Charlotte Observer implies racism behind the “widening minority loan gap”

Doing the work of Barack Obama and Barney Frank, so they don’t have to:

As the credit spigot dried up in 2008, blacks and Hispanics were more likely to be denied mortgage loans than whites, an Observer analysis of the latest national mortgage data found.

And the rejection gap is growing between whites and minorities, causing some community activists to worry about recurring discrimination in lending.

Nearly one out of two African Americans who sought to buy a single-family home or refinance a loan were denied, compared with about one in four for whites, according to the analysis of top U.S. lenders. Hispanic loan applications were denied nearly as often as those submitted by blacks.

Overall, the country’s 10 biggest lenders, including Charlotte’s big banks, denied nearly one out of every three applications – the highest rate in the past five years – as the financial crisis erupted. The denial rate was higher for refinancings than for home-purchase loans, as homeowners struggled to get loans with better terms amid rising economic woes and falling housing prices.

A key reason for the latest spike in denial rates, experts suggest, is that lenders disproportionately peddled high-interest rate subprime loans to blacks and Hispanics. Now that market is drying up, eliminating a once-easy source of credit. And those who had unaffordable loans are having a tough time refinancing in the recession.

And what was one of the main reasons those lenders were “disproportionately peddling” those subprime loans to blacks and Hispanics? Because politicians – chiefly Democrats – pushed the same idea that the Observer seeks to in this article: that the primary reason that a “disproportionate” amount of white people were getting loans and better interest rates than black people and Hispanics was because of the race factor.

The article gives some obligatory quotes from “experts” who suggest that race is probably not the “only” reason, but the implication is clear that, experts or not, the Observer feels that lenders are unfairly discriminating against black and Hispanic loan-seekers on the basis of their race:

There are myriad reasons why blacks might be denied more than whites, according to experts and government studies. Blacks on average have less wealth and more credit problems, and on average know less about the home-buying process. Discrimination can also occur throughout the lending process. Blacks get less information, less assistance and less favorable terms from mortgage lenders, studies have shown. [Note from ST: What “studies”?]

The mortgage data studied by the Observer doesn’t include information that would definitively show whether lenders are making lending decisions based on race. Banks don’t have to provide information about credit scores or down payments – information that would shed more light on prospective borrowers’ financial circumstances.

The data does include borrower income, one sign of a borrowers’ ability to make loan payments. Taking income into account, however, didn’t erase the disparity. Blacks were denied more often than whites with the same or lower incomes.

So – from that data point (income) alone, the Observer is suggesting – without any other data to back it up (which they admitted in the previous paragraph), that minorities are being discriminated against based on their race in this new era of more thorough scrutiny of credit and financial history. They don’t have the data on income to debt ratios, savings accounts, credit scores, credit history, down payments, etc, but they can base their opinion solely on the basis of income.

Isn’t that nice?

It’s no freaking wonder we’re in the mess we’re in right now. Thanks, in part, to shameless lifetime Democrat politicos like Barney Frank, and liberal newspapers like the Charlotte Observer (who, I should note, had this article plastered on the frontpage/top of the fold in the Sunday edition), unless you’re really paying attention to the fine print of what they’re saying, you won’t get that they are hell bent on trying the same failed, disastrous lending policies of the past in an effort to “level the playing field” again so everyone can have a home, car, whatever they want free of the rountine scrutiny most people get when they go to apply for a loan.

I just signed off on the papers to refinance my house recently, and the process – in my view – was tougher than the original loan process when I first bought it. I had to provide more detailed information than before, and even though I was reasonably sure I was going to be approved for the refi, it was still quite an ordeal. But I was ok with it. People need to have their financial history examined with more than just a quick glance. Where on earth did people get the idea that they should be able to get thousands of dollars in loans and not have to be subjected to an intense scrutiny of their incomes, credit history, etc?

Oh wait

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