Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh Miami Predatory Lending Lawsuit Against Bank of America, Wells Fargo

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to decide whether Miami can pursue lawsuits accusing major banks of predatory mortgage lending to black and Hispanic home buyers resulting in loan defaults that drove down city tax revenues and property values.

The justices will hear appeals filed by Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co of a lower court’s decision to permit the lawsuits by the Florida city against the banks. They were filed under the Fair Housing Act, a federal law outlawing discrimination in housing.

Bank of America spokesman Lawrence Grayson said that although the bank is committed to the aims of the Fair Housing Act, “We believe that a municipality seeking purely monetary recovery is not covered by the statute, and we welcome the Supreme Court’s scrutiny and clarity.”

Last September, the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s decision to dismiss such lawsuits by the city against Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup Inc. Citigroup decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court.

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