The hits keep on coming for financial giant Bank of America, whose friendly ads continuously tell us that “Life’s Better When We’re Connected.” The question has to be asked—who exactly is Bank of America connecting to? It seems that anyone who isn’t a white male is out of luck.
Yesterday, the City of Los Angeles filed suit in federal court claiming that Bank of America’s mortgage loans since 2004 demonstrated a “continuous pattern and practice of mortgage discrimination” against qualified lenders from African American or Hispanic communities.
This suit comes just a few weeks after BoA found itself on the wrong end of a $335 settlement due to similarly unfair lending practices by subsidiary group Countrywide Financial institution. The language of that settlement explained that “More than 200,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers who qualified for loans were charged higher fees or placed into subprime loans.”
For those following along with all the other stellar ways Bank of America has been treating folks, there was also that court decision just three months ago in which Bank of America’s subsidiary Merrill Lynch paid out $39 million due to gender discrimination practices within the firm.
Oh, and there was also that $2.2 million judgment against BoA in September due to claims of racially biased hiring practices.
As for the Los Angeles suit, Bank of America chairperson Rick Simon responded with this statement:
We have a firm commitment and strong track record for fair lending. We responded with urgency to rising mortgage defaults that resulted from the country’s severe economic downturn and the personal financial hardships, unemployment and underemployment, divorce, and medical disability, chief among them, that resulted for so many Americans.
Lest anyone think that just one bank is the problem here,The City of Los Angeles has also filed similar cases against Citigroup and Wells Fargo.