How Banks Are Still Discriminating Against Minorities in the Foreclosure Crisis

Emily Badger, Atlantic Cities, September 25, 2013

The foreclosure crisis has had a second set of less visible victims: people who never lost their homes (nor are in danger of it) but who live near others who have. These are the neighbors left behind in communities where seemingly every third house has been abandoned. They’re the people who deal with adjacent lawns that never get mowed, with houses visible through their front windows that are decaying by the day.

They’re the ones left to worry about falling property values and absentee banks. And, fair housing groups allege, these people are disproportionately located in predominantly minority communities across the country.

We’ve written before about evidence of racial discrimination of a different kind in the mortgage crisis, a subplot suggesting that big banks intentionally targeted minority communities with bad loans before the bubble ever burst. Now, housing advocates have been documenting what they view as racial discrimination in the aftermath: Bank of America in particular, the National Fair Housing Alliance says, has been doing a much better job of maintaining and marketing foreclosed homes for sale in white neighborhoods than in minority ones.

A year ago, the alliance and several of its member organizations filed a complaint against the bank with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, arguing that the bank had violated the federal Fair Housing Act by neglecting foreclosed properties in minority communities in Denver, Atlanta, Miami, Dayton and Washington, D.C. Today, the groups amended their complaint with a stack of evidence–in maps, data, and photos–showing that the problem has persisted in each of those cities, while documenting it anew in Memphis, Denver, Las Vegas, Tucson and Philadelphia.

In total, housing advocates have now identified the problem in 18 metropolitan areas, across 621 Bank of America properties.

“It is as if Bank of America is purposefully looking the other way when they see [bank-owned properties] in communities of color,” Keenya Robertson, the CEO of Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, said in releasing the new complaint.

{snip}

The sample size in each city varied, from about a dozen properties to more than 44 of them in Denver. But across all of the cities, homes in minority communities were two times more likely than those in predominantly white areas to have more than 10 maintenance or marketing problems. In Denver, homes in minority neighborhoods were 9.3 times more likely to have a broken door or lock. In Las Vegas, they were 4.5 times more likely to have damaged windows. In Philadelphia, they’re twice as likely to have accumulated substantial amounts of trash, relative to homes in white neighborhoods in the same market.

The pattern suggests yet another way that subtle housing discrimination may further handicap the ability of minority communities to recover from the housing crisis (or, put another way, this suggests why the effects of the recession will linger in minority communities for much longer). {snip}

Update: In responding to the National Fair Housing Alliance’s complaint, Bank of America said in a statement today that it “applies uniform practices to the management and marketing” of vacant bank-owned properties across the country, and that “any suggestion to the contrary is simply untrue.” From their statement:

Previous claims by NFHA revealed numerous, material flaws in their methodology and how they represented that information publicly.  The majority of properties NFHA faulted us for were, in fact,  the responsibility of other entities to maintain and market, didn’t take into account the property condition at the time we had authority to maintain it, and included properties the bank had agreed to donate to local groups in their existing condition.

{snip}

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • RebelliousTreecko

    If the homosexual rights thing was only about people not being killed or attacked for holding hands and kissing, and was just about marriage, then I would be fine with it, but it’s much more than that.

  • Puggg

    If they tried to maintain the foreclosed properties in ghettos, the area residents would just ruin it anyway. So it’s not worth it for the bank to try.

    • Jesse_from_Sweden

      And more importantly, the banks are trying to make sound business decisions.
      Something that is not popular these days, because sound business is racist since it tends to mean dealing primarily with whites.

      They are doing more upkeep and more marketing on houses in white areas because they have a much bigger chance of selling these houses and making up for some of the loss they took in the bad loan that caused them to foreclose on the house in the first place.

      Houses in heavily black areas are hard to sell, even if they are in good condition and are being heavily marketed.
      People with money to pay for a house doesn’t want to live there, the reason they sold in the first place was becaus they got loans from the banks due to government pressure, loans that they couldn’t afford, which is what caused the whole foreclosure crisis in the first place.

      • emiledurk16

        You hit the nail on the head right there, my friend.

      • A Freespeechzone

        Don’t forget that banks were forced to make loans to those who were unqualified by the government–thank the likes of Barney Frank for that.

        Moreover, people are too stupid to realize whether they could pay the mortgage or not…again, blaming the banks instead of their bad decisions.

        Houses in the blighted areas, if maintained by the mortgage holders, is usually money lost……it’s a business decision…

        If they were maintained, you can bet that the risk of squatters would increase over what it is anyway….squatters tend to have more rights than the mortgage holders..

        No Apologies.

  • dd121

    So why don’t they form neighborhood committees and keep the properties up? Cut the grass, get rid of the garbage. Oh wait, we’re dealing with groids. Nevermind.

    • White Mom in WDC

      Right on. That is the key problem with the black community, they have been so enabled that solving their own problems is foreign to them.

