Offit Kurman In The News
Supreme Court clears the way for cities, including L.A., to sue banks over foreclosure crisis
Offit Kurman Attorney Daniella Casseres Quoted in the Los Angeles Times
by: David G. Savage
The Supreme Court expanded the reach of federal housing law Monday, ruling that cities — including Los Angeles — can sue major banks for discriminatory lending practices that hurt low-income neighborhoods during the Great Recession.
The decision gives city leaders a potentially powerful weapon against lenders, including those who were accused of predatory practices that triggered the foreclosure crisis after 2008.
Until now, these legal claims faced an apparent obstacle. The Fair Housing Act forbids racial discrimination against “any person.” Lawyers for the banks said the law protected only people who suffered discrimination, not cities.
But by a 5-3 vote, the justices said cities can be an “aggrieved person” who can sue over the impact of housing discrimination on the city’s finances. Justice Stephen G. Breyer cited rulings from the 1970s that interpreted the civil rights law broadly, including by allowing city officials to sue real estate agents who were turning away black and Latino home buyers.
Daniella Casseres, a housing lawyer in New York, said the court’s ruling “gives local authorities a very powerful tool to continue defending against lending discrimination in a political environment where federal enforcement may soon be curbed.”
ABOUT DANIELLA CASSERES
Daniella Casseres’ legal practice focuses on laws and regulations governing mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers, financial institutions and consumer finance companies. She regularly advises clients on state and federal compliance laws and regulations including fair lending, advertising, licensing, privacy, TILA, RESPA, FHA, FCRA, and BSA requirements.
Ms. Casseres drafts and reviews wholesale lending and mortgage loan purchase agreements, and structures loan originator compensation for mortgage companies. She also represents clients in federal and state regulatory investigations, and assists in related litigation matters.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 135 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.
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