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Home mortgage lender to pay $1.5 million in discrimination settlement

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A California-based mortgage lender and its owner will settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that they illegally charged Hispanic consumers higher prices for mortgage loans than non-Hispanic white consumers. The price disparities could not be explained by the applicants' credit characteristics or underwriting risk, the FTC said. "We will continue to be vigilant in enforcing fair lending laws and we're not going to tolerate discriminatory practices by mortgage lenders," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. "Lenders who allow discretion in pricing loans can't escape liability simply by burying their heads in the sand. Those lenders must monitor discretionary pricing to ensure that American borrowers are treated equally based on their credit -- not their race, national origin, or gender."

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