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NAACP Landmark Discriminatory Lending Lawsuit

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Thursday, August 23, 2007

The NAACP filed suit in Los Angeles federal court against 14 of the country’s largest lenders, alleging systematic, institutionalized racism in sub-prime home mortgage lending. This is the first known lawsuit that challenges such lending practices on a broad scale. The suit was announced at the NAACP’s 98th annual convention, themed “Power Beyond Measure,” in Detroit through July 12.

According to the lawsuit, African American homeowners who received sub-prime mortgage loans from these lenders were more than 30 percent more likely to be issued a higher rate loan than Caucasian borrowers with the same qualifications.

“We are asking our members and all African American borrowers who bought or refinanced a home in the last five years to come forward and tell us their stories or at least re-examine their mortgages,” said NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Julian Bond. “They can help us correct these egregious, demoralizing practices that too often turn the so-called American dream of homeownership into a nightmare.”

Other studies cited in the lawsuit demonstrate that disparities are pervasive. In fact, upper income African Americans are more than twice as likely to receive higher cost loans as their lower income white counterparts. Just this morning, USA Today reported that the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s most recent study underscores this point, finding that discrimination against minorities persists in mortgage lending. The Federal Reserve Board, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the FDIC have all made similar observations.

“Lenders named in the suit, on average, made high cost sub-prime loans to higher qualified African Americans 54 percent of the time, compared to 23 percent of the time for Caucasians,” said NAACP Interim President & CEO Dennis Courtland Hayes.

Mortgage lenders named in the lawsuit include: Ameriquest, Fremont Investment & Loan, Option One, WMC Mortgage, Long Beach Mortgage, Citigroup, BNC Mortgage, Accredited Home Lenders, Encore Credit, Bear Sterns First Franklin Financial, HSBC Finance and Washington Mutual.

“The NAACP is bringing this suit as part of its longstanding demand that offending lenders stop discriminatory practices and bring their activities into compliance with federal law including the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Civil Rights Act,” said NAACP Interim General Counsel Angela Ciccolo.

Even when creditworthiness and other risk characteristics are accounted for, African Americans are still significantly more likely to get higher rate loans. According to the lawsuit, these statistical disparities are not mere coincidences, but instead are a result of systematic and predatory targeting of African-Americans borrowers.

“My credit record warrants a better interest rate,” said Amara Weaver of the Waukesha County NAACP in Wisconsin, whose mortgage was shifted to a sub-prime lender immediately after closing on a property in her neighborhood that had been a drug den. “As a professional if I get treated that way, I know those who are less fortunate are victimized more often. This situation lets me know I can’t expect equal treatment and that is frustrating.”

“It’s extremely frustrating,” added Michelle Allison of the NAACP’s Merced Branch in California’s Central Valley. She refinanced with a major lender and was locked into a prepayment loan and now owes $100,000 above what she initially requested. “It’s like being over a barrel. I just wanted to be treated fairly and receive the best service. I was not given options or enough information for me to make an alternate decision. I want to get back to where I was financially before I received my loan.”

NAACP branches across the nation are addressing the predatory lending issue. In Michigan, the Detroit branch’s executive director Heaster Wheeler chairs the state’s Predatory Lending Task Force. He and others have met with Gov. Jennifer Granholm who has instructed the state insurance and banking commissioner as well the state’s civil rights office to coordinate with the branch to craft further legislation and use their authority more strictly to enforce current laws. The Washington, D.C. Branch has partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons. Through workshops, seminars, church meetings and other gatherings it has been discovered that the typical predatory lending victim in that city is an elderly African American female who is single and on social security. They are encouraged to refinance for home improvements and other reasons. The NAACP’s Connecticut State Conference has a committee to address predatory lending issues and has been actively engaged in assisting individuals in their cases. They are also encouraging legislative action and are conducting community education initiatives.

