Pennsylvania AG calls on redlining victims to file complaints

The state's attorney general is investigating redlining allegations in the region

Pennsylvania AG calls on redlining victims to file complaints

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has issued a call to mortgage borrowers and home loan applicants to file complaints with his office if they believe they may have been victims of redlining or experienced irregularities when looking for a mortgage or home loan.

The call is part of the investigation by the Office of Attorney General into allegations of redlining in the Philadelphia region.

The announcement cited an investigative report that identified a pattern of discrimination in which African-American borrowers were 2.7 times more likely to be denied a home mortgage in Philadelphia than white borrowers. That investigation prompted Shapiro to order an investigation by the office’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The attorney general’s announcement enumerated examples of redlining tactics or irregularities in mortgage: difficulty getting an in-person appointment with a loan officer; not receiving a written pre-approval or quote when the loan officer promised one; not receiving return phone calls from a loan officer; and refusal to provide a loan application after the loan officer learns of the race of the applicant, the racial makeup of the neighborhood where the consumer intends to buy the home, or other information relating to the racial or ethnic characteristics of the area.

“Redlining represents institutional racism, and I committed to standing up for the civil rights of all Pennsylvania consumers,” Shapiro said. “It is illegal for home lenders and banks to discriminate against applicants – and it sets city blocks and whole neighborhoods back. My Bureau of Consumer Protection and Civil Rights Section are investigating, and we need to hear from consumers who believe they’ve been victimized in the home lending and banking industries so we can hold those responsible accountable.”