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Case Name Cason v. Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. FH-TN-0004
Docket / Court 3:98-cv-00223 ( M.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Case Summary
On March 12, 1998, a host of African American and Hispanic car purchasers filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC), alleging that it engaged in discriminatory lending practices. The plaintiffs ... read more >
On March 12, 1998, a host of African American and Hispanic car purchasers filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC), alleging that it engaged in discriminatory lending practices. The plaintiffs alleged that as a result of the defendant's policies and practices, African-American and Hispanic borrowers unfairly paid higher prices for automobile lending products in comparison to Non-Hispanic white borrowers of similar financial backgrounds.
Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant marked up or increased interest rates charged to African American and Hispanic car purchasers regardless of their credit worthiness. As a result, the increased interest rate causes an overall higher cost of credit to the consumer.

The plaintiffs and defendant filed a joint motion for approval of a preliminary settlement agreement on February 18, 2003. After various revisions and appeals of that settlement agreement, the Court (Judge Todd J. Campbell) entered a final order on March 27, 2003. As part of the settlement agreement, NMAC agreed to: 1) a cap on markup charges; 2) a credit-preapproval program designed to offer "nomarkup" rates to pre-approved African American and Hispanic car buyers; 3) contribute $1 million over the next five years to three national consumer financial education programs; 4) mail an educational brochure in english and spanish to existing customers annually for five years; and 5) provide written disclosure on financing contracts forms that a customer's annual percentage rate may be negotiable with the dealer. Upon approving the settlement agreement, the Court (Judge Todd J. Campbell) dismissed the case with prejudice.

Megan Richardson - 11/07/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Defendant-type
Bank or credit provider
Discrimination-area
Lending
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Predatory lending
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. ยง 1691
Defendant(s) Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation
Plaintiff Description African American and Hispanic car owners.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2007 - 2012
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:98−cv−0022 (M.D. Tenn.) 11/14/2007
FH-TN-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Outline of Settlement Agreement
FH-TN-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Frequently Asked Questions
FH-TN-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Minority Auto Buyers Benefit from NMAC Settlement 05/25/2003
FH-TN-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Judges Campbell, Todd J. (M.D. Tenn.)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berger, Daniel L. (New York)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Gilmore, Wyman O. Jr. (Alabama)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Guggenheimer, Leah (New York)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Klein, Gary E. (Massachusetts)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Lesser, Seth R. (New York)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Rossman, Stuart T. (Massachusetts)
FH-TN-0004-0001 | FH-TN-0004-9000
Stewart, Darnley D. (New York)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Terry, Michael E (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Watkins, Clinton W. (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Wright, Luther Jr. (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bruinsma, James Robert (Michigan)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Chareq, Adel James (District of Columbia)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Feeney, John Thomas III (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Heyder, Markus Bruce (District of Columbia)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Hicks, John S. (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Mataya, Charles J. (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Weber, Kenneth A. (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Other Lawyers Branstetter, C. Dewey Jr. (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Cubita, Peter N. (New York)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Douthat, Kenneth Edwin (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Evans, Carol A. (District of Columbia)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Liptak, Adam (New York)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Pierce, Douglas Ray (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Waterhouse, Rachel L (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Wayland, R. Eddie (Tennessee)
FH-TN-0004-9000
Zalenski, Walter E. (District of Columbia)
FH-TN-0004-9000

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