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M&T Bank granted more time to respond to NYC lawsuit

M&T Bank has more time to respond to a lawsuit filed against the Buffalo-based bank by the Fair Housing Justice Center earlier this month in New York City.

U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest granted an extension until March 20, as requested by an attorney for M&T. The Buffalo-based bank’s response to the suit had been due Friday.

“M&T is requesting this extension so that it may have additional time to complete its investigation of the facts in the alleged complaint,” said Andrew W. Schilling, a partner in the Buckley Sandler law firm in New York City, in a court document.

Diane L. Houk, an attorney for the plaintiffs, consented to the request, Schilling said.

Schilling said the change will “not necessitate” the extension of other deadlines in the case, including an initial pretrial conference scheduled for April 7.

The New York City-based Fair Housing Justice Center filed suit against M&T on Feb. 3 in federal court in Manhattan, accusing the bank of discrimination in mortgage lending practices on the basis of race and national origin.

The Fair Housing Justice Center said it filed suit based on the results of an investigation in conducted in 2013 and 2014, in which nine of its “testers” visited an M&T loan office in Manhattan. In comments after the suit was filed, M&T said its record demonstrates “deep commitment to fair lending and to serving all of our neighbors in all of our communities.”