The Real Deal Miami

Can Miami sue banks over predatory home loans?

Wells Fargo claims in a Supreme Court petition that the city can't sue under the Fair Housing Act

April 02, 2016 04:15PM

  • Print
Does Miami have legal standing to claim FHA violations?

Miami claims bank violations of the Fair Housing Act led to more foreclosures and less property tax.

Wells Fargo asked the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss suits by the City of Miami alleging banks violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) by targeting minority borrowers for home loans with predatory terms.

The bank claims the city has no legal standing to file such claims, according to the Miami Herald.

The Herald reported that a Wells Fargo petition filed with the Supreme Court claims “the city’s asserted injuries do not fall within the FHA’s zone of interests, and were not proximately caused by the alleged statutory violations. Because the city is not an ‘aggrieved person,’ it has no right to sue under the statute.”

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last September allowed Miami to pursue cases against banks alleging predatory lending to minorities, but the appeals court did not determine whether the defendants had violated the Fair Housing Act.

Miami contends that predatory bank lending practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act led to increased mortgage foreclosures, reduced revenue from property taxes and higher costs for police and fire services. [Miami Herald]Mike Seemuth