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City sues banks over minority foreclosure discrimination

Finding out that you are facing a foreclosure often encourages someone to try to find methods to keep the home. Out of desperation, a homeowner might be tempted to act on an offer for a subprime or predatory loan. One Florida city is accusing banks of discriminatory practices with mortgage lending that led to foreclosures for minority citizens.

The lawsuit against Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo claims that since 2004 these companies have been participating in a continuous pattern of mortgage discrimination that led to a high foreclosure rate among minorities. The suit alleges these actions are a violation of the U.S. Fair Housing Act of 1968. As part of the lawsuit, these banks are accused of "redlining" certain minorities by refusing to offer credit on the terms of credit offered to other borrowers. Some loans offered were predatory or subprime, claims the suit.

The banks are denying the accusations. Citigroup claims that all applicants are evaluated on criteria that aren't prohibited by law. Wells Fargo claims they are deeply invested in the community and that the allegations are baseless. Bank of America claims it has a history of fair lending and that it responded urgently to the economic crisis.

This lawsuit includes claims from the city for damages. Those damages include fixing and maintaining properties that have gone through foreclosure, as well as loss of tax revenue.

If you are facing foreclosure and need to determine if you have a legal right to keep your home, contacting an experienced Orlando attorney can help you to understand possible ways to keep your home. From bankruptcy to a mortgage modification, you can learn about the consequences and benefits of each method.

Source: Huffington Post, "BofA, Citi, Wells Fargo Accused of Lending Discrimination in Miami Lawsuit" No author given, Dec. 19, 2013

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