Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Class-Action Suit Continues against Citicorp Unit

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Class-Action Suit Continues against Citicorp Unit

Article excerpt

While the plaintiffs in the NationsBank Corp. case (above) are seeking status as a class-action suit, a Chicago-area case involving a unit of Citicorp has already been granted class-action status. The class-action designation, subject to some limits, was made in late June by a federal judge. The case, filed in 1994, was expected to be the subject of a further hearing in late October.

In Buycks-Roberson, Roberson, and Brooks v. Citibank Federal Savings Bank, three African-American applicants who were turned down for refinancing loans claim that the thrift discriminated against them on the basis of race. According to court papers, they claim that Citi discriminated by "subjective application of facially neutral underwriting criteria." Citing Home Mortgage Disclosure Act figures, they claim such discrimination was widespread and that their complaints represent part of a broad class grievance.

According to court papers, Citi disputed both the individual claims and the call for classification as a class-action. On the latter point, Citi lawyers argued that credit, being a matter of evaluation of individual credit factors, could not be turned into a class-action matter. The plaintiffs argued that the matter could indeed be a class-action because they believe Citi redlined predominantly black neighborhoods.

In a 35-page opinion, Judge Ruben Castillo of the Eastern Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted class-action status in a June 29 order. …

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