Housing Discrimination Case Could Settle Before Top Court Rules

July 3, 2013
Reuters 
mortgage lending news

The U.S. Supreme Court may have agreed to consider the scope of the 1968 Fair Housing Act during its next term in October, but the parties involved in the Mt. Holly, N.J., case could reach a settlement before the disparate impact case is heard. The court would have examined whether disparate impact claims are allowed when seemingly neutral practices have a discriminatory effect. The town had approved a plan to demolish lower-income housing and replace it with new units, some available at market rates, which residents claimed violated the 1968 Fair Housing Act because they would be less affordable for minorities. Should the court hear the case and make a decision, it could affect other laws the government has interpreted to allow disparate impact claims, like those made by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding lending practices under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
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