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Two Widowed Spouses Apppeal, Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure

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Two widowed spouses

of homeowners with reverse-mortgage contracts faced
foreclosure by mortgage lenders after their spouses died. They
brought suit against the Secretary of the Department of Housing
and Urban Development, alleging that HUD’s regulation
defining the conditions under which it would insure a reverse mortgage
agreement was inconsistent with the applicable statute.
The district court dismissed for lack of standing, but we reverse.
The district court correctly reasoned that if relief for appellants’
injuries depended on the independent actions of the lenders “”
deciding whether to foreclose or not “” then appellants would
lack standing. But after, perhaps, a more thorough presentation
before us, we think that, assuming the regulation is unlawful,
HUD itself has the capability to provide complete relief to the
lenders and mortgagors alike, which eliminates the uncertainty
of third-party action that would otherwise block standing.

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