This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Art Higgins, et al.,
Summit Mortgage Company,
Hennepin County District Court
File No. MC0014093
Thomas J. White, Klein & White, 4570 West 77th Street, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55435 (for appellants)
John H. Brennan, 125 West Lake Street, Wayzata, MN 55391 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Willis, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellants Art and Jayn Higgins sued respondent Summit Mortgage Company claiming a violation of the Fair Housing Act after respondent denied their application for a mortgage. Appellants contend the district court erred in granting summary judgment to respondent based on a determination that the applicable two-year statute of limitations had run. We affirm.
The construction and applicability of a statute of limitations is a question of law, reviewed de novo. Benigni v. County of St. Louis, 585 N.W.2d 51, 54 (Minn. 1998).
Appellants argue that the district court erred by determining that the statute of limitations barred their action. Appellants claim that they timely commenced their action, contending the discrimination continued until they received a letter from respondent indicating why respondent denied appellants’ credit application. We disagree.
Appellants cite 15 U.S.C.A. §1691 (d)(1)-(6) to support their contention that they could not sue until they received a formal written notice of credit refusal. But as the district court correctly noted, that statute deals with consumer credit and does not apply to appellants’ Fair Housing Act claim.
Appellants further argue that the denial of credit letter terminated respondent’s discriminatory conduct and that until they received the letter, respondent could have claimed that it did not reject appellants’ credit application. But at the time appellants’ financing fell through, the property appellants were interested in became unavailable. Further, we find that appellants’ action of obtaining an attorney and that attorney sending a letter of inquiry to respondent conclusively demonstrated that appellants felt their credit application had been rejected. Thus, we agree with the district court’s reasoning that respondent’s letter was merely a written affirmation of the earlier denial of credit. Because any discrimination necessarily took place prior to the end of October 1996, when appellants’ attorney sent a letter to respondent concerning the credit denial, the two-year statute of limitations expired prior to appellants’ January 1999 initiation of this action. Thus, we conclude that the district court did not err in determining that the statute of limitations bars appellants’ action.