The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a final rule that will make it easier for borrowers to win disputes over allegations of racial discrimination. The rule aims to establish uniform standards for when a discriminatory housing practice constitutes an FHA violation. Housing advocates welcome the new rule, while bankers fear they will be the targets of fair-lending lawsuits.

Richard J. Andreano, Jr., a mortgage banking partner in Ballard Spahr's Washington, D.C., office, told American Banker that in some recent decisions the Supreme Court has submitted to the judgment of federal agencies more than it did previously. He also stated: "They're going to base it on their own interpretation and won't particularly care what HUD's interpretation is."