Daily Archives: January 21, 2015

New York AG to SCOTUS: Uphold disparate impact in housing

This week the Supreme Court of the United States ishearing the case of Texas Dept. of Housing vs. Inclusive Communities Project, and while many in the industry welcome the expected rejection of disparate impact theory in housing, others oppose overturning its use.

In this case, the Texas Department of Housing argues that the text and history of the law confirm that it does not allow disparate impact claims, but instead authorizes only claims based on intentionally discriminatory conduct. In October, the high court agreed to hear the case that could overturn the Obama administration’s position.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman says he supports upholding disparate impact in the interpretation of the federal Fair Housing Act. Last year, he led a coalition of 16 other states in filing a brief defending the theory.

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Supreme Court’s Latest Race Case: Housing Discrimination

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up one of the most important civil rights cases of the last decade. If you’ve never heard of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, you have company. The issue of housing segregation has never captivated the nation’s attention like affirmative action or voting rights.

But today, two days after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the court will hear arguments in the Texas case that many fear could gut the Fair Housing Act, the landmark 1968 law that was passed just days after King’s assassination.

“This case has as broad of a reach as anything the court has decided in the last 10 years,” said Myron Orfield, director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the University of Minnesota Law School, because housing segregation is the foundation of racial inequality in the United States.

The case concerns whether the Fair Housing Act, which sought to end the longstanding segregation of America’s neighborhoods, should be read to only bar intentional discrimination. For four decades, federal courts have held that the law should be interpreted more broadly, ruling again and again that if the policies of governmental agencies, banks or private real estate companies unjustifiably perpetuate segregation, regardless of their intent, they could be found in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

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Credit Rater S&P to Be Banned for a Year From Biggest Part of Commercial-Bond Market

Standard & Poor’s will be suspended for a year from rating bonds in one of its most lucrative businesses in a $60 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The deal, which the person said may be announced as soon as tomorrow, is the agency’s toughest action yet in an industry blamed for fueling the 2008 financial crisis by assigning inflated grades to risky mortgage debt. Instead of securities created during that period, though, the SEC’s investigation has looked at whether S&P bent its criteria to win business on commercial-mortgage bonds issued in 2011.

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Can getting sick push you into foreclosure?

Piles of research link foreclosure to depression, increased emergency room visits and even suicide among people who have lost their homes or are close to it. But just as foreclosures can contribute to health problems, new research shows that health problems can contribute to foreclosure, as well.

Middle-aged adults with chronic conditions that got worse as they grew older are nearly twice as likely to default on their mortgages and 2.6 times as likely to lapse into foreclosure than those whose chronic conditions remained stable, according to a recent study that tracked people as they hit their 40th and 50th birthdays during the foreclosure crisis.

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JPMorgan must live with $1.5 billion paperwork error

JPMorgan Chase got a painful reminder on Wednesday that we all have to live with our mistakes, even a clerical mix-up that could cost $1.5 billion.

A federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled on Wednesday that, although it was not JPMorgan’s intention, it clearly authorized its law firm to file papers in 2008 that unsecured much of a loan to General Motors.

The difference was critical because the automaker soon after filed for bankruptcy. During GM’s Chapter 11, secured lenders were repaid in full while unsecured creditors lost out.

JPMorgan said it was reviewing the decision and its options.

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This is the biggest sin in America: Dimon

The biggest sin in America is the high number of inner city and minority students who do not graduate high school, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told CNBC on Wednesday.

Community schooling is a great idea, but students must end up with a certificate and a job for it to be worthwhile, he said in a “Squawk Alley”interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Community schools typically form partnerships with other area resources to emphasize real world skills and problem solving.

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New York Prosecutor Expands ‘Dark Pool’ Complaint Against Barclays

Barclays Plc (BARC) misrepresented to customers how algorithms in its dark pool worked and how client orders were routed, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in an amended complaint.

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