March 03, 2020

SCOTUS rules City of Miami FHA case moot

regThe Supreme Court Monday vacated a previous decision ruling plaintiffs can no longer rely on the Eleventh Circuit Court's decision in City of Miami v. Wells Fargo & Co as a source of support in similar cases. The City of Miami last month filed the Suggestion of Mootness following its voluntarily dismissal of pending lawsuits against Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase related to discriminatory practices under the Fair Housing Act.

Under the new ruling, Wells Fargo will not have to litigate similar cases in the Eleventh Circuit and the previous decision can no longer serve as precedent when pursuing a similar claim under the Fair Housing Act.

NAFCU had previously joined with several other financial industry trade organizations to petition the U.S. Supreme Court in Wells Fargo & Co. v. City of Miami to review the lawsuits and request review of the federal appeals court decision on remand and argue a narrower approach to the right of access under the FHA's discrimination clause is needed to protect financial institutions from frivolous lawsuits. Additionally, the amicus brief raised concerns regarding a municipality representing itself as an "aggrieved person" under the Fair Housing Act.

Additionally, the association has continuously highlighted that credit unions have not engaged in the illegal and discriminatory practices of banks, including redlining, because credit unions were established to offer provident credit to any member in their field of membership. NAFCU will continue its housing finance reform efforts to ensure credit unions' unfettered access to the secondary mortgage market.