NationsBank Corp. won a round in a fair-lending case when a U.S. district court judge refused to grant class-action status.

Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, in an April 22 order, said she couldn't grant the request because, the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs did not file it within 90 days of the suit, as required. The group claims the bank rejected qualified minority loan applicants.

NationsBank lawyer Andrew Sandler declined to comment. But John Relman, director of the fair-housing project for the committee, said he is confident the group can "rectify" the error.

"That is not going to have any long-term effect on our case," Mr. Relman said.

The judge also rejected three NationsBank motions trying to dismiss the case. The case now proceeds to discovery, the fact gathering process of a lawsuit.

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