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Swanson v. Citibank, N.A.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
614 F.3d 400 (7th Cir. 2010)


Facts

Gloria Swanson (plaintiff) applied for a home-equity loan with Citibank, N.A. (Citibank) (defendant). Upon speaking to a Citibank representative, Swanson suspected that the representative was discouraging her from applying because she was black, and asked to speak with a manager. Swanson disclosed to the representative and manager that she had previously been denied a home-equity loan by another bank. The manager informed Swanson that it was more difficult to obtain a loan at Citibank than at other banks. Swanson nevertheless applied for a loan the next day. Citibank conditionally approved Swanson based upon her representation that her home was worth $270,000.00.  Citibank thereafter arranged for Andre Lanier (defendant) of PCI Appraisal Services (PCI) (defendant) to appraise Swanson’s home. Lanier appraised Swanson’s home at $170,000.00. Swanson subsequently hired another appraiser, who valued her home at $240,000.00.  In light of Lanier’s low appraisal, Citibank declined to grant Swanson a home-equity loan. Swanson brought suit against the defendants, alleging they violated Fair Housing Act § 3605 by working together to devalue her home in the appraisal as a pretense to deny her a loan on account of her race. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The district court dismissed her complaint for failure to state a claim.

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Holding and Reasoning (Wood, J.)

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Dissent (Posner, J.)

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