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  • Racial penalties in Baltimore mortgages

    The New York Times - 05/30/2015

    The research, by the sociologists Jacob Rugh, Len Albright and Douglas Massey, focuses on 3,027 loans made in Baltimore from 2000 to 2008 by Wells Fargo, which in 2012 agreed to pay $175 million to settle allegations of predatory lending in Baltimore and elsewhere. The study takes into account credit scores, income, down payments — all of the information that was available to brokers and lenders when these loans were made.

    It found that black borrowers in Baltimore, especially those who lived in black neighborhoods, were charged higher rates and were disadvantaged at every point in the borrowing process compared with similarly situated whites. Had black borrowers been treated the same as white borrowers, the authors say, their loan default rate would have been considerably lower. Instead, discrimination harmed individuals and entire neighborhoods.

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