Miami, Florida leads the country in the number of foreclosures it is experiencing, and according to the Atlanta BlackStar, the city has officially filed a lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase for their role in the foreclosure crisis. JP Morgan Chase is specifically being cited for discriminatory predatory mortgage lending in minority neighborhoods that date back to 2004. The actions are considered a violation of the United States Fair Housing Act.
One of the things JP Morgan Chase did, in addition to making high cost loans to minorities, was refuse to refinance the loans according to the same terms that were offered to white borrowers during their initial purchase. This directly caused more minorities to go into foreclosure. The lawsuit points out that the loans offered in minority communities wound up resulting in foreclosure at a rate that was nearly five times the rate of foreclosure in white neighborhoods.
JP Morgan Chase is denying any wrongdoing, and spokesman Jason Lobo stated: “The Miami City Attorney’s claims are baseless and stand contrary to our long record of providing affordable housing to low-to moderate-income families across the region. The bank will defend itself against the claims.”
While JP Morgan Chase seems defiant in the face of accusations of discriminatory lending, Miami is not the only city to have filed a lawsuit. The city of Los Angeles recently filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for “lost tax revenue and increased city services needed in blighted neighborhoods.” Both Los Angeles and Miami have also filed lawsuits against Wells Fargo & Co, Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. for discriminatory lending practices. Each of the banks has denied the accusations and stated that they have records of lending responsibly. Despite this, both Wells Fargo and Citigroup recently lost appeals they filed to have the lawsuits dismissed.
Source: Financial Juneteenth