Blacks are more vulnerable to lending predatory practices, particularly when it comes to securing home mortgages, a recent CNN report found.
But CNN also reported that victims of high cost interest rates and overpriced housing are fighting back by taking on subprime lenders. For instance, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit against one mortgage giant earlier this year, alleging they used discriminatory and predatory practices in their lending, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, the Center for Responsible Lending –which has reported that almost $25 billion dollars is generated yearly from predatory lending practices –estimates that one percent of Black homeowners have already lost their homes to foreclosure, and that a growing number are at imminent risk.
In addition, the NAACP recently reported “subprime lending is five times more prevalent in African American than white neighborhoods.”
Due to changes in the marketplace over the past decade, African-Americans have been bombarded with offers from subprime mortgage lenders, who prey on making loans easily available to consumers considered high risk or who have bad credit.
As a result of the recent economic recession, which has profoundly impacted home and job losses across the board, the gap of wealth between Blacks and Whites has widened. Predatory lending has only helped to fuel widening of that gap, according a study published in the American Sociological Review.
“Poorer minority areas became a focus of these practices in the 1990s with the growth of mortgage-backed securities, which enabled lenders to pool low- and high-risk loans to sell on the secondary market,” Professor Douglas Massey of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and PhD candidate Jacob Rugh said in the study.
Reputable lenders have maintained that if proposed regulatory reform rules are put into practice, predatory lending would likely become a thing of the past, but warned that mortgages could then become more expensive and more difficult to maintain.