M & T Mortgage Corp. v. White
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
736 F. Supp. 2d 538 (2010)
Leo White, Linda Council, and Kimberly Council, (plaintiffs), all of whom were African American, filed a multi-count suit against M & T Mortgage Corporation (M & T) and the companies that sold and financed White's and the Councils' purchase of two residential properties. M & T was not named in the count that charged the seller and lender with violating the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). A federal magistrate judge found that White and the Councils were first-time property buyers who wanted to buy low-income rental properties, and who qualified for financing. After completing their purchases, White and the Councils discovered that their properties were in such disrepair that they could not attract tenants. The seller and lender concentrated their activities in neighborhoods predominantly inhabited by members of racial minorities. It was unclear whether either the seller or the lender intentionally targeted and took unfair advantage of minority-group members, or whether they intentionally misrepresented the properties' condition or worth. The district court adopted the magistrate judge's findings of fact and considered his recommendation to deny summary judgment and let the case proceed to trial.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Garaufis, J.)
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