Black Americans Still Severely Affected By Foreclosure Crisis

by San Antonio Attorney

In one of United State’s black majority communities in Prince George’s County of Maryland, the foreclosure crisis has proliferated rapidly and has severely affected the middle-class communities.

The affected areas include:  Perrywood, two-story home neighborhood located near the county seat of Upper Marlboro, Marleigh, a community where the homeowners tend to the lawns of foreclosed homes that the banks neglect and Fairwood, a neighborhood with a median income of $170,000.

Garry Anthony Johnson, the chair for NAACP New York State Conference for economic development, defines foreclosures as an increasing epidemic for people of color.

Johnson added that it is a profound reality that minorities still face problems of unemployment, poverty and foreclosures.

Lenders are often blamed by housing counselors for the crisis and this also occurred at a time when a lot of interested buyers invested in homes and the prices skyrocketed.  This caused the lenders to take advantage by offering black households discriminatory loans.

Todd Zywicki, a law professor in George Mason University, attributes the majority of fraud incidents in the foreclosure crisis to homeowners and lenders collaborating to ‘defraud’ investors.

The Department of Justice has reached an amount of $16.5 billion in settlement with Bank of America in order to resolve federal and state claims against former and current subsidiaries including Countrywide Financial Corporation and Merrill Lynch, according to Eric Holder, a former U.S.  Attorney General, through an announcement last August 2014.

Bank of America and Wells Fargo also received lawsuits from Cook County officials due to them targeting ‘people of color’ with discriminatory loans, which led to foreclosure.  The bank’s foreclosure actions have cost county property tax revenue thus leaving themselves responsible for the maintenance of abandoned buildings.

Other states such as Cleveland, Los Angeles and Tennessee did the same action by suing their lending institutions.

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