“Banking While Black”
This article appeared in USA Today; this is an edited version”Banking while Black ” hurts homeowners African-Americans and Hispanic consumers face a double whammy. First, they are less likely than whites to own their homes. According to the Survey of Consumer Finance, 47% of African-Americans and Hispanics are homeowners, compared with 74% of whites. But even when African-Americans and Hispanics own their homes, they face lending discrimination when they refinance. This week, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) released a report on credit discrimination with troubling findings. Consumers living in areas with more minority residents are more likely to have mortgages with interest rates higher than “prevailing and competitive” rates. Some get these sub-prime because they have poor credit. But far too frequently, the problem is lending discrimination. Often, African-Americans, Hispanics and in some cases, elderly buyers who qualify for market-rate loans are steered to high-cost loans. This is especially true when they live in heavily black or elderly areas.In response to racial profiling on highways, some activists coined the term “driving while black”. NCRC president John Taylor does them one better when he notes that “banking while black or elderly means that most are most likely to get gouged by high interest rates and fees.” NCRC says the broken credit system can be fixed if the Federal Reserve Bank increases its oversight on anti-discrimination and fair lending laws, and if existing laws are better enforced. Because incomes were fairly stagnant in 2002, much of Americans’ consumer spending has been financed by credit cards and home-equity credit. Too many African-Americans and seniors who are helping to keep the economy afloat are paying extraordinarily high fees to do so. That ‘s a lump of coal in a Christmas stocking, an injustice that needs to be rectified.Commentary by Julianne Malveaux
WHY CHASE BANK SHOULD NEGOTIATE A CRA AGREEMENT WITH UAAD, WITH EMPHASIS ON ASSISTING THE HURRICANE VICTIMS.
UAAD’s purpose and aim is to negotiate an agreement with Chase Bank to make available low interest loans that can primarily be negotiated under CRA circumstances for low income, moderate income individuals that will include African Americans. It is our opinion that this act and a good faith effort on the part of Chase Bank will supplement the necessary financial support needed by the flood and hurricane victims. UAAD’s purpose is to ask Chase Bank to honor our negotiation in order that a process can be developed immediately to assist our members (to include those who are suffering from Katrina) in low interest loans and fulfill the banks CRA obligations at the same timeIn addition to fulfilling the banks CRA requirements, our program is a win situation for the bank and the community it serves (see our web site). UAAD’s proposal consist of community based loan programs micro-managed by UAAD to assist and help provide consultation in order that these low interest loans will be paid back to the participating bank. These community based loans instituted under CRA guidelines have been successful in the past. It allows the bank to fulfill its CRA obligations, and meets the prudent loaning practice required by the FDIC. UAAD would like to meet as soon as possible with the proper official in order to present our proposal.
And Finally !JP Morgan/Chase/Bank One should be indicted and face criminal charges,possibly in violation of the RICO Act for red-lining, and discrimination againstAfrican Americans, in Louisiana in particular.