Trident mortgage discriminates against black and Latino buyers
Trident Mortgage Co., owned by a billionaire Warren Buffett, discriminated against black and Latino homebuyers in three states, according to the Department of Justice (DoJ).
In what the DoJ calls the second-largest redlining settlement in U.S. history, Trident Mortgage, a division of Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America, deliberately avoided issuing mortgages in predominantly minority neighborhoods of West Philadelphia, Camden, New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware.
ABC News reports that the DoJ and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have reached an agreement with Trident in which it will set aside $20 million for loans in underserved neighborhoods, hire mortgage loan officers in affected neighborhoods and pay a $4 million fine.
“Trident’s illegal redlining activity has deprived communities of color of equal access to residential mortgages, deprived them of the opportunity to create wealth, and devalued properties in their neighborhoods,” Kristen Clarkean assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a DoJ statement.
Trident ceased issuing mortgages in 2020. As a result, a separate company will be contracted to provide the $20 million in loan subsidies.
Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-PA) told ABC that parts of his life had been framed by discriminatory lending practices that prevented black and Latino people from building wealth. Hughes added that his father worked for Berean, a black savings and loan company that funded mortgages for black families when they were turned down by other lenders.
“I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘Vince, your dad loaned me a mortgage on my first house when I was turned down everywhere else. Without Berean and your dad , I couldn’t have bought my house,” Hughes said. “We witnessed this discrimination in real time.”
Trident’s alleged redlining activity occurred between 2015 and 2019. Trident employees also made racist statements about providing loans to black buyers, calling some neighborhoods “ghettos.” Additionally, a Trident manager was photographed standing in front of the Confederate flag. Additionally, the marketing materials used by Trident exclusively involved white people, and nearly all of Trident’s staff were white.
Philadelphia has a well-documented history of racial discrimination toward black homebuyers. The Philadelphia City Council released a report on Wednesday showing that 95% of home appraisers in the city were white, and a racial gap exists between how homes owned by black owners are appraised compared to homes owned by owners. whites.
Hughes said he wasn’t surprised when he heard about the settlement.
“That’s what these companies do, right? None of them admit it; they end up paying the money,” he said.