FHA Updates Single Family Policy Handbook 4000.1In late July, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) made several important revisions to the Single Family Policy Handbook 4000.1. The new guidance is part of a series of changes recently announced by the Biden-era FHA, including guidance related to COVID-19 recovery loss mitigation options. Describing the changes as primarily “enhancements and revisions” and “technical

U.S. House of Representatives Considers Bill to Improve Language Access in Mortgage ServicingIn recent months, regulatory bodies throughout the federal government have focused on ways to promote greater access to financial products and services to limited English proficiency (LEP) consumers. Take for example the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) January 2021 statement encouraging financial institutions to better serve LEP consumers and examples of recent enforcement actions by

FHFA Issues Policy Statement on Fair Lending Requirements under the ECOA, Fair Housing Act, and Safety and Soundness ActOn Thursday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a policy statement covering its views on fair lending requirements (Fair Lending Policy Statement) under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act. The Fair Lending Policy Statement is the latest in a

Biden Administration Continues Fair Lending Efforts as HUD Announces Proposal to Restore the Discriminatory Effects RuleOne of the Biden administration’s first actions was a January 25, 2021, executive order on Redressing Our Nation’s and the Federal Government’s History of Discriminatory Housing Practices and Policies, whereby the White House committed to revitalizing enforcement of fair lending laws to address the “ongoing legacies of residential segregation and discrimination [that] remain ever-present

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

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