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Valerie Hletko Quoted in Law360 Article, "High Court Split in Lending Bias Case 'Anticlimactic'"

Valerie L. Hletko

Valerie Hletko was quoted in Evan Weinberger's Law360 article, "High Court Split in Lending Bias Case 'Anticlimactic'," on March 22, 2016. 

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday limiting discrimination claims that can be brought by spouses under a fair lending law further defined the statute’s applicability, but because the first split decision since Justice Antonin Scalia’s death did not come with a published opinion, the impact on consumer finance laws remains murky.

Handing down a 4-4 decision in Hawkins et al. v. Community Bank of Raymore, the high court affirmed a ruling for the bank in a lawsuit filed by two Missouri women, Valerie Hawkins and Janice Patterson. The pair alleged the bank violated a Federal Reserve rule aimed at preventing discrimination against women based on their marital status by requiring them to serve as guarantors on $2 million in loans taken out by their husbands to fund a failed real estate development.

But because the court issued a one-sentence opinion affirming the Eighth Circuit, it missed an opportunity to clarify how it will look at federal agencies' interpretations of consumer finance laws, said Buckley Sandler LLP partner Valerie Hletko.

"It’s anticlimactic because we have no benefit of the court’s thoughts on deference issues,” she said.

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