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536 U. S. ____ (2002)

This case concerns the timeliness of claims filed against the United States under the Tucker Act, 28 U. S. C. �1491. Petitioners are property owners who participated in a federal program to promote development of affordable rental housing in areas not traditionally served by conventional lenders. In exchange for low-interest mortgage loans issued by the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA), petitioners agreed to devote their properties to low- and middle-income housing and to abide by related restrictions during the life of the loans.

Petitioners allege that the promissory notes governing their loans guaranteed the borrower the right to prepay at any time and thereby gain release from the federal program and the restrictions it places on the use of a participating owner’s property. In the suits that yielded the judgments before us, petitioners charged that Congress abridged that release right in the Emergency Low Income Housing Preservation Act of 1987 (ELIHPA or Act), 101 Stat. 1877, as amended, 42 U. S. C. �1472(c) (1994 ed. and Supp. V). That Act placed permanent restraints upon prepayment of FmHA loans. Petitioners asserted in their complaints that ELIHPA effected both a repudiation of their contracts and a taking of their property in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

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