LA sues Bank of America, alleges discriminatory mortgage lending

Reuters

Dec 6 (Reuters) - The city of Los Angeles has filed alawsuit against Bank of America in U.S. federal court inCalifornia, accusing it of discriminatory mortgage lending inthe city's minority communities.

The lawsuit, filed by City Attorney Michael Feuer, accusedthe bank of engaging in a "continuous pattern and practice ofmortgage discrimination" since at least 2004, according to acourt filing.

A spokesman for Bank of America could not immediately bereached for comment.

The complaint alleged that the bank's practices led to awave of foreclosures in minority neighborhoods that continued tohurt the city's property tax revenues and increased the need forcity services.

It seeks damages caused by the bank's alleged discriminatorypractices, including lost revenue.

Major banks are fighting multiple legal battles related totheir mortgage lending practices. On Monday, Bank of Americasaid it would pay $404 million to Freddie Mac to resolveliabilities on home loans sold to the government-controlledmortgage company.

Friday's complaint accused the bank of refusing to extendmortgage credit to minority borrowers on equal terms as offeredto other borrowers or extending credit on predatory terms. Itsaid the practices placed vulnerable borrowers in loans theycould not afford, including subprime loans.

Similar lawsuits were filed on Thursday against CitigroupInc and Wells Fargo. Spokeswomen for both bankstold Reuters the suits were without merit.

The case is City of Los Angeles v Bank of America Corp etal, U.S. District Court, Central District of California

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