Charlottesville Ranks Worst for Racial Differences in High Cost Home Loans

By: Cheryn Stone Email
By: Cheryn Stone Email

October 5, 2007

Charlottesville is now on a list it does not want to be on. A recent report shows the Charlottesville area is the worst in the country for racial differences in high-cost home loans.

The ranking comes from a recent report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

Friday, people from the community gathered to try and address the problem and move Charlottesville from worst to first.

Charlottesville City Councilor Dave Norris attended the forum. He says, "I'm here today and I think we are all here today, frankly because we were shamed into being here today by the results of this report."

"If you're African American or Hispanic, you're much more likely to get a high cost loan than if you're white," Josh Silver, vice president of Research and Policy at NCRC, says.

The disparity is not just an issue for low-income borrowers.

"Even middle and upper income minorities are much more likely to get a high cost loan," Silver says.

High costs loans can cost you thousands.

"That's a lot of equity, tens of thousands of dollars that could be used to send your child to college. So we're really talking about building wealth and making sure that wealth is not drained from communities," Silver says.

Friday's forum was about looking for solutions locally and nationally, and education borrowers about fair lending.

NCRC says several factors are to blame for the disparity including discrimination and market failure.

The report shows in the Charlottesville area, African Americans get high-cost loans almost four times more often than Caucasian borrowers.

According to that report, credit levels do not justify the difference.

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