M&S LAWSUIT RESULTS IN STUNNING HUD POLICY CHANGE: THOUSANDS OF SPOUSES OF REVERSE MORTGAGE BORROWERS NO LONGER FACE FORECLOSURE
On June 12, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued new policy guidance that allow “surviving spouses” of reverse mortgages to stay in their homes.
M&S, along with co-counsel AARP Foundation Litigation, filed suit in 2011 on behalf of several surviving spouses, alleging that HUD had violated federal law stating that spouses of reverse mortgage borrowers should be considered “homeowners,” even if they are not listed on the mortgage. A federal court ruled in plaintiffs’ favor in September 2013. As a result of that victory, HUD changed the standard language in newly issued mortgages so that spouses will no longer face foreclosure after the death of the borrower. With this recent announcement, spouses in pre-August 2014 mortgages will be protected as well.
Based on estimates by HUD and a reverse mortgage industry organization, the number of surviving spouses who will benefit from this relief numbers in the tens of thousands.
M&S partner Craig Briskin, who represented the plaintiffs in several reverse mortgage cases, said, “We are thrilled that the lawsuits we filed beginning in 2011 on behalf of surviving spouses have helped to produce this excellent result. We have already heard from our clients, and other reverse mortgage borrowers and surviving spouses, about what a profound difference HUD’s new policy will make in their lives. Because of this new policy, seniors will no longer face foreclosure soon after they lose their spouses, adding misery to heartbreak. We stand ready to work with HUD and reverse mortgage lenders to ensure that all surviving spouses can stay in their homes, just as federal law requires.”
NFL’s “ROONEY RULE,” CHAMPIONED BY MEHRI & DURU, ADOPTED BY ENGLISH SOCCER LEAGUE
On June 4th, the UK Football League voted to enact an analog to the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which works to increase the number of black and minority head coaches in the sport. It’s the culmination of years of effort, going back to Cyrus Mehri’s initial visit to England at the request of the Professional Footballers’ Association in 2011.
Pending ratification, which is a near certainty, the English Football League’s new interviewing requirements – mandating that each Club interview one black or ethnic minority (BME) candidate before hiring a head coach or manager – will go into effect in advance of the 2016-2017 season. Currently, there are only six BME managers among the Football League’s 72 Clubs.
Cyrus, architect of the Rooney Rule in the NFL, applauded the news, noting, “This is a signature moment and an important victory, not just for English football, but for soccer around the world. We hope that their remarkable step towards fairness and equality in sport stands as a model for other clubs and leagues who wish to truly achieve a more level playing field. Only through years of tireless work from PFA President Gordon Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive Bobby Barnes, Commissioner Greg Clarke, House of Lords Sir Herman Ouseley and activist groups like Kick It Out and the FARE Network, did we finally finish the play.”
PFA Deputy Chief Executive, Bobby Barnes, returned the praise, stating, “Our thanks go to our colleagues Cyrus Mehri and Professor Jeremi Duru in Washington, who have continued to provide us with their expertise and support throughout the process.”
Read more from the BBC, Daily Mirror, Guardian, Sky Sports, Express and Daily Mail, or read the complete press release from the Professional Footballers’ Association praising the “landmark achievement” from the League.
ANGOFF PRESENTED WITH LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR HEALTH ADVOCACY
Finally, kudos to our colleague, M&S Partner Jay Angoff, who was presented with the Dr. James R. Kimmey Lifetime Achievement Award from the Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance at their 8th annual luncheon, which took place Wednesday, June 24th. The award recognizes individuals who have devoted their life’s work to help all Missouri health consumers – especially those who are uninsured, underserved, and often forgotten. Jay is the former Director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, as well as the first Director of the Office of Consumer Information and Oversight at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, where he oversaw the drafting of rules implementing provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Congrats, Jay!