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A housing advocacy group is planning to file a discrimination complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development that alleges Bank of America has intentionally neglected foreclosed properties in predominantly minority neighborhoods while lavishing more attention on foreclosed homes in predominantly white neighborhoods.
According to a Washington Post report, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is predicating its report on 1,267 foreclosed Bank of America residences in 30 metropolitan areas, concluding that the Charlotte, N.C.-headquartered bank has repeatedly failed provide basic maintenance on foreclosed properties in African-American and Hispanic communities. NFHA accuses Bank of America of contributing to lower property values and the perception of unsafe neighborhoods as a result of its alleged neglect.
“In communities of color, Bank of America simply ignores the routine basic maintenance,” said Shanna L. Smith, NFHA president and CEO. “It is amazing how nice the homes are in the neighborhood and then you come right up to this eyesore that is a Bank of America foreclosure. All these banks say they have procedures, but you can look at our photographs and see that that’s an absolute lie. They simply refuse to maintain their foreclosures in communities of color.”
Bank of America vigorously refuted the NFHA charges, adding that the group’s research was faulty and its motives were dubious.
“Bank of America has a strong track record and uniform policies for properly maintaining and marketing properties, yet NFHA has continuously presented inaccurate and misleading information as ‘research’ while, at the same time, seeking significant money from our company,” said the bank in a press statement.