In addition to the NAACP’s Legal Department, the organization and the proposed class of its members are represented by Feazell & Tighe LLP of Austin and Kabatek Brown Kellner LLP of Los Angeles and the law office of Gary L. Bledsoe.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

Posted in African American, Announcements, Civil Rights, Financial, Law, Mortgage, NAACP, Predatory Lending, Race, Racism, Real Estate | Leave a Comment »

Three Free Real Estate Workshops

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Tuesday, August 21, 2007

 
 

Three Free Real Estate Workshops

by Paul Lewis

Friday, August 24, 2007 – 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM – Dallas

Crowne Plaza Hotel – Dallas

7050 Stemmons Freeway

I-35 & Mockingbird Lane

Dallas, TX 75247

Saturday, August 25, 2007 – 1:00 PM – Arlington

Hilton Arlington

2401 East Lamar Blvd.

Arlington, TX 76006

Paul New Pic

 

Spend the weekend with Paul E. Lewis, who is fast becoming one of the country’s top real estate investment training guru’s.

 

Paul will challenge you, expand your thinking, open your eyes to opportunities that you never knew existed, and encourage you to dream the impossible dreams.

If you’re tired of living from paycheck to paycheck, and would like to know how ordinary everyday people are getting rich investing in real estate, then you need to be attendance at Paul’s Free Real Estate Workshops.

Be Like Mike: Michael Pleasant, one of Paul’s students made over $26,000 on his very first real estate deal! Paul’s got a copy of Mikes check, ask him to show it to you!

Come on out to learn the nuts and bolts secrets to buying and selling real estate that most people don’t want you to know!


Paul Lewis
Real Estate Investors Training Center

Posted in African American, African American Business, African American Investors, African American Wealth, Announcements, Black, Black Business, Black Investors, Black Wealth, Paul Lewis, Real Estate, Real Estate Investment Training Center, REITC | Leave a Comment »

African American Homeowner Website Offering Hope to Struggling Homeowner

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Roy Primm, Publisher

Long Beach, CA (BlackNews.com) – Blackhomeownernews.com continues to provide unique solutions to thousands of African American homeowners the main stream media often overlook, ignore and neglect. As the largest source of information for African American homeowners on the Internet, Blackhomeownernews.com fills an information niche many African American homeowners find refreshing and encouraging.

What do thousands of African American homeowners find refreshing and encouraging? The answers, ideas and solutions speak to the specific needs of African homeowners and work to spark positive action.

Inspired by the shoddy treatment African American homeowners received following Hurricane Katrina; publisher Roy Primm created the real estate information website. Updated daily, the hard-hitting website speaks to the unmet and underserved needs of the African American homeowner in today’s turbulent housing market.

Created in January of 2007, the information website has quickly blossomed into the largest source of information for African American homeowners on the Internet.

“African Americans continue to lead the list when it comes to predatory lending, home improvement and home purchasing schemes. In fact, most home related scam artist practice and perfect their techniques on African American homeowners before moving on to other communities. When I saw that statistic it made me hotter than fish grease, I knew I had to stop feeling mad and do something,” states Primm.

“The African American homeowner continues as the leading target of loan schemes and home improvement scams year after year, why? Because we are the least informed,” says the fiery publisher.

Blackhomeownersnews.com offers free information ranging from the latest home repair schemes targeting African American homeowners to the best places to find home loans if you’re an African American. The home management website has recently added state-of -the art educational videos. Now African American homeowners can watch free homeowner educational videos on-demand. The growing list of titles include:

* Predatory Lending Warnings.
* How to Choose a Contractor.
* Home Decorating on a Budget.
* How to Get a Home Improvement Grant.
* Current First Time Homebuyer Programs. And more.

As a further service to readers, BlackHomeowenernews.com offers a free weekly newsletter stuffed with current information specific to African American homeowners. For example:

* Shocking facts most African American homeowners ignore.
* Tips to selling a home in a high crime neighborhood for top dollar.
* Protecting home and family from the “New School” home burglars.
* The top 5 home improvement scams African American homeowner fall for.
* Security lighting home burglars hate the most.
* The best and worst times to refinance.

“With today’s real estate and home loan market, the day of simply buying a home and living happily ever after without staying informed and updated is gone forever. In fact, it’s dangerous and risky not knowing the latest home management information. Why? Because solutions and answers can change overnight for today’s homeowner, yesterdays news can hurt,” warns publisher Roy Primm. For more information go to www.BlackHomeOwnerNews.com


CONTACT:
Roy Primm
Black Homeowner News, Inc.
562-422-8133
publisher@blackhomeownernews.com

African American, Black, Race, Real Estate, Home Ownership,

Posted in African American, African American Wealth, Black, Mortgage, Predatory Lending, Race, Real Estate | Leave a Comment »