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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Miller v. Countrywide FH-MA-0003
Docket / Court 1:07-cv-11275 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Case Summary
On July 12, 2007, four black homeowners filed this lawsuit, individually and on behalf of a class of all others similarly situated in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against Countrywide Bank and ... read more >
On July 12, 2007, four black homeowners filed this lawsuit, individually and on behalf of a class of all others similarly situated in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against Countrywide Bank and its two wholly-owned subsidiaries (Countrywide), alleging violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1691 (ECOA), and the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq. (FHA).

The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, disgorgement, and restitution of monies disparately obtained from black borrowers, claiming that Countrywide's home financing policies and practices were discriminatory. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Countrywide's policy authorizing unchecked, subjective surcharge of additional points and fees to an otherwise objective risk-based financing rate had a discriminatory impact on black home mortgage loan applicants, making them more likely to pay higher interest rates and charges than similarly situated white applicants.

On September 10, 2007, Countrywide filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the plaintiffs did not allege a sufficiently specific discriminatory policy to support a disparate impact claim under ECOA or FHA. The District Court (Judge Nancy Gertner) denied this motion on July 30, 2008, allowing the case to proceed. Miller v. Countrywide Bank, N.A., 571 F. Supp. 2d 251 (D. Mass. 2008).

In June 4, 2008, the plaintiffs moved for consolidated or coordinated pre-trial proceedings with two other actions against Countrywide (Garcia v. Countrywide Financial Corp., C.A. No. 5:07-1161 (C.D. Cal.); Jenkins v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., C.A. No. 1:08-2935 (N.D. Ill.)). On August 4, 2008, The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a transfer order to U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky (Judge John G. Heyburn II). Information about this case after its transfer may be viewed here: FH-KY-0002.

Robert Lake - 06/09/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Bank or credit provider
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Lending
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Housing
Pattern or Practice
Predatory lending
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
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) Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Four African-American homeowners, individually and on behalf of a putative nationwide class of all other similarly-situated African-American homeowners.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing FH-KY-0002 : Miller v. Countrywide (W.D. Ky.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Written: Dec. 04, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:07-cv-11275 (D. Mass.) 01/20/2009
FH-MA-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 07/12/2007
FH-MA-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Re: Motion to Dismiss 07/30/2008 (571 F.Supp.2d 251) (D. Mass.)
FH-MA-0003-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Transfer Order 08/07/2008 (W.D. Ky.)
FH-MA-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gertner, Nancy (D. Mass.)
FH-MA-0003-0002 | FH-MA-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters Hansen, David Rasmussen (Iowa)
FH-MA-0003-0003
Heyburn, John Gilpin II (Kentucky)
FH-MA-0003-0003
Miller, Robert Lowell Jr. (Indiana)
FH-MA-0003-0003
Motz, J. Frederick (Maryland)
FH-MA-0003-0003
Vratil, Kathryn Hoefer (Kansas)
FH-MA-0003-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Costello, Kevin (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0003-9000
Fanning, Lori A. (Illinois)
FH-MA-0003-0001
Feiner, Gillian R (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0003-0001 | FH-MA-0003-9000
Kavanagh, Shennan Alexandra (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0003-0001 | FH-MA-0003-9000
Klein, Gary E. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0003-0001 | FH-MA-0003-9000
Matthews, Gregory (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0003-0001
Miller, Marvin A. (Illinois)
FH-MA-0003-0001
Reich, Mark S. (New York)
FH-MA-0003-0001
Rothman, Robert M. (New York)
FH-MA-0003-0001
Rudman, Samuel H. (New York)
FH-MA-0003-0001
Sobol, Thomas M. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0003-0001
Van Tine, Matthew E. (Illinois)
FH-MA-0003-0001 | FH-MA-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gonnam, Michelle R. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0003-9000
Hagopian, Michael R (Rhode Island)
FH-MA-0003-9000
Hefferon, Thomas M. (District of Columbia)
FH-MA-0003-9000
McGarry, James W (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0003-9000
Worth, William A (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0003-9000
Other Lawyers Bloomer, Tricia Jean (New York)
FH-MA-0003-9000

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