Ramirez v. GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc.
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
268 F.R.D. 627 (2010)
Ana and Ismael Ramirez and Jorge Salazar (collectively, the plaintiff borrowers) (plaintiffs) used brokers to obtain mortgage loans from GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. (GreenPoint) (defendant). GreenPoint gave its brokers discretion over the fees they would charge their customers. The plaintiff borrowers alleged that GreenPoint’s discretionary policy allowed brokers to charge Black and Hispanic customers higher fees than they charged similarly situated White customers. The plaintiff borrowers filed a lawsuit in federal district court, alleging that GreenPoint’s discretionary policy violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act. The plaintiff borrowers presented their claims under a disparate-impact theory, arguing that the discretionary policy was facially neutral but was applied in a way that harmed Black and Hispanic customers. The plaintiff borrowers moved to certify a class of plaintiffs under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a). The class contained all Black or Hispanic individuals who had obtained mortgages through GreenPoint between 2004 and 2008. The plaintiff borrowers established the numerosity, typicality, and adequacy requirements for class certification. To satisfy the commonality requirement, the plaintiff borrowers presented statistical evidence showing that Black and Hispanic borrowers routinely paid more for mortgages through GreenPoint than similarly situated White borrowers paid.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Henderson, J.)
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