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M&T, Fair Housing Justice Center granted lawsuit extensions

A judge on Friday agreed to delay the pretrial conference for a lawsuit filed against M&T Bank by the New York City-based Fair Housing Justice Center.

The conference was scheduled for April 7 in New York City, but lawyers for M&T and the Fair Housing Justice Center jointly requested a three-week extension. U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest set May 1 as the new date.

Forrest also granted a request to give M&T additional time to submit its response to the lawsuit filed in early February. M&T’s response was due Friday, but the two parties requested April 8 as the new deadline. It is the second such extension of the filing deadline.

The suit accuses the bank of discrimination in mortgage lending practices on the basis of race and national origin. M&T has said its record demonstrates “deep commitment to fair lending and to serving all of our neighbors in all of our communities.”

Andrew W. Schilling, an attorney for M&T in the case, said in a court document that since the lawsuit was filed, the two parties have been informally exchanging documents and information “in an effort to narrow the issues in this matter.”