Senior Attorney and Owner, Dane Law LLC
Steve Dane discusses his experience as a civil rights attorney in Ohio working on fair housing issues during the 1980s. Dane began working on fair housing cases first with the Toledo Fair Housing Center and later with the National Fair Housing Alliance. He discusses the legal strategies he and his fellow plaintiffs’ attorneys pursued in mortgage lending discrimination cases. Dane also discusses the ways in which housing market practices disproportionately, although unintentionally, impacted majority-Black neighborhoods pre-crisis.
November 15, 2021
A litigator with over four decades of experience, Stephen M. Dane, JD, is currently the owner and head of Dane Law LLC. He has also served as President of the Toledo Bar Association from 2010-2011. Previous to establishing Dane Law LLC, Dane worked at Relman, Dane and Colfax PLLC, the Perrysburg, Ohio, Municipal Court, and Cooper and Walinksi. Dane is the recipient of a myriad of awards and honors for his civil rights work in combatting discriminatory mortgage practices, such as the HUD Fair Housing Award for Outstanding Contribution and Commitment to Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Notably, Dane pioneered cutting edge litigation and theories under the Fair Housing Act. Dane holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from the University of Toledo.
Stephen M. Dane. “Eliminating the Labyrinth: A Proposal to Simplify Federal Mortgage Lending Discrimination Laws.” 26 U. MICH. J. L. REFORM 527 (1993).
This article, written by Steve Dane in 1993, focuses on the structure and regulation of the residential mortgage lending market with regards to discrimination. He discusses the importance of home ownership and how best to make mortgages equitable from a policy standpoint. He also introduces a proposal to simply the structure of the market so mortgage lending discrimination laws could be more easily applied, monitored, and enforced by both public and private entities.
Stephen Koff. “HUD tries to crack down on discrimination by insurers, while insurers deny they’re discriminating.” cleveland.com, January 11, 2019.
This article discusses a locally prevalent, but nationally concerning trend regarding a noticed disparity in homeowner’s insurance rates based off the racial and demographic makeup of a particular neighborhood. Steve Dane, a housing and civil rights lawyer, is quoted in the article in support of the HUD, which has been sent through court battles by the property insurance industry. He commends the HUD for better understanding the nature of underwriting and the disparate impact standard, which is the basis of the discrimination investigation, and standing its ground.
Krechevsky, David. “Feds Reviewing Appraisal Standards, Qualifications.” National Mortgage Professional Magazine, October 20, 2021.
This article discusses the review of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications nationwide in the real estate industry relating to equity. The Appraisal Subcommittee is reviewing requirements regarding fairness, equity, diversity, and objectivity, and working with a private association, CLEAR, focused on regulatory excellence. Members in the consortium include the National Fair Housing Alliance, Steve Dane, who is an expert on fair housing and civil rights law, and Better Mortgage Corp. There is a specific focus on barriers to entry for women and minorities –the agency hopes to mitigate these through the review.
Dane, Stephen M. “Disparate-Impact Analysis in the Mortgage Lending Context.” Banking Law Journal, vol. 115, no. 9, October 1998, p. 900-914. HeinOnline
Steve Dane writes in this journal article on the concept of disparate-impact. This was used in cases against lenders if a mortgage lending practice or policy was shown to exclude people in a protected category (ex. Race, gender, etc…) at substantially higher rate than it excluded other people not in the protected category. The article discusses the general concept, practices and policies vulnerable to this charge, and how lenders can minimize exposure to disparate impact.