Roughly three months ago, President Biden signed an executive order that, among other things, directed HUD to reevaluate earlier agency decisions perceived to weaken the Fair Housing Act. In response to this directive, HUD has submitted draft rules to the Office of Management and Budget that would roll back two significant changes made by the

FEMA Releases Flood Insurance Rating Methodology Under Risk Rating 2.0On April 1, 2021, FEMA released its highly anticipated flood insurance rating methodology, Risk Rating 2.0-Equity in Action.

FEMA first announced “Risk Rating 2.0-Equity in Action” in March 2019 as an effort to improve flood maps and offer rates that are fair, easy to understand, and more aligned with a property’s unique flood risks. The

Second Circuit Rules on Landlord Fair Housing Act Liability for Ignoring Tenant-on-Tenant Racial HarassmentOn March 21, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held en banc in Francis v. Kings Park Manor, Inc., et al. (Francis II) that landlords, who do not have discriminatory intent, are not liable under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) for ignoring tenant-on-tenant racial harassment in their buildings.

FHA Clarifies That DACA Classified Residents Are Permitted to Apply for FHA-Insured MortgagesOn January 20, 2021, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released guidance clarifying its definition of the term “lawful residency.” Under the updated guidance, HUD makes clear that individuals classified under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and are legally permitted to

Federal District Court Stays Effective Date and Enjoins Enforcement of HUD’s Final Rule on the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact StandardOn October 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) final rule on the implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard was scheduled to become effective. That effective date was short lived: on October 25, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts entered a preliminary injunction staying

HUD Issues Final Rule on the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact StandardOn September 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued its final rule on the implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination in many housing-related activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin. For

The Rapidly Changing Fair Housing Landscape: HUD Rescinds Obama-Era AFFH Fair Housing RuleThe Trump administration recently announced that it has rescinded Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), an Obama-era regulation intended to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act (FHA). AFFH requires cities and towns to analyze local housing data for discriminatory patterns and submit plans to address those issues in order to continue receiving federal funding. This

Can Mortgage Servicers Legally Offer the GSEs’ COVID-19 Payment Deferral Options?On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled new retention workout options that were jointly developed and “specifically designed to help borrowers impacted by a hardship related to COVID-19 return their mortgage to a current status.” The government-sponsored enterprises’ (GSEs) highly anticipated new COVID-19 payment deferral will allow servicers to defer up

A Good Day for Lenders: Texas Supreme Court Rules that Lenders Still Entitled to Equitable Subrogation for Non-compliant Home Equity LoansOn April 24, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court upheld a lender’s right to equitable subrogation for non-compliant home equity loans, ruling that lenders who fail to cure within the statutorily mandated 60-day period may recoup funds paid to satisfy prior liens. The court’s opinion in Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. v. Zepeda answered a certified

FHFA Announces COVID-19 Forbearance Relief for Mortgage ServicersIn a statement released on April 21, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that mortgage servicers would only be required to advance four months of missed payments for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owned loans on CARES Act forbearance plans. After that four-month period, FHFA explained the servicers would be under “no further