Fannie Mae REO Investigation & Case Updates
February 7, 2022
HOPE Fair Housing Center, Open Communities, South Suburban Housing Center, and Other Fair Housing Groups Reach Historic Settlement with Fannie Mae Focused on Rebuilding Communities of Color
The settlement will directly and immediately benefit the communities of color throughout the Chicago/Gary regions and nationwide hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis and its aftermath.
Today, HOPE Fair Housing Center, Open Communities, South Suburban Housing Center along with the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and 17 other local fair housing organizations throughout the country, reached a landmark $53 million agreement with Fannie Mae (formally known as the Federal National Mortgage Association) to resolve a case arising from allegations that Fannie Mae treated foreclosed homes in communities of color unfavorably.
The settlement will help rebuild and strengthen communities of color in 39 metropolitan areas including Chicago, IL and Gary, IN. In the case, plaintiffs alleged that Fannie Mae maintained and marketed its foreclosed homes in predominantly White neighborhoods while allowing similar homes in communities of color to fall into disrepair and that this differential treatment exacerbated the damage caused by the 2008 mortgage crisis and impeded recovery from the crisis in neighborhoods of color. The case was the first time a federal court confirmed the nation’s fair housing laws cover the maintenance and marketing of Real Estate Owned (REO) properties. Full Press Release Available Here
Fannie Mae Investigation Resources
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Previous Press Releases:
December 5, 2016
Mortgage Giant Fannie Mae Accused of Racial Discrimination in 38 U.S. Metro Areas Including Chicago
National Fair Housing Alliance, South Suburban Housing Center and 20 Other Civil Rights Groups File Federal Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Over Neglected Foreclosures
CHICAGO — Today [12/5/16], the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Homewood, Illinois, based South Suburban Housing Center (SSHC), and twenty other fair housing organizations across the country, including HOPE Fair Housing Center in Wheaton, and OPEN Communities in Winnetka, filed a housing discrimination lawsuit against Fannie Mae in Federal District Court in San Francisco, California. The lawsuit alleges that Fannie Mae purposely fails to maintain its foreclosures (also known as real estate owned or “REO” properties) in middle- and working-class African American and Latino neighborhoods to the same level of quality it does for foreclosures it owns in white middle- and working-class neighborhoods. The data supporting the federal lawsuit, which includes substantial photographic evidence, shows a stark pattern of discriminatory conduct by Fannie Mae in the maintenance of its foreclosures.
The lawsuit is the result of a multi-year investigation. During the past several years, NFHA notified Fannie Mae many times of its failure to maintain and market its foreclosed homes in communities of color to the same standard to which it was maintaining and marketing the foreclosed homes it owned in similar, predominantly white neighborhoods. In spite of numerous meetings between NFHA and Fannie Mae to address these disparities in maintenance and marketing, Fannie Mae persisted in its willful neglect of its properties in African American and Latino neighborhoods.