Foreclosure sign
Miami accuses JPMorgan Chase of discriminatory loan practices that led to foreclosures. (Photo by Jeff Turner via Flickr.)

Miami sues banking giant over predatory mortgages

Miami accuses JPMorgan Chase of discriminatory loan practices that led to foreclosures. (Photo by Jeff Turner via Flickr.)
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By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

The city of Miami on Friday filed a lawsuit in a federal court against JPMorgan Chase & Co., accusing the banking giant of a pattern of discriminatory loan practices "since at least 2004" which sparked foreclosures and violated the U.S. Fair Housing Act.

"JPMorgan has engaged in a continuous pattern and practice of mortgage discrimination in Miami since at least 2004 by imposing different terms or conditions on a discriminatory and legally prohibited basis," Bloomberg reports lawyers for Miami as saying in the complaint.

The bank engaged in the discriminatory practices "in order to maximize profits at the expense of the City of Miami and minority borrowers," the lawyers stated.

According to reporting by Reuters,

[a]fter 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.

A spokesperson for the bank called the claims "baseless."

The suit comes just weeks after JPMorgan was hit by a lawsuit from the city of Los Angeles that also accuses the banking giant of discriminatory lending practices.

Both Miami and Los Angeles have filed similar lawsuits against Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citigroup.

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