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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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Bank or credit provider
Housing Sales/Rental
Race discrimination
Disparate Impact
Pattern or Practice
Predatory lending
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
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.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filing Year 2007
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing FH-KY-0002 : Miller v. Countrywide (W.D. Ky.)
Additional Resources
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  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Date: Dec. 4, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis Law Student)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

1:07-cv-11275 (D. Mass.)
FH-MA-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/20/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
FH-MA-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/12/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Re: Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 67] (571 F.Supp.2d 251) (D. Mass.)
FH-MA-0003-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/30/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Transfer Order [ECF# 69] (W.D. Ky.)
FH-MA-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/07/2008
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)
Heyburn, John Gilpin II (Kentucky)
Miller, Robert Lowell Jr. (Indiana)
Motz, J. Frederick (Maryland)
Vratil, Kathryn Hoefer (Kansas)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Costello, Kevin (Massachusetts)
Fanning, Lori A. (Illinois)
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)
Miller, Marvin A. (Illinois)
Reich, Mark S. (New York)
Rothman, Robert M. (New York)
Rudman, Samuel H. (New York)
Sobol, Thomas M. (Massachusetts)
Van Tine, Matthew E. (Illinois)
FH-MA-0003-0001 | FH-MA-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gonnam, Michelle R. (Massachusetts)
Hagopian, Michael R (Rhode Island)
Hefferon, Thomas M. (District of Columbia)
McGarry, James W (Massachusetts)
Worth, William A (Massachusetts)
Other Lawyers Bloomer, Tricia Jean (New York)

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