Franconia Associates v. United States, 536 U.S. 129, 7 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 129 (2002)

Opinion of the Court

notes also contained the prepayment provision curtailed by the legislation involved in the litigation now before us. That provision read: "Prepayments of scheduled installments, or any portion thereof, may be made at any time at the option of Borrower." Id., at A176. No other provision of the loan documents addressed prepayment.

In 1979, Congress found that many 515 participants had prepaid their mortgages, thus threatening the continued availability of affordable rural housing. Concerned that "these projects [remain] available to low and moderate income families for the entire original term of the loan," H. R. Rep. No. 96-154, p. 43 (1979), Congress amended the National Housing Act to stem the loss of low-cost rural housing due to prepayments, see Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1979, 93 Stat. 1101. In these 1979 amendments, Congress prohibited the FmHA from accepting prepayment of any loan made before or after the date of enactment unless the owner agreed to maintain the low-income use of the rental housing for a 15-year or 20-year period from the date of the loan. 93 Stat. 1134-1135. That requirement could be avoided if the FmHA determined that there was no longer a need for the low-cost housing. Id., at 1135.

The 1979 amendments applied to all program loans, past, present, and future. In 1980, however, Congress further amended the National Housing Act to eliminate retroactive application of the 515 prepayment limitations imposed by the 1979 legislation. The Housing and Community Development Act of 1980, 94 Stat. 1614, provided that the prepayment restrictions would apply only to loans entered into after December 21, 1979, the date that amendment was enacted. 514, 94 Stat. 1671-1672. The 1980 Act also required the Secretary of Agriculture to inform Congress of the repeal's adverse effects, if any, on the availability of low-income housing. Id., at 1672.

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