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NAACP Sues Mortgage Lenders

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The NAACP is suing a dozen mortgage lenders for what the group calls systematic racism.

For Chicago Public Radio, Alex Helmick reports.

** Subprime loans have high interest rates and are often given to people with shoddy credit. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People says many African Americans were forced to take those costly subprime loans from lenders, even though they had the same or better credit than Caucasians. Austin Tighe is the NAACP’s lawyer in the case.

TIGHE: Institutionalized systematic racism--there is no other way to explain it. Once you take market factors out the only thing that remains between Caucasians and African Americans is the color of their skin.

A study by an economic justice group reports Chicago is one of the top cities in the country when it comes to African Americans holding mortgages with high interest rates. One of the dozen defendants in the case is HSBC Finance Corporation , located in northwest suburban Prospect Heights.

HSBC spokeswoman Pamela Bergan says says the company does not comment on litigation. But she says the lender doles out loans fairly and with integrity. For Chicago Public Radio, I’m Alex Helmick.

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