Among all the stories of hardworking homeowners falling into foreclosure and difficult financial times, it’s almost unfathomable to think that a major bank was using tactics to take advantage of minority borrowers. What’s worse is that these tactics were used for a decade. As a result, the City of Miami recently filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan, claiming that the bank was deliberately practicing discriminatory lending since 2004.
The lawsuit, filed in the federal court in Florida, stated that JPMorgan began issuing high-cost loans in minority neighborhoods ten years ago. Later, the bank refused to refinance the mortgages in question under the same terms that it offered those belonging to the white race in more affluent neighborhoods. These actions strictly violated the U.S. Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.
The Miami City Attorney, places the blame of a substantial portion of defaulted mortgages in Miami during the real estate market downfall, on JPMorgan.
At this moment, JPMorgan is defending itself claiming that this suit is baseless. However, the judge has not granted any motions to have this suit taken out of the court system, leading us to believe that at the minimum there is enough in question to grant further investigation into this case.
Stay tuned for updates related to JPMorgan loans, the outcome of this case may affect borrowers with defaulted mortgages that were established during that timeframe.