Hard Truth in Lending pages

Pages from The Charlotte Observer series "Hard Truth in Lending," August 28-30, 2005. Images may be large, so please be patient.
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Charlotte.com's Hard Truth in Lending website, with interactive page to explore patterns of home loan data.

Series summary and major findings

Blacks were four times as likely as whites in 2004 to get high interest rates on home purchase loans from the nation’s 25 largest lenders. Even blacks with incomes above $100,000 a year were charged high rates more often than whites with incomes below $40,000.

Our analysis suggested three reasons: Blacks on average have less wealth, less knowledge, and they continue to face discrimination.

In particular, the banks that dominate market-rate lending make few loans to blacks. Lending in black areas instead is dominated by high-rate lenders. Often, those high-rate lenders are owned by the same banks that make few of their market-rate loans in black areas.

Federal regulations intended to make market-rate loans available to all Americans are badly outdated, little revised since the 1970s. A growing share of the lending process has moved outside the scope of federal regulation – particularly the sale of high-rate loans.