African American and Hispanic women continue to receive disparate treatment in the mortgage lending process, according to a new report from the National Council of Negro Women.
The report, “Assessing the Double Burden: Examining Racial and Gender Disparities in Mortgage Lending,” indicates that in many cases, disparities by race widened as income levels increased — one of several signs that discrimination continues in the industry.
“The financial crisis has demonstrated that the key to a robust and sustainable economy is the inclusion and full participation of all households in an efficiently functioning and responsible financial system,” said John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, which conducted the research. “This report documents troubling lending disparities that threaten to undermine the wealth and security of the most financially vulnerable Americans.”
Data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for 2007 (the latest year for which data is publicly available) for 100 of the largest metropolitan areas (MSA) in the U.S. was examined for the report, which includes a ranking of those areas by worst overall disparities.
According to the report, middle- and upper-income black females were at least twice as likely to receive high-cost loans as middle- and upper-income white females in more than 84% of the MSAs. Hispanic females in the same income group were at least twice as likely to receive high-cost loans as white females in the income group in almost 62% of the MSAs.
“In an era of change, this report shows that there is still much more work to be done,” said Avis Jones-DeWeever of the National Council of Negro Women. “Results like those uncovered by this study make it painfully clear that for far too many, fair treatment in mortgage lending remains an elusive and still unfulfilled goal.”
The 10 worst metropolitan areas for overall lending disparities:
1. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina
2. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota
3. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin
4. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut
5. Washington D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Virginia
6. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Illinois
7. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio
8. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Connecticut
9. Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, California
(Source: The report)