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US civil rights group sues banks for racist lending

The NAACP NAACP
 in full National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Oldest and largest U.S. civil rights organization. It was founded in 1909 to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality for African Americans; W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B.
, a leading African-American civil rights group, on Friday filed two separate lawsuits against US lending titans Wells Fargo Wells Fargo

armored carriers of bullion. [Am. Hist.: Brewer Dictionary, 1147]

See : Protectiveness


Wells Fargo

company that handled express service to western states; often robbed. [Am. Hist.
 and HSBC HSBC Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
HSBC Humane Society of Broward County (Florida)
HSBC Humane Society of Bay County (Bay County, Michigan) 
, accusing them of "institutionalized in·sti·tu·tion·al·ize  
tr.v. in·sti·tu·tion·al·ized, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·ing, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·es
1.
a. To make into, treat as, or give the character of an institution to.

b.
 racism."

The lawsuits, filed in California, allege that "African-American homeowners who received subprime mortgage loans from these lenders were more than 30 percent more likely to be issued a higher rate loan than Caucasian borrowers with the same qualifications," the NAACP said in a statement.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), organization composed mainly of American blacks, but with many white members, whose goal is the end of racial discrimination and segregation.  (NAACP) said that wealthy African-Americans were more than twice as likely to receive high cost subprime loans than their lower income white counterparts, in what it described as ongoing racially discriminatory lending practices.

"These banks are getting billions in bailout money, yet think that they can get away with business as usual," said NAACP lawyer Austin Tighe.

"Predatory lending policies and practices are legally actionable, morally reprehensible rep·re·hen·si·ble  
adj.
Deserving rebuke or censure; blameworthy. See Synonyms at blameworthy.



[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin repreh
 and fiscally irresponsible."

Earlier this year, a federal court denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against other lenders sued by the NAACP for racially discriminatory lending practices.

The federal court said the NAACP had standing to bring the lawsuit, and ordered the lenders, which included Bear Sterns Residential Mortgage Corporation, Chase Bank USA and Citimortgage, to turn over information and documents about their lending policies and practices.

"Lenders named in the suits on average made high-cost subprime loans to higher qualified African-Americans 54 percent of the time, compared to 23 percent of the time for Caucasians," said NAACP interim general counsel Angela Ciccolo in a statement.

"Our lawsuit aims to change the policies and practices which lead to those results."
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP American Edition
Date:Mar 13, 2009
Words:268
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