Black, Hispanic Home Buyers Offered Higher Mortgage Rates
It seems it’s not enough that black people are having it rougher than anyone else when it comes to unemployment. Now it seems that black and Hispanics are both having a tough go of it when it comes to getting fair mortgage rates.
A Federal Reserve report came out showing that 54.7% of black borrowers paid a higher interest rate than average, up from 32.4% in 2004. For Hispanics, that figure was 46.1% higher than norm, up 20.3% from 2004.
The fact that it was already higher should have been troubling; that it’s gone up more than double for both groups is alarming. Not to say that some white homeowners haven’t suffered either. That figure is 17.2% paying higher interest rates than the norm, up from 8.7%. In this case, though, misery doesn’t love company because there’s still a troubling inequity about it all.
Now, with all of that, the Federal Reserve did its best in saying that no conclusions should be drawn from the report about discriminatory lending, even though the report also contained something that said black borrowers were more likely to be turned down for approval than either Hispanic or white buyers.
I’m not afraid to draw a conclusion; of course it’s racism, plain and simple. The higher unemployment and the higher mortgage rates and the higher denial of loans is definitely racist in nature. How many numbers and statistics and how much more history will it take before these people, and almost everyone else, realizes it and calls it out for what it is?
At least Rep Barney Frank of Massachusetts kind of called it out: “We continue to face a national problem in the fact that racial and ethnic differences mark different outcomes in the acquisition of mortgages. I don’t believe this problem is caused solely by racial or ethnic prejudice, but it also cannot be argued that these factors to not contribute to the problem.”
By the way, this isn’t anything new. Last year, the same type of report came out, and representatives from my “three favorite banks” had something either said about them or by them. For instance, after a report stated that Bank of America gave blacks higher rates 1.88 times more frequently than whites, and denied the applications to Latinos 1.62 times more frequently than whites, a spokesman for Bank of America said this: “We are in the process of analyzing our data, however we are confident that all the differences will be explained. In general, we are very pleased with our 2007 performance. We increased the origination 20 percent across the board. In addition, 28 percent of our loans went to moderate and low income borrowers and 33 percent were to minority borrowers.”
When that study, done by Inner City Press, found that Citigroup in 2007 extended higher-cost loans at a rate 2.33 times higher than whites, a representative from Citigroup said this: “We consider each applicant by the same objective criteria, which are blind to race, ethnicity, gender and any other prohibited basis. These objective criteria include FICO scores, loan to value (LTV) ratios, debt to income (DTI) ratios and other key factors. Using these and other objective criteria allows us to set rates that are consistent with the risk profile of each borrower and gives millions of consumers the opportunity to own a home.”
Chase had nothing to say, but in 2007, blacks paid a rate 2.44 times higher than whites, while Hispanics paid a rate 1.6 times higher.
Anone else see noses growing? No, it’s not racism; really?