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Should lenders have absolute discretion when setting mortgage loan prices regardless of the borrower's creditworthiness? How should a regulatory framework evaluate lending decisions for racial bias to determine if demographic or other variables are used as proxies for race? Congress enacted the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act in order to acquire data on mortgage lending patterns and to discourage geographical disinvestment. Basic HMDA data indicates that mortgage loan applications from black and Hispanic households are more likely to be denied than are applications from whites. Loan denial rates for blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are higher than white applicants at all income levels? The data also indicates that even after controlling for credit characteristics, minority homeowners are concentrated in the sub-prime sector.



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