Provident to Pay $9M for Fleecing Minorities

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The federal government simultaneously sued and settled with Provident Funding Associates, over claims the lender charged black and Hispanic homeowners higher fees for mortgages, the Justice Department said Thursday.
     Under the settlement – which must still be approved by a federal judge – Provident agreed to pay $9 million to black and Hispanic homeowners affected by its scheme.
     Federal prosecutors alleged Provident violated federal housing and consumer-protection laws by charging minority borrowers higher fees on mortgage loans not because of risk, but because of their race or national origin.
     Provident fully cooperated in the investigation by the Justice Department’s civil rights division and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The investigation began in 2011, prosecutors said.
     In addition the $9 million for the victims’ fund, Provident will also pay for an administrator to find victims and handle their refunds, the Justice Department said.

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