Bank Offers Cut-Rate Mortgages to End Redlining Probe
Seper, Jerry, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
A New York bank will provide $55 million in discounted home mortgages to settle Justice Department claims that it "redlined" minority neighborhoods in seven Connecticut cities and the New York suburbs, Attorney General Janet Reno said yesterday. The "fair lending agreement," Miss Reno said during her weekly press briefing, will make homeownership "more likely for many more Americans" across the Northeast.
Under the agreement, outlined by Miss Reno and Nicholas P. Retsinas, the director of the Treasury Department's Office of Thrift Supervision, Albank federal savings bank of Albany, N.Y., will offer $55 million in discounted loans to residents in communities where the bank previously refused to lend, including Westchester County, N.Y., and Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Waterbury, New Britain, Stamford and Norwalk, Conn.
The Justice Department began an investigation of Albank's lending practices this year at the suggestion of the Office of Thrift Supervision and, Miss Reno said, found that the bank had "carved out areas of the map where it chose not to make loans, areas that were minority enclaves."
"We alleged that the bank refused to grant loans to any resident from those areas, regardless of their credit-worthiness," Miss Reno said. …