Golden Gate University Law Review


The Ninth Circuit’s decision in Maya v. Centex addresses the impacts of the sub-prime mortgage crisis on fiscally responsible homeowners. Maya is the first appellate decision to potentially permit homeowners to assert claims against developers for injuries related to market-wide decline in property values. In Maya, the Ninth Circuit decided only the narrow question of whether plaintiff-homeowners have constitutional standing to pursue claims against defendant-developers for injuries that were allegedly caused by the defendants’ high-risk marketing and financing behaviors. Although the Ninth Circuit did not resolve the plaintiffs’ claims, it held that the plaintiffs have constitutional standing to assert their claims against the defendants. In doing so, the Ninth Circuit may have extended liability to developers for speculative injuries that may not be fairly traceable to the developers’ challenged conduct.