Report Finds Racial Disparity in Massachusetts Mortgage Lending

December 22, 2015
African-Americans and Hispanics are rejected at significantly higher rates for home loans than white mortgage applicants, according to a new study from Jim Campen, economics professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Boston

African-Americans and Hispanics are rejected at significantly higher rates for home loans than white mortgage applicants, according to a new study from Jim Campen, economics professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

According to a Boston Globe report, Campen’s study found 21 percent of African-Americans in Boston were rejected for a mortgage last year, while only six percent of whites had their applications declined. Outside of Boston, 17 percent of African-American applicants were rejected last year, compared to six-to-seven percent of whites. Campen also determined that Hispanic borrowers were twice as like to be rejected compared to whites.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” Campen said, citing causes that included disparities in employment and incomes, tougher lender standards and the tinge of racism–the latter affirmed by the high rejection rates involving upper income African-Americans and Hispanics. “It’s very discouraging. It’s all about the long legacy of historical discrimination.”

Darnell L. Williams, chief executive of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, received the study by stating he was “sadly not surprised” at its findings. “It’s just dismal,” Williams said. “Even when they have the same education and salaries, [minorities] are still getting rejected or slapped with higher fees.”

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