Fair Housing Law Could Backfire

A law intended to clarify non-discriminatory requirements for lenders -- and upping violation fines dramatically -- could actually scare banks away from doing any business in Montgomery County, Maryland.

"National mortgage lenders are pulling out of Montgomery County, one of the most expensive places in the state to buy a home, because the companies don't want to operate under a new local fair-housing law that industry leaders are calling 'a tort lawyer's dream.'"

"The law, which goes into effect March 8, adds examples to the definition of discriminatory lending and raises maximum damages a hundredfold - to $500,000 from $5,000.

Supporters of the ordinance say those who extend credit fairly, regardless of race, gender or similar characteristics, don't have anything to worry about. But Tom Shaner, executive director of the state brokers association, said he knows of five companies that have decided to stop lending in the county because they believe the law is so 'vague' that they can't be sure what it would take to comply. More are considering whether to follow suit, he said."

Full Story: Fair-housing law decried


Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET