The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation

159 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2008

See all articles by Andrew Nash

Andrew Nash

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law


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 lending regulators. Together, these two litigation strategies helped to establish the basic anti-lending discrimination framework that remains in place today. Rather than view these two strategies as distinct, however, this paper argues that they represented complementary efforts to establish an effective anti-discrimination strategy at local and national levels.

The research for this paper was conducted in a law school seminar at Washington University taught by Professor Margo Schlanger. The research for this paper drew on dozens of fair lending cases from the 1970s to the present; summaries for all of these cases can be found at the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, located on the Washington University School of Law's website.

Keywords: Civil Rights, Litigation, Fair Lending, Bill Taylor, Housing, Injunctions

Suggested Citation

Nash, Andrew, The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation. Washington U. School of Law Working Paper No. 1309365, Available at SSRN: or

Andrew Nash (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

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