Some bias in mortgage lending documented

A New York University study of possible discrimination by residential mortgage lenders finds no evidence to support claims of mortgage applicants or against property location.

The study does find, however, that racial discrimanation may be occurring to a modest extent.

"Discrimination in Mortgage Lending: A Study of Three Cities," published by NYU's Salomon Brothers Center for the Study of Financial Institutions, examined mortgage lending practices in Miami; San Antonio; and Toledo, ohio.

By holding constant important considerations such as the applicant's income and credit history and the property's condition, the study found no significant pattern of discrimination in appraisal practices or in the terms on approved applications.

But it indicated that black or Hispanic applicants faced a 30- to 100-percent greater likelihood of having their mortgage applications rejected. Since the normal rejection rate is 5 to 8 percent, this means that blacks and Hispanics face a 10-to 15-percent rejection r ate.

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