Challenging Property Tax Foreclosure Policies Under the Fair Housing Act: Lessons from Morningside
Volume 90, Online, Fall 2018
By Sydney Pierce [PDF]

Racial discrimination in the property tax foreclosure context is difficult, if not impossible, to prove in court because the applicable laws and policies are almost always facially race-neutral. Nonwhite people are not explicitly singled out for unequal treatment, yet foreclosure laws and policies often have a demonstrably disproportionate effect on low-income, nonwhite homeowners. Alleging that a law or policy results in a disparate impact avoids the difficulties of proving discriminatory treatment by allowing plaintiffs to show discriminatory effect without the burden of proving discriminatory intent.

Sydney Pierce, J.D., magna cum laude, is a 2018 graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law.