If you live in the New York area and got a mortgage from J.P. Morgan Chase between 2006 and 2009, there’s a chance the bank charged you higher rates and fees than it should have.
Chase didn’t admit guilt. But the bank apparently agreed to pay $55 million for allegedly charging African-Americans and Hispanics more for mortgages.
A lawsuit filed by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, alleged that the average black or Hispanic homebuyer paid about $1,000 more in fees and interest for mortgages than other borrowers.
The bank allowed mortgage brokers to set fees without regard to the credit worthiness of the buyers. So even if you qualified for a lower rate you may not have gotten it, according to the complaint.
“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 U.S. Attorney wrote in the complaint.
The $55 million payout should include restitution for homebuyers. We’ll keep you updated on how this money should come back to you, if you think you were overcharged.