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Judge Dismissed Miami Predatory Lending Lawsuits

A Miami judge dismissed Miami predatory lending lawsuits as reported by the Miami Herald. Judge William Dimitrouleas dismissed Miami predatory lending lawsuits filed against Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.

The city of Miami accused the banks of predatory lending practices that worsened the foreclosure crisis and caused the city to suffer financially due to a loss of revenue. Abandoned properties are prone to vandalism and squatters which increases the burden on the city for services to these communities.

In addition, as home values plummeted in areas with large concentrations of foreclosed and abandoned properties, the assessed value for taxes fell, resulting in a loss of tax revenue.

Reasons Judge Dismissed Miami Predatory Lending Lawsuits

The judge dismissed the cases because the statute of limitations had expired on some of the cases cited and he did not believe the city proved the correlation between the 1968 Fair Housing Act and the city’s lawsuit. As a result, the judge ruled there was no basis for the lawsuit.

Lawsuit Against J.P. Morgan Chase Pending

In Miami, these recent rulings leave only the lawsuit against J.P. Morgan Chase pending in the courts. Judge Dimitrouleas presides over that case as well. 

The legal outcome of these three cases may affect similar lawsuits filed in California and Georgia. In Florida, similar cases were filed against the same four banks by the city of Miami Gardens.

Miami Gardens Lawsuits

Miami Gardens, Florida, the largest African American community in Florida, also sued Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase for predatory lending practices. The same law firm represents Miami Gardens, however, three different judges are scheduled to rule on the Miami Gardens cases.

Miami Gardens alleges that these four banks participated in discriminatory lending practices since 2004 causing the city to suffer financial harm. The City of Miami Gardens is seeking financial damages in addition to an injunction that would require the banks change the predatory lending practices in the future.

Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America have all failed to have similar lawsuits dismissed in Los Angeles, California where it was deemed enough evidence existed for the lawsuits to move forward. 

What is Predatory Lending?

Predatory lending practices occur when banks purposely target low income or minority communities and service those communities with loans that carry much larger interest rates or less desirable terms.

The cases in Miami and Miami Gardens are filed by the cities themselves seeking damages for the loss of revenue they believe they experienced as a direct result of predatory lending practices.

Individuals have also filed lawsuits claiming discriminatory lending practices in various cities across the country. Many of these lawsuits resulted in financial damages being awarded to the homeowner.

Lanigan and Lanigan, P.L., attorney Eric Lanigan works with clients in Winter Park Florida. Consult an attorney and schedule a legal consultation with an attorney who is qualified and experienced in handling complex real estate cases. Through a professional legal consultation, an attorney will be able to give you legal advice related to your individual circumstance.

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