Alert February 24, 2009

Federal Trial Court Rules that Mortgage Brokers Are Necessary Parties to FHA/ECOA Lending Discrimination Lawsuit

An Illinois federal court ruled that plaintiffs’ mortgage brokers were necessary parties in a lawsuit alleging lending discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Plaintiffs alleged discrimination resulting from actions taken by their brokers “at the direction” of the defendant-lenders, and sought injunctive and other relief against the defendant-lenders that would impact plaintiffs’ brokers. In the face of these allegations and requests for relief, the court ruled that the brokers were necessary parties under Fed. R. Civ. 19 because “complete relief” could not be “accorded” without them and their ability “to protected [their] interests” would be “impaired” absent joinder. Click here for Steele v. GE Money Bank, N.D. Ill. No. 08-C-1880 (Feb. 17, 2008).