How many other cities throughout US will sue the big banks for mortgage discrimination? This is just the beginning.
JPMorgan Chase & Co has been sued by the city of Miami, accusing the bank of predatory mortgage lending in minority neighborhoods that allegedly caused a wave of foreclosures during the last decade’s housing crisis.
The lawsuit, filed on Friday in federal court in Florida, said the country’s largest bank engaged in a continuous practice of discriminatory mortgage lending since at least 2004, violating the U.S. Fair Housing Act.
After issuing high-cost loans to minorities in the years before the housing crisis, JPMorgan later refused to refinance the loans on the same terms as it extended to whites, leading to defaults and foreclosures, the complaint said.
The lawsuit came just weeks after the city of Los Angeles filed similar claims against JPMorgan, seeking to recoup damages for lost tax revenue and increased city services needed in blighted neighborhoods.
“The Miami City Attorney’s claims are baseless and stand contrary to our long record of providing affordable housing to low- to moderate-income families across the region,” JPMorgan spokesman Jason Lobo said. The bank will defend itself against the claims, he said.