The ruling rejects the claims of banks that discriminatory lending has no impact on cities as a whole.
An important ruling handed down by the Supreme Court today recognizes that when banks systematically discriminate against their customers, entire communities and cities are harmed.
Today's decision rejects the claims of banks that racial discrimination against a city's residents has no impact on the city itself. The lawsuit stems from the recent foreclosure crisis, and was brought by the city of Miami, which was hit particularly hard. As in other cities across America, neighborhoods where people of color live were disproportionately devastated. That can be largely attributed to the fact that Black and Latino homeowners received more expensive mortgages than their similarly creditworthy white counterparts.
Miami analyzed the data and realized that the lending of several banks discriminated against Miamians of color. For example, one bank was 1.5 times more likely to issue predatory loans to Black borrowers than similar white borrowers, and more than twice as likely to do so with respect to Latino borrowers, even among borrowers with high credit scores. Miami also realized that those discriminatory mortgages led to foreclosures, causing properties to lose value and the city to lose property tax revenue. So, Miami sued under the Fair Housing Act to get the banks to pay the taxpayers back.
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