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Case Name Barrett v. H&R Block, Inc. FH-MA-0002
Docket / Court 1:08-cv-10157 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Case Summary
On February 1, 2008, minority homeowners on behalf of similarly situated minority homeowners filed a class-action complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against H&R Block under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA") and the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"). The plaintiffs ... read more >
On February 1, 2008, minority homeowners on behalf of similarly situated minority homeowners filed a class-action complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against H&R Block under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA") and the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"). The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants maintained a pattern or practice that had a discriminatory impact on minority applicants in their home financing policies and practices. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants' policy authorizing unchecked, subjective surcharge of additional points and fees to an otherwise objective risk-based financing rate, had a discriminatory impact on minority homeowners, creating a significantly higher likelihood of exposure to discretionary points and fees. The plaintiffs sought injunctive, declaratory and monetary relief. On February 12, 2008, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.

On March 27, 2008, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The Court (Judge Rya W. Zabel) granted the motion in relation to H&R Block Inc., but not in relation to its subsidiaries. However, the plaintiff could move to add H&R Block Inc. as a defendant after discovery. On July 9, 2009, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint. The complaint added several named plaintiffs.

On June 21, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify class. On March 21, 2011, the motion was granted, subject to limitation by time. A class of "[a]ll African-American borrowers who obtained a mortgage loan from one of the Defendants" was certified. However, three months later, the Supreme Court decided Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011). The defendants filed a motion to decertify class On October 6, 2011, in light of that case. On September 18, 2012, the Court granted the motion and decertified class. After Wal-Mart, there was no longer sufficient evidence to satisfy the commonality requirement. Statistical analysis was no longer sufficient, and the plaintiffs could not show a common method of exercising discretion by the brokers. On February 7, 2013, the First Circuit Court of Appeals denied the plaintiffs' appeal.

On August 21, 2013, the plaintiffs filed a stipulation to dismiss the case with prejudice. That ended the case.

Zhandos Kuderin - 07/28/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Bank or credit provider
Discrimination-area
Lending
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Pattern or Practice
Predatory lending
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Race, unspecified
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. § 1691
Defendant(s) H&R Block Inc.
Plaintiff Description Minority homeowners, who took out a loan from Option One and H&R Block Mortgage.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:08-cv-10157 (D. Mass.) 08/21/2013
FH-MA-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 02/01/2008
FH-MA-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order 02/06/2009 (652 F.Supp.2d 104) (D. Mass.)
FH-MA-0002-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Jury Trial Demanded 07/09/2009
FH-MA-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Decision 03/21/2011 (2011 WL 1100105) (D. Mass.)
FH-MA-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order 09/18/2012 (2012 WL 4076465) (D. Mass.)
FH-MA-0002-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 02/07/2013 (2013 WL 7137776)
FH-MA-0002-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice 08/21/2013
FH-MA-0002-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Stahl, Norman H. (D.N.H., First Circuit)
FH-MA-0002-0006
Thompson, Ojetta Rogeriee (First Circuit)
FH-MA-0002-0006
Zobel, Rya Weickert (D. Mass.)
FH-MA-0002-0001 | FH-MA-0002-0003 | FH-MA-0002-0004 | FH-MA-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Costello, Kevin (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-9000
Delbaum, Charles M. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-0005 | FH-MA-0002-9000
Fanning, Lori A. (Illinois)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-0005
Friedman, Andrew S. (Arizona)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-9000
Harrison, Wendy J. (Arizona)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-9000
Hofeld, Al Jr. (Illinois)
FH-MA-0002-0002
Kavanagh, Shennan Alexandra (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-0005 | FH-MA-0002-0007 | FH-MA-0002-9000
Klein, Gary E. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-0005 | FH-MA-0002-0007 | FH-MA-0002-9000
Matthews, Gregory (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-0005
Miller, Marvin A. (Illinois)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-0005
Reich, Mark S. (New York)
FH-MA-0002-0005
Rossman, Stuart T. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-0005 | FH-MA-0002-9000
Rothman, Robert M. (New York)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-0005
Rudman, Samuel H. (New York)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-0005
Sobol, Thomas M. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-0005
Taren, Jeffrey L. (Illinois)
FH-MA-0002-9000
Van Tine, Matthew E. (Illinois)
FH-MA-0002-0002 | FH-MA-0002-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Boyle, Brian D. (District of Columbia)
FH-MA-0002-9000
Brooks, Brian P. (District of Columbia)
FH-MA-0002-9000
Edwards, Randall W. (California)
FH-MA-0002-9000
Grundeman, Kyra A. (District of Columbia)
FH-MA-0002-9000
Guilfoyle, Kathleen M. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-9000
McKeen, Elizabeth L. (California)
FH-MA-0002-0007 | FH-MA-0002-9000
Mone, Charles K. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-9000
Oakley, Danielle N. (California)
FH-MA-0002-0007 | FH-MA-0002-9000
Patel, Bimal (District of Columbia)
FH-MA-0002-9000
Rofkahr, Aaron M. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-9000 | FH-MA-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Aleo, Michael E. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0002-9000 | FH-MA-0002-9000

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