Case: National Urban League v. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

1:76-00718 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: April 26, 1976

Closed Date: May 3, 1978

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In April 1976, eleven civil rights groups, led by the National Urban League, filed suit against the four federal lending regulatory agencies, alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601-3619, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the Defendants, all federal agencies with regulatory authority over private lenders, had failed to prevent race-based discrimination in residential lending. The Pl…

In April 1976, eleven civil rights groups, led by the National Urban League, filed suit against the four federal lending regulatory agencies, alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601-3619, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the Defendants, all federal agencies with regulatory authority over private lenders, had failed to prevent race-based discrimination in residential lending. The Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint, filed in July 1976, served as the basis for litigation during the next year and a half. U.S. District Court Judge Gerhard Gesell pressured the parties to enter into settlement talks in the winter of 1976-77.

During the course of the litigation, three out of the four Defendants the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (March 1977), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (May 1977), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (November 1977) entered into settlement agreements with the plaintiffs. These settlement agreements required the Defendant-agencies to implement formal non-discrimination policies; to collect data concerning the practices of the regulated lenders; to study the data to detect patterns of race-based discrimination; and to cooperate with the plaintiff-organizations to implement further measures, if necessary. These settlement agreements lapsed around 1980 without further agreement about formal cooperation between the plaintiff-organizations and the Defendant-agencies.

The fourth Defendant-agency, the Federal Reserve, did not settle with the plaintiffs and ultimately won dismissal on the lawsuit on standing grounds, in May 1978. National Urban League v. Office of Comptroller of Currency, 78 F.R.D. 543 (D.D.C. 1978). However, immediately after winning the lawsuit, the Federal Reserve agreed to voluntarily implement many of the provisions found in the other three agencies settlement agreements.

Many of the plaintiffs lawyers in the case were active in Washington D.C.-based fair housing litigation in the early-to-mid 1970s. Two of the leading organizations in this field were the Center for National Policy Review (CNPR), a law school clinic associated with Catholic University, and the National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing, Inc. (NCDH), a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit.

Summary Authors

Andrew Nash (6/2/2008)

People


Judge(s)

Gesell, Gerhard Alden (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Greenberg, Jack (New York)

Krueger, Karen (District of Columbia)

Kuhn, Roger S. (District of Columbia)

Mulkeen, Jay (District of Columbia)

Nabrit, James M. III (New York)

Searing, Daniel A. (District of Columbia)

Shore, Harold B. (District of Columbia)

Sloane, Martin (District of Columbia)

Taylor, William L. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Gesell, Gerhard Alden (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Greenberg, Jack (New York)

Krueger, Karen (District of Columbia)

Kuhn, Roger S. (District of Columbia)

Mulkeen, Jay (District of Columbia)

Nabrit, James M. III (New York)

Searing, Daniel A. (District of Columbia)

Shore, Harold B. (District of Columbia)

Sloane, Martin (District of Columbia)

Taylor, William L. (District of Columbia)

Warren, Michael W (District of Columbia)

Williams, Charles E. III (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Babcock, Barbara Allen (District of Columbia)

Goldberg, Daniel J. (District of Columbia)

Gunther, John E. (District of Columbia)

Kennedy, Brian (District of Columbia)

Rader, Robert M (District of Columbia)

Silbert, Earl J. (District of Columbia)

Steinmeyer, Anthony J. (District of Columbia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Reuss, Henry S (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Letter to the FDIC

May 10, 1976 Correspondence

[Re: FDIC's Fair Lending Enforcement]

National Urban League v. Office of the Comptroller

May 10, 1976 Correspondence

Amended Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive and Other Relief

National Urban League v. Office of the Comptroller

July 13, 1976 Complaint

Letter to Judge Gerhard from Harold B. Shore

National Urban League v. Office of the Comptroller

Jan. 18, 1977 Notice Letter

Summary of Status of Settlement Negotiation

National Urban League v. Office of the Comptroller

Feb. 9, 1977 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Summary of Conference in Judge Gesell's Chambers

National Urban League v. Office of the Comptroller

No Court

Feb. 16, 1977 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Summary of Status of Settlement Negotiations

National Urban League v. Office of the Comptroller

Feb. 16, 1977 Pleading / Motion / Brief

[Re: National Urban League, et al v. Comptroller of the Currency, et al (D. D. C. No. 76-0718)]

National Urban League v. Office of the Comptroller

Feb. 23, 1977 Correspondence

Order/Settlement Agreement

March 23, 1977 Settlement Agreement

FDIC Enters Agreement for Dismissal from Fair Housing Lending Suit

National Urban League v. Office of the Comptroller

May 16, 1977 Press Release

Resources

Title Description External URL

Dream Deregulated: The Politics of U.S. Housing Finance, 1968-1985

Robert Bruce Henderson

This study bridges scholarship on fair housing and community reinvestment with that on the deregulation of housing finance, and contributes to a deeper understanding of the politics of opportunity in… Jan. 1, 2013 https://drum.lib.umd.edu/...

Discriminatory Effects of Credit Scoring on Communities of Color

Lisa Rice & Deidre Swesnik

This Article focuses primarily on the use of credit scores by lenders, not other industries. It provides an abbreviated overview of other critical issues facing consumers in regard to credit scoring … Jan. 1, 2013 https://racism.org/...

The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation

Andrew Nash

This paper describes the origins of fair lending litigation in the 1970s. It documents two litigation strategies, one aimed at discriminatory lenders in local communities and a second at the federal … Dec. 4, 2008 http://ssrn.com/...

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 26, 1976

Closing Date: May 3, 1978

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The National Urban League, filing on behalf of a woman who suspected that sex discrimination played a role in a bank's decision to deny her application for a home loan.

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Federal

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal

Comptroller of the Currency, Federal

Federal Reserve Board, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None