NEW YORK - Access to conventional refinance loans in major metropolitan cities sharply declined in communities of color between 2008 and 2009, at the same time that it significantly increased in predominantly white neighborhoods, according to a report released today by New York's Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP) and six partner organizations across the U.S.
The report, Paying More for the American Dream V, examines the most recent home mortgage data available to the public, for New York City and six other metropolitan areas, including Chicago and Los Angeles. The report shows disparities in conventional refinance lending and denial rates, based on racial composition of neighborhoods. In all seven cities analyzed, lenders denied loan applications at significantly higher rates in communities of color than in predominantly white neighborhoods.
“Mortgage redlining continues to be alive and well,” said Sarah Ludwig, NEDAP’s co-director. “Fair access to credit is absolutely critical to communities of color, which have decidedly borne the brunt of the foreclosure crisis -- on top of decades of persistent lending discrimination.”
The report’s key findings on conventional refinance lending are as follows:
Between 2008 and 2009, lenders decreased the number of loans they made in neighborhoods of color by 14%, but in predominantly white neighborhoods increased lending more than 110%.
Lenders were 1.6 times as likely to deny loans to homeowners in communities of color as they were to homeowners in predominantly white neighborhoods, in 2009.
Lenders denied 39.8% of loan applications received from homeowners in communities of color, compared to 24.4% from homeowners in predominantly white communities.
Loan applications from homeowners in predominantly white neighborhoods increased 78%, between 2008 and 2009, while the number of loans made increased 110%. By contrast, loan applications from homeowners in communities of color declined by 27%, and loan originations by 14%.
The report's authors call on regulatory agencies to vigorously enforce fair lending laws and to ensure access to affordable mortgage credit – including 30-year fixed-rate mortgages – as new federal financial reforms are implemented. The groups also urge the state Attorneys General to reach a strong settlement with mortgage servicers, to curb abusive foreclosure practices and hold servicers accountable. The groups call for public disclosure of detailed mortgage lending and loan modification data, and for expansion of the Community Reinvestment Act to promote responsible lending and investment.
The report is the groups' fifth annual examination of inequalities in the mortgage finance system. NEDAP produces the Paying More for the American Dream reports in collaboration with the California Reinvestment Coalition, Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina, Empire Justice Center, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, Ohio Fair Lending Coalition, and Woodstock Institute.