Statute of Limitations and Settlement of Equal Credit Opportunity Act Discrimination Claims Against the Department of Agriculture

Headnotes: 

The Attorney General may not waive the statute of limitations in the litigation or compromise of pending claims against the United States.

Absent a specific provision to the contrary, a statute of limitations on civil actions also should apply to administrative settlements of claims arising under that statute pursuant to 31 U.S.C. § 3702.

31 U S.C. § 3702 does not authorize the Department of Agriculture to pay compensatory damages in an administrative settlement of an ECOA claim if ECOA’s two year statute of limitations has run.

Filing an administrative claim with USDA does not toll ECOA’s statute of limitations.

Although ECOA’s statute of limitations is, in appropriate circumstances, subject to the doctrines of equitable tolling and equitable estoppel, courts have rarely applied either doctrine against the United States.

Updated July 9, 2014