NAACP Sues Leading Mortgage Lenders

Tuesday, 17 March 2009, 12:27 | Category : Bad Credit Loan Tips, Mortgage News, Published Home Financing articles, Subprime Home Loans
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The NAACP, contending that several major mortgage lenders forced African Americans into bad mortgages that sparked a foreclosure crisis, filed a class-action suit last week in a Los Angeles court. Among the culprits, says the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights organization, are Wells Fargo and HSBC, which steered Blacks into bad credit mortgage loans, even in cases when their credit qualifications such parameters as credit scores, incomes and down payments were better or identical to those of “White” borrowers.

Watch Video on NAACP Sueing Wells Fargo and HSBC for Discrimination

African-American homebuyers have been nearly four times more likely to receive a bad credit home mortgage loan than White borrowers, and six times more likely to get a subprime rate when refinancing mortgages, NAACP co-lead counsel Austin Tighe told the Associated Press. The lawsuit is “totally unfounded and reckless,” argues Melissa Murray, vice president of corporate communications for Wells Fargo & Co., whose bank is receiving federal bailout funds. “We have never tolerated, and will never tolerate, discrimination in any way, shape or form in any of our business practices, products or services.”

Officials at HSBC declined to discuss specifics of the case, saying it does not comment on litigation, AP reported. “HSBC stands by its fair lending and consumer protection practices, and we are confident that we are treating our customers fairly and with integrity,” said Neil Brazil, vice president for public affairs. The NAACP also has lawsuits pending against a dozen other subprime mortgage lenders.

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