NEW YORK (January 14, 2010)—We applaud today’s announcement by the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department creating a new unit that will focus exclusively on unfair lending practices. This opens a new line of attack in the administration’s response to the foreclosure crisis.
There is evidence that civil rights and fair lending laws may have been violated by reverse redlining practices that targeted minority neighborhoods. The crisis has since spread beyond sub-prime and high cost loans to engulf the entire world economy.
For many months, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rainbow PUSH have called for more vigorous civil rights enforcement as a critical element of addressing home foreclosure. The crisis shows little evidence of abatement, with 2.8 million homes in foreclosure during 2009 and more than 25% of homes worth less than their current mortgage balance. This unit will go a long way toward finding the systemic comprehensive solutions that the crisis requires.
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366.