United States Supreme Court Building

On Monday May 1, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court solidified the reach of federal housing law by ruling that cities can sue major banks for discriminatory lending practices that caused enormous and pervasive harm to low-income neighborhoods during the 2008 recession. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, the decision “gives city leaders a potentially powerful…

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March 21, 2017

Top Fed Official Connects Wells Fargo’s Huge Customer Fraud Scandal to Similar Behaviors Underlying the Mortgage Crisis

Wells Fargo Consumer Fraud

“Like mortgage brokers in the early 2000s, it appears that job security depended almost exclusively on meeting targets, regardless of how those targets were met,” Fed Reserve Prez said in a London speech titled “Reforming Culture for the Long Term.” On March 21, 2017, William C. Dudley, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank…

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November 14, 2016

Holding the Biggest U.S. Banks Accountable for the Foreclosure Crisis

Holding the Biggest U.S. Banks Accountable for the Foreclosure Crisis

As the Supreme Court mulls over its forthcoming decision on whether cities like Miami can hold the nation’s biggest banks accountable for their alleged discriminatory and predatory conduct against minorities, legal commentator and professor Kenneth Jost notes that the review comes in the “precious little” to date in the way of government success in prosecuting…

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November 7, 2016

Supreme Court Confronting Racial Impact of Predatory Loans After Financial Crisis

Bank building

As the Christian Science Monitor reports, the 1968 Fair Housing Act led to significant progress in finding and ending racial discrimination. “Now, a Supreme Court case touches on whether it is legal for cities to expand the FHA by suing banks.”

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August 4, 2016

The New Thorn in the Sides of Big Banks

Derelict terrace house awaiting demolition.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports on Fair Housing Act lawsuits version 2.0: lawsuits where the accusing parties are cities, rather than individuals. But there’s a stumbling block to the progression of these suits, as the target banks, whose loans the suits accuse of blighting cities and decimating tax bases to the harm of all residents,…

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July 13, 2016

Hedge Funds and Banks Profit from Home Owner Losses

Foreclosed home

According to the Miami Herald, homes that were foreclosed upon in the wake of the 2007 financial bust gained back value at a significantly higher rate than other homes, according to the Zillow real estate service — but the former owners of those homes did not enjoy the profits during the recovery. Instead, because so…

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May 3, 2016

Can Cities Sue Banks Over The Foreclosure Crisis? (Spoiler: Yes)

Bank Foreclosures

Astonishingly few individuals or institutions have been held to account for the fraudulent and discriminatory house-of-cards lending practices that came close to wrecking the U.S. economy. Shields of privilege aside, one large reason is that those who suffered the greatest harm and lost their homes have no resources to file and prosecute lawsuits against the…

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