The city of Miami has become the third city in recent weeks to sue a bank over charges of mortgage discrimination. First, the city of Providence, Rhode Island, sued Santander Bank, alleging that the lender used predatory lending practices in predominately minority neighborhoods.
Next, the city of Los Angeles sued JPMorgan Chase (JPM), saying the bank “has engaged in a continuous pattern and practice of mortgage discrimination in Los Angeles since at least 2004 by imposing different terms or conditions on a discriminatory and legally prohibited basis.”
Now Miami has joined Los Angeles in suing JPMorgan Chase. The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in Florida, alleges that the bank has engaged in discriminatory mortgage lending practices since at least 2004.
According to a report from Reuters, the lawsuit claims that the bank issued “high-cost loans to minorities in the years before the housing crisis, JPMorgan later refused to refinance the loans on the same terms as it extended to whites, leading to defaults and foreclosures.”
This is just the latest in headaches for one of the country’s largest banks. In November, the bank agreed to pay $13 billion to settle claims of mortgage-backed securities fraud brought by the U.S. government. And the bank has been forced to defend its mortgage lending practices in many courtrooms ever since the mortgage market first began to take a turn for the worse.
A spokesman for JPMorgan told Reuters that the bank will defend itself against Miami’s claims as well. "The Miami City Attorney's claims are baseless and stand contrary to our long record of providing affordable housing to low- to moderate-income families across the region," JPMorgan spokesman Jason Lobo said.