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Valerie Hletko Quoted in Law360 Article, "Supreme Court Could Cut Cities Out of Fair Lending Fights"

Valerie L. Hletko

Valerie Hletko was quoted in Evan Weinberger's Law360 article, "Supreme Court Could Cut Cities Out of Fair Lending Fights," on July 8, 2016. 

An upcoming battle before the U.S. Supreme Court between the city of Miami and two of the world’s largest banks could go a long way toward determining whether municipalities will be able to bring claims related to the financial crisis, experts say.

The Supreme Court in late June granted a petition from Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. to consider whether the Eleventh Circuit wrongly ruled in Miami’s favor when it revived a fair lending lawsuit the city filed under the Fair Housing Act.

“These plaintiff municipalities seek relief for no alleged victim of discrimination,” said Valerie Hletko, a partner with Buckley Sandler LLP, a firm that represents banks in cases similar to the one headed to the high court.

“Instead, they assert that alleged victims of discriminatory mortgage lending practices defaulted on their loans and went into foreclosure; and that their properties became vacant; and that these vacant properties attracted criminals and became blighted; and that this injured the plaintiff municipalities by increasing the costs of providing government services and decreasing property tax revenues,” Hletko added.

If the Supreme Court overturns the Eleventh Circuit and relies on the more recent rulings, “the bottom would fall out” of the remaining cases filed by municipalities, Hletko said.

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