    • joesolargenius

      Katrina should have been the eye opener that showed they were incapable of working together as a community in regards to anything other than attacking others!

      • 48224

        So very true. Nail on the head!!!

    • 48224

      And if someone forms a neighborhood watch and shoots a thug…..well, you know the rest. You get the Zimmerman treatment.

    • It is a lot easier to whine that YT should cut the grass than it is to do it themselves, just like it was easier for the foreclosed occupants to buy hair-extensions and spinner wheel rims than it was to make their mortgage payments.

  • D.B. Cooper

    HA! I loooove seeing a financial institution sooo afraid of being accused of racism, that they would rather go bankrupt instead of publicly telling people the truth.
    Bye by, Bank of America, it was NOT a pleasure doing business with you 12 years ago.
    All of your ATMs in the airport where I work at have been replaced by one of your competitors. All of that, and you are STILL accused of being racists.
    So, are any of you white people still supporting Bank of America?

    • joesolargenius

      No Mr.Cooper I stopped supporting BOA years ago when I learned that they owned Cash America and Pawn America and were planning on giving Bank Cards to illegal aliens whom were responsible for causing many Americans to use those type of places on occasion. I have advocated the boycotting of them and many other businesses that help to further economic hardships for us.You should see what Numbers USA has to say about the boycott they supported against BOA two years ago.however we should boycott all businesses that stopped hiring White Men such as Mc Donalds for a good example!

  • MekongDelta69

    And this comes on the heels of getting racially extorted. Nothing pleases blacks. Nothing

    http://www[dot]amren[dot]com/news/2013/09/bank-of-america-ordered-to-pay-2-2-million-to-black-charlotte-job-seekers/

  • Spartacus

    “In Denver, homes in minority neighborhoods were 9.3 times more likely to
    have a broken door or lock. In Las Vegas, they were 4.5 times more
    likely to have damaged windows. In Philadelphia, they’re twice as likely
    to have accumulated substantial amounts of trash, relative to homes in
    white neighborhoods in the same market.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    You tried telling the people there to stop breaking the windows, doors and locks, and to stop throwing garbage everywhere ?

    • Oil Can Harry

      (Gasp!) Are you…saying that blacks [shudder] are partially responsible for some of the bad things that happen in their own neighborhoods?!?

      • Spartacus

        It’s a theory I’ve been considering… But I see why some might find it controversial.

        /sarcasm

        • newscomments70

          Growing up in Romania, how did you realize the truth about US diversity problems? I imagine most of your information came from liberal media.

          • Spartacus

            Mainly Dr. Pierce’s writings/broadcasts, as well as from sites like Stormfront.

          • newscomments70

            Spartacus, there is an interesting article about immigration in Sweden on “thelocal dot se” today. They are allowing comments via disqus. They have not moderated me yet, you should have a look.

          • Spartacus

            I’ve been banned from the Swedish version of thelocal a long time ago …

          • newscomments70

            That did cross my mind. I suppose you could open a new disqus account. The article is full of race realist comments…at this time, it would be impossible for them to censor all of us.

          • Spartacus

            They’d just ban me again. That’s probably the site where you get banned the fastest . BTW, thelocal from Italy and Germany are much easier to post on.

      • Shush. Everyone knows it is white people from the suburbs who dump their trash in the ‘hoods. We drive it in by the truckload. It’s much easier than bagging it and putting it out at the curb for pickup by Waste Management. We do it in the middle of the day, when the ghetto rats are either asleep or else think we’re at work.

  • Sentinel9

    Bank of America in particular, the National Fair Housing Alliance says,
    has been doing a much better job of maintaining and marketing
    foreclosed homes for sale in white neighborhoods than in minority ones.

    BofA always sent me product and service advertisements that featured dark folk; I canceled my relationship with them.

    Poor BofA just can’t win.

  • Greg Thomas

    Banks cannot win with diversity. You give them a loan and you are a “racist.” You deny them a loan because they do not qualify and you are still a “racist.” I hope they choke on their beloved diversity.

    • Ella

      Congressional politics push their affirmative action programs onto banks who did a better job of loaning under conventional loans. Feds back up their rainbow promises under Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac loans, with tax-payer bailouts.

  • Greg Thomas

    The same banks will still promote and champion diversity, even when it’s a losing business model.

    • Sentinel9

      See now I thought all these browser cookies and Facebook profiles and targeted advertizing and whatnot was supposed to solve this problem of sending me advertisements featuring dark folk.

      But maybe that was just another kind of advertizing.

      • I actually appreciate seeing blacks in corporate advertising. The companies and ad agencies who do this are telling me not to purchase their products or services because they are intended for ugly, congenitally stupid criminals.

        I sent General Mills a letter about their Cheerios commercial, praising their honesty in their commitment to promoting bestiality.

