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FTC Returns $1.5 Million to Consumers From Lender Charged With Anti-Hispanic Discrimination

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Apr 29, 2011

An administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has mailed 3,162 refund checks totaling approximately $1.5 million to borrowers allegedly harmed by Golden Empire Mortgage Inc. and Howard D. Kootstra. The refund checks stem from a lawsuit the FTC filed against Golden Empire and Kootstra, alleging that they illegally charged Hispanic consumers higher prices for mortgage loans than non-Hispanic white consumers--price disparities that could not be explained by the applicants’ credit characteristics or underwriting risk. A settlement order imposed a $5.5 million judgment that was suspended when the defendants paid $1.5 million for consumer redress. The settlement order bars the defendants from discriminating on the basis of national origin in credit transactions and requires Golden Empire to establish and maintain a policy that restricts loan originators’ pricing discretion, a fair lending monitoring program, a program to ensure the accuracy and completeness of their data, and employee training programs.
Published
Apr 29, 2011
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