Financial Services Blog

Showing 3 posts in Discrimination.

ECOA AND SPOUSE-GUARANTOR RIGHTS: ANOTHER COURT, ANOTHER VIEW

On the heels of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in the RL BB Acquisition case that we wrote about a couple of weeks ago comes a contrary decision from the Eighth Circuit on exactly the same issue.  Is a credit guarantor an “applicant” for credit, so that the protections of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) extend directly to a credit guarantor? The Eight Circuit says no. Read More ›

SIXTH CIRCUIT STRENGTHENS SPOUSAL GUARANTY RULE

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s ban against credit discrimination on the basis of race, gender, national origin, and the other prohibited bases listed in the law – including marital status - is not terribly complex.  Since its enactment 40 years ago, the ECOA has generated only a small fraction of the lawsuits that the Truth in Lending Act has spawned.  Nevertheless, one ECOA rule in particular has continuously been an Achilles’ heel for creditors – the Spouse Guarantor Rule.  The Rule is particularly difficult to apply because it attempts to address what would seem to be a logical credit request in the structuring of a loan; that is, the personal guaranty of husband and wife business owners, who often hold jointly-owned assets.  A decision last month by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in RL BB Acquisition, LLC v. Bridgemill Commons Development Group, LLC, has now strengthened the Rule by giving it both sword and shield status in the arsenal of a spouse-guarantor defending the enforcement of a guaranty Read More ›

HUD Sets Uniform Standard for Evaluating Discriminatory Effect Claims

Last month, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) issued a formal rule relating to housing discrimination that went into effect Monday, March 18, 2013.[1] The Fair Housing Act, as codified in 42 USC 45, “prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of dwellings and in other housing-related activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin.”[2] For decades, HUD has interpreted this language to prohibit not just overtly discriminatory practices, but also those “with an unjustified discriminatory effect, regardless of whether there was an intent to discriminate.”[3]  The eleven circuits that have addressed the issue have all concurred, but, over the years, have developed slightly different “methodolog[ies] of proving a claim of discriminatory effects liability.”[4]  In order to establish uniformity in interpretation and application of discriminatory effects liability,[5] HUD issued the new rule entitled “Implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s Discrimination Effects Standard” (the “Rule”).[6] Read More ›

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Attorney Spotlight

Christopher C. Tieke is an associate in Frost Brown Todd's Louisville office, focusing his practice on business litigation. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, with magna cum laude honors; served as an Associate Member of the University of Cincinnati Law Review; and participated in the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic.

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