Despite the fact that Latinos are the largest ethnic group in California, the Mercury News reports that a new analysis reveals they were more likely to be denied loans in two rural Northern California metro areas.
A national analysis by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found Latinos accounted for nearly half of the population in the Los Angeles area in 2015-2016, yet applied for just 18 percent of conventional loan applications.
Why would they apply for loans from companies that are biased against them?
In the Central Valley city of Fresno, Latinos made up more than half of the population but only accounted for a quarter of traditional mortgage applications.
The data also showed disparities in two rural Northern California communities: in Chico, when Latinos did apply for such loans, they were nearly 2.5 times more likely than whites to be denied. In Salinas, they were 1.7 times more likely to be denied. The analysis compared applicants with similar incomes, loan amounts and purchasing neighborhood, among other factors.
The review of millions of federal records found evidence of redlining — the practice of charging more or denying services based on factors such as race or religion — in dozens of metro hubs across the country 50 years after the federal Fair Housing Act banned racial discrimination in lending.
Advocates also say the skewed numbers are not surprising given historical hostility toward Latino borrowers.