In light of recent political unrest and protesting, a recent study has shed more light on the difficulties African-Americans have in obtaining mortgages for their homes. The report was released by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a consumer advocacy group. The report itself focused on lending in Baltimore and its surrounding areas, and brought up the sobering fact that although the population of African-Americans is double than that of Caucasians in Baltimore, banks were giving twice as many loans to Caucasian investors. Unfortunately, a neighborhood’s racial makeup is more important than income in deciding on approving a loan.
The study’s key findings include the discrepancy in lending patterns through various areas of Baltimore, revealing that affluence is key in the suburbs at the expense of investing in the city proper. The study also found that there was more lending in predominantly Caucasian communities than in African-American neighborhoods within Baltimore City, though the suburbs weighed economic factors more heavily than race. Finally, within low-to-moderate income Baltimore City, the study found difficulties for any borrower- regardless of socioeconomic standing- to be approved for mortgages. In Baltimore County, a wealthier neighborhood, the same applicants would be more likely to be granted a mortgage.
It seems that banks are continuing to choose higher-income areas at the expense of poorer neighborhoods. While the banks and lending institutions continue to deny loans to impoverished people, pay day loans exist to take advantage of the truly desperate. Hedge funds exist as well to buy liens related to unpaid bills, and raise the interest rates to be unaffordable- thus seizing homes when impoverished African-Americans are unable to pay.
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