Not So Hidden Racism In The Mortgage Industry

Yes, we have come a long way when speaking of racism in America. We have not however, come far enough. Racism in America is alive and well. The main difference? It is disguised in such a way that we have become comfortable with it. We are living with it each and every day. Welcoming it into our homes. Sleeping with it at night. Sending our children to school with it. The invisible beast is still threatening. But, as long as we know this, we are safe. Although it is a very strong threat, we can keep it at bay. We can work our way out of personal debt and assist those who don’t yet know how to do it through constant education and good working examples.

The mortgage industry in which I work, is one example of a very well hidden and kept secret. The recent mortgage bubble burst scared enough hard working middle to lower class Americans  into working together to at least make a small dent in the problem. A VERY small dent. But something is better than nothing. Thousands of Black American families across the country lost their homes due to sub-prime lending, and although the term “sub-prime” is not being used, it still very much exists. The banks did not get where they are today by not having some sense of wheeling and dealing savvy.  The names have changed to protect the not so innocent.

Low interest rate mortgage refinances are ripe for the picking, however, who are they picking? Within the past two years since I have been running my own mortgage signing/closing company, I have seen only four minority families, two of which were African Americans, one Hispanic American family, and one Asian American family, even offered a plan to lower their home’s interest rates. Those families were not receiving the lower interest rates of 3.8 percent or even 4 percent. Although the market rates were lower, they were given the higher 5 percent rates.  Even worse, they were not given a refinance at all. They were given a modification. Which in and of itself is NOT a refinance in the true sense of the word, and I am beginning to think it’s another term for “we are going to let you minorities keep your homes cause we don’t wanna get in trouble again right now with the government.”

Those minority families that were approved for the modification loans that I assisted in closing, had excellent credit, excellent jobs, and in some instances, had even better bottom line credit than their white counterparts. I am somewhat dumb founded in not knowing why they were not offered the better refinance terms, but do realize that even in this day and age, prejudice is alive and well. The terms of a modification are NOT as good as the terms of a refinance. But that will be another article on another day. Take my word for it… we still have a long way to go.

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Tracy Moring/PR Director

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