Category Archives: Fair Housing

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Federal District Court Stays Effective Date and Enjoins Enforcement of HUD’s Final Rule on the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact Standard

On 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 … Continue Reading

HUD Issues Final Rule on the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact Standard

On 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 at … Continue Reading

The Rapidly Changing Fair Housing Landscape: HUD Rescinds Obama-Era AFFH Fair Housing Rule

The Trump administration recently announced that it has rescinded Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), an Obama-era regulation intended to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act (FHA).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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

A Good Day for Lenders: Texas Supreme Court Rules that Lenders Still Entitled to Equitable Subrogation for Non-compliant Home Equity Loans

On 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 … Continue Reading

FHFA Announces COVID-19 Forbearance Relief for Mortgage Servicers

In 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 … Continue Reading

Having Trouble with CARES Act Forbearances in Ch. 13 Bankruptcy? You’re Not Alone!

Guest Author: Karlene A. Archer of Karlene A. Archer Law P.L.L.C. Consumers that have pending Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases undoubtedly suffered from financial hardship prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of those consumers, the pandemic may have exacerbated that hardship. The CARES Act’s mortgage forbearance provisions allow some breathing room for consumers that anticipate … Continue Reading

COVID-19 and the Mortgage Industry: 7 Things We Know Today

Operating a financial institution is always a challenge, but the COVID-19 outbreak has triggered a unique set of overlapping and sometimes conflicting concerns for mortgage originators and servicers. Here is what we know as of March 20: On March 18, 2020, HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 2020-04, announcing a 60-day moratorium for foreclosures and evictions, effective … Continue Reading

HUD Proposed Rule Demands More Disparate and More Impact to Establish Disparate Impact Liability

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a sweeping proposed rule on August 1 seeking to amend HUD’s interpretation of the Fair Housing Act’s disparate impact standard. According to HUD, the proposed rule is designed to better reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Texas Department of Housing and Community … Continue Reading

United States Senate to Consider Legislation Expanding Fair Housing Protection to LGBTQ Community

A bipartisan measure was introduced in the United States Senate in late April to expand fair housing protections to LGBTQ persons. The Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2019, introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (I-ME), and Tim Kaine (D-VA), would expressly include “sexual orientation and gender identity” as characteristics protected by the … Continue Reading

HUD Charges Facebook with Violating the Fair Housing Act over Targeted Ads

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced charges against social media company Facebook for violating the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601-3619 and 3631). The charges derive from Facebook enabling housing advertisers to target Facebook users based on protected class status: race, nationality, religion, color, familial status, sex, and disability. HUD … Continue Reading

HUD Demonstrates Continued Commitment to Aggressive Enforcement of the Fair Housing Act

Fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to Fair Housing, both through the support of private enforcement and through its own public enforcement. HUD recently announced that 80 non-profit organizations committed to fair housing will receive … Continue Reading

FHA Expands Program to Accelerate Financing of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Multifamily Housing Projects

The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is, in part, to bolster the economy by strengthening the housing market, protecting consumers, and working to meet the needs for quality affordable rental homes. To further this mission, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) launched a pilot program in 2012 to streamline mortgage … Continue Reading

HUD Drastically Cuts Advance Notice for REAC Inspections

You are the property manager for a HUD-subsidized apartment development. One day, the owner of the development rushes into your office, visibly frantic. The owner says, “We just received a letter from HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) that REAC inspectors have scheduled the property for an inspection.” You respond, “Don’t worry — with extensions … Continue Reading

DOJ Continues Fair Housing Act Enforcement Actions

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently filed a civil action in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee against an apartment development and its property management company alleging violations of sections 3604(a) and 3604(b) of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Specifically, the complaint challenges the management company’s policy of … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Holds that Landlord May Be Liable for Deliberate Indifference to Tenant-on-Tenant Discrimination

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently addressed a matter of first impression regarding landlord liability under the Fair Housing Act (FHA): whether a landlord may be liable under the FHA for failing to address tenant-on-tenant discrimination. The court answered with a resounding “yes,” holding that the FHA creates liability where … Continue Reading
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