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As US Releases 2013 Mortgage Data, Disparities at Citi & Chase, Protests of CIT

By Matthew R. Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 23 -- This week, after a UN report slammed the US for mortgage discrimation and with the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the Federal Reserve has released the official 2013 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.

   Inner City Press has reviewed the data, finding for example that in the New York City Metropolitan Statistical Area in 2013 JPMorgan Chase made 12 conventional home purchase loans to whites to every loan to an African American borrower.

  2013 is the tenth year in which the data distinguishes which loans are higher cost, over a federally-defined rate spread of 1.5 percent over Treasury bill yields.

  Back in April releasing the first study of the then-unofficial 2013 data, Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch found that  Chase was more disparate to Latinos then whites, confined them to higher-cost loans above the rate spread 1.81 times more frequently than whites in 2013, versus a 1.64 disparate for African Americans. Citi had a higher denial rate for Latinos (17.3%) than for African American (17.1%).

 Inner City Press and Bronx-based Fair Finance Watch also found that Wells Fargo confined African Americans to higher-cost loans above this rate spread 2.01 times more frequently than whites in 2013  Bank of America also had a 2.01 disparity between African Americans and whites; Citi was 1.83 and Chase 1.64.

  Looking at the official data on an aggregate basis, NCRC found that "reliance on government-backed Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lending for home purchase lending was reduced; the share of FHA home purchase lending declined from 31 percent in 2012 to 24 percent in 2013."

  This comes after the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination recommended

Undertaking prompt, independent and thorough investigation into all cases of discriminatory practices by private actors, including in relation to discriminatory mortgage lending practices, steering, and redlining; holding those responsible to account; and providing effective remedies, including appropriate compensation, guarantees of non-repetition and changes in relevant laws and practices.

  Private actors means banks.

   At Capital One, now the fifth largest bank after the regulators apparently ignored CERD approved its acquisitions from ING and HSBC, African Americans got denied for HMDA-reported loans 61.5% of the time, and Latinos 63.4% of the time.

  At M&T, whose application to acquire Hudson City Savings Bank Fair Finance Watch and NCRC have opposed since October 2012, African American were confirmed to high cost loans 1.81 times more frequently than whites in 2013, and were denied 1.97 times more frequently than whites.

  And so Fair Finance Watch and Inner City Press have re-doubled watchdogging. Challenged by the groups in 2014 and still pending, with FOIA issues, are applications by Valley National Bank, CIT - OneWest and others.

Further studies will follow: watch this site.


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