New initiative aims to tackle illegal racial profiling in Kansas mortgages

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WIBW) – The Kansas attorney’s office has partnered with the Justice Department to fight illegal racial profiling in mortgages.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas said it has partnered with the Department of Justice’s civil rights division to launch the new Combatting Redlining initiative.

The Bureau said redlining is an illegal practice in which lenders avoid providing services to people living in communities of color because of the race or national origin of those living in those communities. He said the new initiative represents the ministry’s most aggressive and coordinated enforcement effort to tackle redlining, which was prohibited by the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunities Act. credit.

“Discrimination in lending goes against fundamental promises of our economic system. When people are denied credit simply because of their race or national origin, their ability to participate in the prosperity of our country is virtually eliminated, ”said Attorney General Garland. “Today we are committed to tackling modern day redlining by making much more robust use of our fair lending authorities. We will spare no resources to ensure that federal fair loan laws are rigorously enforced and that financial institutions provide every American with an equal opportunity to obtain credit. “

The Bureau stated that redlining is a practice institutionalized by the federal government during the New Deal era and implemented then and today by private lenders. He said the practice has had a lasting negative impact.

For Kansas families, the Bureau said homeownership remains the primary way to build wealth and deprive investment, and access to mortgage services for communities of color has contributed to the continuing backlog. families of color in the housing market versus white families. He said the gap between homeownership rates between white and black families is larger in 2021 than it was in 1960, before the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed.

“This initiative is important to our community, and we stand ready to work with community stakeholders and the Civil Rights Division to investigate allegations of redlining and, where appropriate, hold those involved in the practices accountable. illegal redlining, ”said Acting US Attorney Duston Slinkard. .

The Office said the Initiative is led by the Housing and Civil Law Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division, in partnership with US prosecutors’ offices. He said the Initiative will build on the Division’s long-standing work in making mortgage credit and homeownership accessible to everyone on equal terms, regardless of race or background. national and regardless of where they live. He said the initiative will do the following:

  • Use the United States attorney’s offices as force multipliers to ensure that equitable loan application is informed by local expertise in housing markets and the credit needs of local communities of color.
  • Extend potential redlining analyzes to depository and non-depository institutions.
  • Strengthen partnerships with financial regulators to ensure identification and referral of fair loan violations to the Department of Justice.
  • Increase coordination with state attorneys general on potential fair loan violations.

To report loan discrimination, call the Department of Justice’s Housing Discrimination Hotline at 1-833-591-0291 or submit a report online HERE.

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