Richard J. Ritter

Senior Counsel

Richard J. Ritter is a consulting attorney for the Committee, specializing in bank and insurance redlining litigation, predatory lending, and public accommodation civil rights cases.

Mr. Ritter joined the Committee in 1995 after working for 23 years as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice where he litigated cases of national significance in virtually all areas of civil rights enforcement. Mr. Ritter headed the Justice Department’s trial team in ground breaking mortgage lending and insurance redlining lawsuits, and in 1994, was the Justice Department’s representative on the federal banking regulator task force that produced the first inter-agency policy statement on mortgage lending discrimination. In 1992 Mr. Ritter received the Justice Department ‘s prestigious John Marshall award for his work on mortgage lending cases and a precedent setting racial steering case against the New York City Housing Authority.

At the Committee Mr. Ritter has worked with participating firms on several highly successful mortgage lending discrimination cases under the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act, including a major class action lawsuit against NationsBank (now Bank of America) alleging its marketing and mortgage underwriting practices discriminated against African Americans in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and a precedent setting “reverse redlining” lawsuit against another DC lender, Capitol City Mortgage Corporation, that targeted African Americans for predatory subprime loans.

Mr. Ritter has also spearheaded with Committee co-counsel over 10 wide ranging public accommodations lawsuits against hotels and restaurants in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that discriminated African American visitors attending an annual motor cycle rally known as Black Bike Week.

Education

  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center
  • BA, magna cum laude, University of Notre Dame

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio

Publications

  • “The Decatur Federal Case – A Summary Report.” Mortgage Lending, Racial Discrimination, and
    Federal Policy, edited by Goering & Wienk, Urban Institute Press (1996)
  • “Racial Justice and the Role of the U.S. Department of Justice in Combating Insurance Redlining.”
    edited by Gregory Squires, Urban Institute Press (1997)
  • “Redlining: The Justice Department Cases.” Mortgage Banking magazine (September 1995)  
  • Mr. Ritter was prominently featured in a Washingtonian Magazine profile, “Say Uncle: When the Feds Accuse You of Discrimination it Can Be a Lose-Lose Situation, Chevy Chase Bank Decided Not to Fight.” (Kim Eisler, July 1995)

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