High court to hear Miami loan discrimination case

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court will consider whether the city of Miami can sue major banks over allegations they engaged in a decade-long pattern of discriminatory lending practices that harmed the city.

The justice said Tuesday they will hear appeals from Wells Fargo and Bank of America arguing that the city is not authorized to sue under the Fair Housing Act.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuits, but a federal appeals court said they could go forward. Miami claims the banks targeted African-American and Hispanic borrowers for predatory loans that carried more risk, higher costs and steeper fines than loans offered to white customers.

The city claims the loans resulted in a higher number of foreclosures, reducing tax collections and damaging neighbourhoods.

The court will hear the cases this fall.