The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal by Wells Fargo and Bank of America in a lawsuit brought by the city of Miami to determine whether the city can seek redress for lost tax revenue from allegedly predatory mortgages.
At issue is whether the city is considered an "aggrieved person" under the Fair Housing Act and suffered the type of harm the statute was designed to address.
A decision by the Supreme Court would have implications for other cities and counties – including Cook County, Ill.; Atlanta-area counties; Los Angeles; Miami Gardens, Fla.; and Oakland, Calif. – that have active lawsuits accusing banks of engaging in discriminatory lending practices.
Last year, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court ruling that had dismissed the city's claims alleging the banks had targeted minorities for predatory loans and that the city had suffered lost tax revenue.
Wells Fargo and B of A filed separate petitions to the Supreme Court with arguments that largely overlapped. The court agreed to hear one oral argument addressing the petitions of both banks.
"We appreciate the Supreme Court's decision today and look forward to presenting our strong argument that the city does not have standing under the Fair Housing Act to make the claims it put forth in its lawsuits against Wells Fargo and other lenders," said Tom Goyda, a Wells Fargo spokesman.