By Aaron Glantz and Emmanuel Martinez.
Politicians across the country expressed outrage after a major media investigation revealed people of color are being denied equal access to home loans – and vowed to do something about it.
Their concern grew from an analysis of 31 million federal home mortgage records by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, which informed coverage in dozens of local media outlets.
In Washington, D.C., the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee said legislation barreling through Congress would make the situation even worse. The bill, SB 2155, would gut provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that require mortgage lenders to disclose to the government detailed information on loan applicants, including key credit score data.“The 2008 financial crisis wiped out half the wealth of Black and Latino families, and unfair lending practices like redlining continue to increase wealth inequality,” Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said in a statement. “Congress should be working to make it easier for families to own homes and grow their wealth, not passing legislation that makes it easier for banks to prey on them.”
Reveal’s yearlong investigation was based on information publicly available under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. It found that in 61 metro areas across the country, including Atlanta, Detroit, St. Louis, San Antonio and Washington, people of color were significantly more likely to be denied a conventional home purchase loan than their white counterparts. This remained the case even after taking into account applicants’ income, the loan amount or the neighborhood of the property.