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Justice Division reaches $13 million settlement with New Jersey mortgage lender for discriminating towards communities of shade – CNN



The Justice Division has reached a $13 million settlement with a mortgage lender for discriminating towards communities of shade in three counties in New Jersey.

Assistant Lawyer Normal Kristen Clarke mentioned the Civil Rights Division’s settlement with Lakeland Financial institution will create a $12 million subsidy fund and the financial institution might be required to supply equal alternatives to acquire credit score no matter the place an individual lives.

“The settlement resolves allegations that Lakeland redlined predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods within the Newark, New Jersey, space,” Clarke mentioned at a information convention on Wednesday. “This settlement demonstrates our agency dedication to combating modern-day redlining and holding banks and different lenders accountable after they denied individuals of shade equal entry to lending alternatives.”

Redlining, the apply of denying an applicant a mortgage for housing in a sure neighborhood though they might be in any other case eligible for a mortgage, has turn into a spotlight for the Justice Division, which has reached comparable settlements with lenders in Philadelphia, Houston and Memphis.

CNN has reached out to Lakeland Financial institution for remark.

Philip Sellinger, the US legal professional for the District of New Jersey, mentioned Lakeland Financial institution knew in regards to the redlining dangers in its conduct way back to 2015 however did “nothing significant” to cease it. Sellinger mentioned about $120 million in further loans would have been supplied if the financial institution had not redlined sure areas.

“There have been certified debtors in these areas. Lakeland simply didn’t service them,” Sellinger mentioned.

Sellinger mentioned his workplace filed a grievance towards the financial institution and entered right into a proposed consent decree that might require the financial institution to take sure measures, together with opening two new branches in communities of shade.

“Redlining is racist, pure and easy. It has no place on this nation,” Sellinger mentioned.


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