On September 10, the New York Office of the Attorney General (NY AG) announced a settlement with a state bank to resolve claims of discriminatory lending in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and state and local law. The NY AG alleged that the bank engaged in unlawful redlining by failing to make residential mortgages available to predominantly African-American neighborhoods in the city of Buffalo.
As part of the settlement, the bank agreed to comply fully with lending laws; revise its lending policy to include the previously excluded areas and eliminate minimum dollar requirements for mortgages; provide $100 thousand in discounted fees, grants, and subsidized financing in the affected area; invest $200 thousand in marketing in the affected area; and provide training to all employees on non-discriminatory lending. The bank also agreed to pay $50,000 in costs and fees to the NY AG and submit compliance audits to the NY AG. Further, the bank will establish a $475 thousand Housing Opportunity Fund for the City of Buffalo, to support home ownership and offer other benefits to home buyers in that area.