JPMorgan pays $55M to settle mortgage discrimination lawsuit



JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $55 million settlement with the government over allegations that it discriminated against “thousands” of black, Hispanic mortgage borrowers, it was disclosed Wednesday.

The bank’s independent brokers charged minority borrowers higher mortgage interest rates and fees during from 2006 to 2009, compared to “similarly situated white borrowers,” according to a government lawsuit filed in a New York federal court.

JPMorgan is expected to settle the lawsuit for $55 million without admitting any liability.

“We’ve agreed to settle these legacy allegations that relate to pricing set by independent brokers,” the company said in a statement. “We deny any wrongdoing and remain committed to providing equal access to credit.”

The settlement was just one of the actions reported Wednesday taken against JPMorgan by the government. On the same day, the Labor Department said it filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan alleging that the bank has systematically discriminated against female employees by paying them less than men in similar jobs. JPMorgan responded that it is committed to diversity in the workplace and is a “neutral decision maker.”

The mortgage lawsuit, filed by U.S. attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York, alleges that the average black or Hispanic home buyer paid about $1,000 more than white borrowers with the same risk profile.

Altogether, the alleged discrimination cost at least 53,000 borrowers “tens of millions of dollars in damages,” the government said.

JPMorgan Chase attorneys denied the allegations in a response filed in court.

In the lawsuit, the U.S. government sought damages for borrowers, civil penalties and an order preventing further discrimination.

The bank gave its independent mortgage brokers the discretion to adjust pricing based on factors not related to borrower risk without documentation or justification, the government alleged. The lawsuit also accuses Chase of rewarding brokers with bonuses for charging interest rates above those based on standard credit criteria.

The average black borrower paid about $1,126 more over the first five years on an average loan of $191,100, according to the government, while the average Hispanic borrower paid about $968 more on an average loan of $236,800.

“Even when Chase had reason to know there were disparities, however, Chase did not act to determine the full scope of these wholesale pricing disparities, nor did it take prompt and effective action to eliminate those disparities, nor did it engage in adequate efforts to remedy the impact of those disparities upon the borrowers,” the plaintiffs charged in the lawsuit.

In: usatoday

EE.UU. demanda a JPMorgan & Chase por discriminación



La demanda presentada ante una corte en Mahhattas alega que el banco cobró mayores tasas de interés y gastos administrativos en prâstamos hipotecarios a prestatarios minoritarios.

El gobierno de Estados Unidos presentó una demanda contra JPMorgan Chase & Co en la que acusa al banco de discriminación contra prestatarios minoritarios por cobrar tasas de interés más altas y mayores gastos administrativos en préstamos hipotecarios realizados entre 2006 y 2009.

La demanda fue presentada en una corte federal de Manhattan. El gobierno estadounidense argumenta que el banco violó la ley de Acceso a la Vivienda Justa e Igual Oportunidad de Crédito cobrando a miles de afroestadounidenses y prestatarios hispanos más por sus préstamos hipotecarios que a los prestatarios blancos con el mismo historial de crédito.

Ni JP Morgan ni el fiscal Preet Bharara respondieron inmediatamente ante la solicitud de comentarios.

Según la demanda, la discriminación involucra préstamos llamados “mayoristas” que fueron hechos a través de corredores que el banco empleaba para originar los préstamos. La entidad bancaria permitió a los corredores cambiar los índices en las tasas de interés para los préstamos basados en factores objetivos de crédito.

Chase no requirió a los corredores inmobiliarios conocidos como “brokers” una explicación o documentación que justifique los cambios en las tasas de interés y falló en atender indicios de discriminación racial.

En: vozdeamerica

Oracle sued by Labor Department for paying white men more



SAN FRANCISCO — Oracle is being sued by the Labor Department for allegedly paying white men more than their counterparts and for favoring Asian workers when recruiting and hiring for technical roles.

The administrative lawsuit is the latest from the Labor Department to take aim at the human resources practices of major technology companies.

The Labor Department warned the lawsuit could cost Oracle hundreds of millions in federal contracts. Oracle makes software and hardware used by the federal government.

“The complaint is politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit,” Oracle spokesman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement. “Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Our hiring and pay decisions are non-discriminatory and made based on legitimate business factors including experience and merit.”

The lawsuit is the result of an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programsreview of Oracle’s equal employment opportunity practices, the Labor Department said. According to the lawsuit, Oracle America paid white male workers more, leading to pay discrimination against women, African American and Asian employees. The Labor Department also accused Oracle of favoring Asians for product development and other technical roles, resulting in discrimination against non-Asian applicants.

Oracle refused to comply with the Labor Department’s investigation, which began in 2014, such as refusing to provide compensation data for all employees, complete hiring data for certain business lines and employee complaints of discrimination, according to the federal agency.

The lawsuit comes as Silicon Valley faces growing pressure to increase diversity across the tech industry, which is dominated by white and Asian men. In recent years, major technology companies have begun to make public commitments to hire more women and minorities but progress has been slow.

As a federal contractor, Oracle is barred from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or against military veterans. And Oracle, like any federal contractor, must allow the federal government to review records and information relevant to the company’s compliance with equal employment laws administered by OFCCP, according to the Labor Department.

Earlier this month, the Labor Department filed a lawsuit to compel Google to turn over compensation data during an anti-discrimination audit.

In a statement, Google said it has provided hundreds of thousands of records over the last year, including compensation. The company said it balked at turning over the private information of employees.

“The handful of OFCCP requests that are the subject of the complaint are overbroad in scope, or reveal confidential data, and we’ve made this clear to the OFCCP, to no avail,” the company said in a statement.

In; usatoday