On January 19, 2015, the New York Attorney General announced a settlement with a regional bank for possible discriminatory lending practices. The settlement was reached after the Attorney General investigated the bank for categorically excluding borrowers who lived in certain minority neighborhoods from obtaining loans, designating loans from minority areas as an “undesirable loan type” based solely on the location of the property, and imposing a minimum mortgage requirement that rendered most of the bank’s mortgage products unavailable in minority neighborhoods. As part of the settlement, the bank agreed to open two new branches in minority areas, create a special financing program providing a total of $500,000 in discounts or subsidies for borrowers from minority neighborhoods, and devote $250,000 to direct advertising to minority communities. The bank also agreed to eliminate its minimum mortgage amount, pay $150,000 in costs to the State of New York, implement a fair lending training program, and submit to reporting and monitoring requirements.
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