The City of Philadelphia and Wells Fargo resolved the city's Fair Housing Act (FHA) lawsuit against the bank with an agreement that channels $10 million in grants toward sustainable housing opportunities for the city's low- and moderate-income residents. CCL was part of Philadelphia's legal team in the case.

      Under the agreement between the city and Wells Fargo, the bank will provide $8.5 million in grants for down payments and closing costs for homes purchased in the city by income-eligible individuals and households. Another $1 million will go to city-designated non-profit organizations as part of a foreclosure-prevention program. Finally, $500,00 will help fund the city's land care efforts to revitalize abandoned properties that largely were the subject of foreclosures. Philadelphia will also run a program, "Understanding Philadelphia," for Wells Fargo employees.

     The lawsuit was filed in May 2017 under a tolling agreement between the parties, after CCL, representing the City of Miami, prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of municipal standing to bring actions like this under the FHA. Wells Fargo, nonetheless, sought dismissal of the Philadelphia case, arguing that the city could not meet the pleading standard applicable to the FHA to show its injuries were proximately caused by Wells Fargo. CCL briefed and successfully argued that the relevant standard had been met, as well as successfully opposed interlocutory appeal of that issue. As a result, Judge Anita Brody of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Philadelphia ordered the parties to mediation, where the current agreement was hammered out and the case dismissed.

     Wells Fargo continues to pursue its proximate cause argument, having petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Miami case again after CCL prevailed on the issue in the Eleventh Circuit. CCL's brief in opposition is due in late January.