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Miami win right to sue banks for predatory lending to minorities

Supreme Court Rules Miami Can Sue for Predatory Lending By ADAM LIPTAKMAY 1, 2017/New York Times   WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Miami can sue two banks for predatory lending under the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The case arose from the 2008 financial crisis. Miami sued Bank of America and Wells Fargo, saying that their discriminatory mortgage lending practices had led to a disproportionate number of defaults by minority home buyers and, in turn, to financial harm to the city. Even as the majority of justices ruled that Miami was entitled to sue under the housing law, the court declined to decide whether the city had asserted a direct enough connection between the banks’ actions and the harm it claimed. The court sent the case back to the federal appeals court in Atlanta for further exploration of that question. When the case was argued in the Supreme Court in November, it seemed headed for a 4-4 tie. But the vote on the question of whether Miami could sue under the law was 5 to 3, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal bloc to form a majority. Miami said the banks had intentionally and disproportionately issued risky mortgages on unfavorable terms to black and Hispanic borrowers. That led, the city said, to segregation and foreclosures, hurting its property tax base and requiring it to provide additional municipal services. A trial court dismissed the suits in 2014, saying the city had not demonstrated that its claims were covered by the housing law. The United States Court of Appeals for the... read more

Can Detroit Leaders be this creative; Philly starts Ibuy Black Program

African American leaders, business owners launch ‘iBuyBlack’ discount card by Erin Arvedlund, STAFF WRITER @erinarvedlund | EArvedlund@phillynews.com African American business owners joined with legendary musician Kenny Gamble and religious leader Dr. Alyn Waller on Tuesday to launch a discount card they hope will encourage members of Philadelphia’s black community to spend their dollars at local black-owned businesses. About 80 business owners already have signed up to participate and accept the “iBuyBlack” card, sponsored by the Philadelphia Community of Leaders. “We heard about a similar model in Detroit, so we borrowed from them,” said Michael Rashid, former president and CEO of AmeriHealth/Caritas. “Economists say the average dollar earned by blacks stays in our community for just six hours,” Rashid told a packed audience assembled on the fourth floor of City Hall. “Compare that to the white community, in which dollars circulate for 17 days. That’s wealth-building. “Strong black businesses are good for the entire community, with the potential to lower crime and create jobs,” he said. “All people should make a point of supporting black businesses.” A broad coalition of Philadelphia leaders, City Council members, and business owners got behind development of the iBuyBlack card, which costs $10 and offers discounts of up to 15 percent every time cardholders shop at local companies. “Our goal is to recruit 500 businesses and 10,000 Philadelphians to purchase the iBuyBlack discount card by the end of this year,” said Earl Harvey, sales director for iBuyBlack.org and a member of the African American Chamber of Commerce. Currently, there are about 1,500 cardholders. Proceeds from the cards will go to support the Philadelphia Community of Leaders... read more
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