    • SFLBIB

      I don’t remember if it was this site or another that wrote about the new female referees the NFL is fawning over because they provided the “needed diversity.” They went on to assure us that the calls made by these new referees were “no different” from their male counterparts’ calls. They never explained how the same calls provide the “needed diversity.”

  • Epiminondas

    Bankers control the central banking system. They don’t care whether diversity works or not. If (when) it fails, they simply print out more money at taxpayer expense. This will go on until it can’t.

    • Ella

      Congressional politics push their affirmative action programs onto banks who did a better job of loaning under conventional loans. Feds back up their rainbow promises under Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac loans, with tax-payer bailouts.

  • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

    Even with prices rebounding somewhat here in LA, the banks are still holding back the bulk of the foreclosures, and the inventory of properties on the market is pathetically low. The banks aren’t keeping up any of these properties, and last year’s outbreak of West Nile was traced to a swimming pool in a foreclosed property in wealthy Sherman Oaks.
    .
    The “recovery” is pretty much a sham. The gov’t is pumping in funny money trying to re-inflate the markets at the same time enabling the banks to sit on foreclosures. When Weekend at Bernie’s finally comes to an end and market forces reassert themselves, it’s not going to be pretty.

    • Ella

      Thanks for the quick explanations. We have four houses foreclosed in our subdivision, and they have never been listed on the market or auctioned off to reduce inventory. There is no attempt to even sell them.

      Well, for Blacks, they probably strip the entire house and even vandalize sections of it, without realizing that they owe the financial difference for life. Many Whites just leave the keys and quietly go.

  • Lewis33

    At the height of the housing bust the house next to me was taken back from the owners (who didn’t belong there in the first place, blacks of course) and there were several months before the bank showed up to start mowing. This being a nice white subdivision, I cut half the yard closest to me and without me saying a word, the neighbor on the other side cut the other half. Took us each 10 min (front yard only) but I bet blacks would never think to do that.

  • SFLBIB

    “My favorite sign at Tea Party gatherings reads something like, ‘It Doesn’t Matter What This Sign Says, You’ll Still Say It’s Racist.’” — Evan Sayet

  • rowingfool

    Right you are about the magical abilities of the third person plural.

    But the the BofA guy DID try to tell it like it is. If we read his statement carefully, we see that he made all the good points made in the comments here but he worded them in fairly general terms like “material flaws in their methodology” and “the responsibility of other entities to maintain and market” and “didn’t take into account the property condition at the time we had authority to maintain it”.

    This manner of speaking is far too reasonable to deflect the intentions of those bent on vengeance. They’ll go through this stuff like a bull through cobwebs. This rational gentlemen assumes that he is dealing with other rational gentlemen.

  • MBlanc46

    Banks are not our friends. Nevertheless, I hate to see them pursued by the diversity hustlers simply for political purposes.

  • LIBERTYSINCURSION

    “We’ve written before about evidence of racial discrimination of a different kind in the mortgage crisis, a subplot suggesting that big banks intentionally targeted minority communities with bad loans before the bubble ever burst”.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    For years banks were being forced by these race pimps in the government and so called “community” organizations. To give loans to blacks and Hispanics who did not meet minimum requirements in income. However that didn’t matter to the race hustling pimps inside the government. Who decided they would use Whitey’s tax dollars to set up a giant slush fund for black home loan recipients known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack. This proved to be a bonanza for the black plague/I mean race. These people were being given loans for no other reason than the color of their skin.

    However, idiocy has it’s consequences, and soon there were so many delinquent loans piled up in 2008 it crushed the very system itself. Now, I know that there are many other contributing factors that led to the housing collapse of 2008. But in my opinion these racist race baiting policies of forcing banks to give loans to people in this manner. Was the single most important part of the entire collapse. And now that it has collapsed these same black racist groups call the very loans that they forced these banks to give “predatory loans”. Yup, they were supposedly fighting racism by demanding banks give loans to blacks that they could not afford. And now they’re supposedly fighting racism by demanding banks stop giving loans to blacks that they can not afford. ( Bi-Polar Much? )

    These same people now have the stones to talk about delinquent bank owned properties in minority communities. Supposedly detracting from the value of their neighbors homes due to uncut lawns and what not. These are the very same people, of course. Who routinely bring property values of homes in white neighborhoods plummeting, by their mere presence alone. Yet they want us to get misty eyed over 12 to 44 properties in the entire city, not having their lawns cut regularly. As if it’s some horrible burden is placed on these minority cities that 12 lawns weren’t regularly cut. Meanwhile their people absolutely destroy anything they touch. Look at what they’ve done to Detroit, Gary Indiana, Chicago, Jackson Miss, or New Orleans we could go on and on with entire cities these people have destroyed. The black race in America is little more than a weapon of mass destruction.