NAACP Sues Bevy of Mortgage Lenders, Alleges Racial Discrimination

From the Associated Press, via Forbes:

The NAACP sued a dozen mortgage lenders on Wednesday, claiming the companies discriminated against blacks by steering them into higher-interest, subprime loans while giving more favorable loan terms to white borrowers. The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. It demands a court order barring the lenders from discriminating against blacks and compelling them to comply with fair housing and credit laws. Among the defendants named in the suit are Ameriquest Mortgage Co., Citigroup Inc., HSBC Finance Corp. and Washington Mutual Inc.

Other lenders named are Fremont Investment & Loan, Option One, WMC Mortgage, Countrywide, Long Beach Mortgage, BNC Mortgage, Accredited Home Lenders, Encore Credit, Bear Stearns First Financial. (There also seems to be some question as to how many lenders were named in the suit, with a scan of major media stories listing anywhere from 11 to 14 lenders.) The case seems to be built upon data from the Center for Responsible Lending and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. And FWIW, I haven’t heard from any sources yet whether or not this case would appear to have any legs or not.

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