Mortgage Lenders File Brief with Supreme Court Arguing That Fair Housing Act Does Not Support Disparate-Impact Claims

By: Paul F. Hancock, Andrew C. Glass, Roger L. Smerage, and Olivia Kelman

On November 24, 2014, K&L Gates filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the American Financial Services Association, the Consumer Mortgage Coalition, the Independent Community Bankers of America, and the Mortgage Bankers Association as amici curiae in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., No. 13-1371. The case presents the question left unresolved by settlements in Magner v. Gallagher, No. 10-1032, and Township of Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc., No. 11-1507, namely whether the Fair Housing Act recognizes a disparate-impact theory of liability. The brief supports the petitioners’ argument that the Act is properly read as being limited to cases of intentional discrimination and explains the negative impact of the disparate-impact theory on the residential mortgage lending industry. A copy of the brief is available here. The Court will hear oral argument in the case on January 21, 2015.

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