SMU Law Review


Appraisal discrimination not only persists, but its influence has actually increased in some housing markets. New studies document how contemporary appraisal methods operate as systemic racism, such as how appraisers select from a narrower set of comparable properties when appraising homes in predominantly Black neighborhoods. Recent events have renewed public attention to appraisal discrimination, from shocking news stories to a new multiagency federal task force. In tandem, a new wave of litigation has emerged. This Article examines litigation as one element of a multifaceted approach to combatting appraisal discrimination. After examining the weaknesses of the regulatory framework governing appraisals, this Article turns to the role of the litigator, offering a primer on effective appraisal discrimination litigation. Drawing on interviews with fair housing litigators, it explores the landscape of these cases and their empirical outcomes, identifies the greatest impediments to successful litigation, and offers concrete strategies for overcoming those challenges.

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