The Los Angeles Times: HUD approves settlement with OneWest Bank resolving redlining allegations

The Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2019: HUD approves settlement with OneWest Bank resolving redlining allegations

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved a settlement between a fair lending group and OneWest Bank that settles allegations the financial institution engaged in the discriminatory housing policy known as redlining in Southern California.

The agreement stems from a complaint the California Reinvestment Coalition filed with HUD, alleging that from 2014 to at least 2017, OneWest’s marketing and origination practices discriminated on the basis of race and national origin. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting served, respectively, as OneWest’s chairman and chief executive before CIT Group acquired the Pasadena bank in 2015.

As part of the settlement, OneWest denied the allegations. But it agreed to invest $7.3 million in a variety of programs aimed at boosting homeownership in minority communities. That includes $5 million to subsidize home loans in Southern California census tracts where most residents are minorities.

“Homeownership is the foundation of the American dream,” Anna Maria Farías, HUD’s assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, said in a statement. “Today’s settlement is an important step toward ensuring access to that dream for all borrowers, regardless of their race or national origin.”

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