Maurice Wutscher’s Ralph Wutscher Discusses Fair-Lending Doctrines in American Banker

July 24, 2018 — Maurice Wutscher partner Ralph Wutscher is quoted in an American Banker article regarding how the U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately rule on several unresolved fair-lending issues.

One issue is whether disparate impact is applicable under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Another issue deals with proximate cause and whether jurisdictions may claim harm from lending practices alleged to be discriminatory.

In the article, “Fair-lending doctrines could take beating from conservative court,” Mr. Wutscher said a case before the Supreme Court last year, Bank of America Corp. v. City of Miami, “suggested that plaintiffs had to show true causality beyond mere ‘ripples of harm’ in the housing market.”

Meanwhile, cases related to proximate cause are moving forward in such jurisdictions as Cook County, Illinois and Philadelphia and are “‘likely to develop in a fractured manner leading ultimately to an eventual determination by the Supreme Court,'” Mr. Wutscher said.

“‘The courts — including eventually the Supreme Court of the United States — could end up ruling in favor of the banks in a number of different ways, but one way that may be more likely than others would be a ruling that neither [Cook County nor Philadelphia] properly demonstrated that any of the claimed damages were proximately caused by any alleged violation,'” he said.

Mr. Wutscher is based in Maurice Wutscher’s Chicago office where he focuses his practice primarily on representing consumer and commercial financial services companies, including depository and non-depository mortgage lenders, fintech companies of various kinds, credit card issuers, and loan servicers, as well as financial asset buyers and sellers, and other financial services providers. He also has substantial experience representing auto dealers and depository and non-depository auto finance companies.

He represents the lending and financial services industry as a litigator, and as regulatory compliance counsel.