The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday by a 5-4 vote in the case of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project that disparate impact claims can legally be brought about under the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The disparate impact issue has become a heated one in housing in the last few years, especially since the Obama Administration passed a rule allowing disparate impact claims – which are allegations made based on neutral practices that may have a discriminatory effect – under the Fair Housing Act in February 2013.
The Supreme Court's ruling was widely praised by lawmakers and government leaders on Thursday. HUD Secretary Julián Castro said, "Today's SCOTUS opinion upholding disparate impact analysis under Fair Housing Act is a strong victory for equal opportunity in our country," while Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, said, "The disparate impact standard is absolutely essential to providing for fair housing throughout our nation."
Approximately 94.2 percent of first-lien mortgages serviced by eight national banks were current and performing at the end of the first quarter, an improvement of more than a full percentage point from a year earlier, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's Q1 2015 Quarterly Mortgage Metrics Report released Thursday. Also, Foreclosure activity declined substantially year-over-year in Q1. The number of properties in the process of foreclosure at the end of the quarter dropped down to slightly more than 299 thousand, a decline of 30 point 8 percent from the same quarter a year earlier.