Bias Against Minorities to Cost SunTrust $21M

     (CN) – SunTrust Mortgage agreed Thursday to a $21 million settlement, resolving claims that it increased loan prices for qualified black and Hispanic borrowers.
     After investigating SunTrust’s internal documents dated between 2005 and 2009, the Justice Department filed a federal discrimination complaint in Richmond, Va.
     Authorities say SunTrust cooperated as they investigated claims that it charged more than 20,000 black and Hispanic borrowers higher fees and interest rates based on race or nationality.
     The Justice Department says it began investigating SunTrust after a referral by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in 2009. Its probe pulled in more than 850,000 mortgage loans and other data created between 2005 and 2008.
     During that time period, SunTrust allegedly gave its loan officers and other employees discretion to deviate from the set loan price based on borrowers’ credit, which led to the alleged discrimination.
     If the $21 million settlement receives court approval, it will be used to compensate the victims. SunTrust also agreed to provide the government with reports that monitor signs of discrimination.

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