Bank of America has found itself under some pretty heavy criticism over its new mortgage lending program that is geared specifically towards Hispanic and black homebuyers.
These new loans, to be offered in specific minority communities across the country, would require zero down payments and incur no closing costs. Despite white homebuyers for those specific neighborhoods being eligible for the program if they meet a stricter set of circumstances, the lender based out of North Carolina stated that it is designed specifically to work for blacks and Hispanics.
“Our Community Affordable Loan Solution will help make the dream of sustained homeownership attainable for more Black and Hispanic families, and it is part of our broader commitment to the communities that we serve,” explained the head of neighborhood and community lending for Bank of America, A.J. Barkley.
The new lending program, which has been labeled the Community Affordable Loan Solution, is being started up for certain neighborhoods in Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Miami. The program also sports no requirement for a minimum credit score and many buys will be exempt from having to pay mortgage insurance, which buyers who normally do not put at least 20% down are required to pay.
Harmeet Dhillon, an attorney in California, stated that the program could possibly go against the state’s Unruh Act, a law from 1959 that blocks businesses from discriminating against consumers based on various factors such as religion, color, race, ancestry, and national origin. She claimed that it could also go against the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act.
In California, this would seem to violate the Unruh Act. Also federal Title VIII … Bank of America announces zero down payment mortgages for Black and Latino homebuyers https://t.co/zzFDWhrmK5 via @nbcnews
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) September 1, 2022
Steve Cortes, who used to be a CNBC, Fox News, and Newsmax business commentator and also worked as a campaign spokesman for former President Trump, labeled the program as heavily racist.
“Hey Americans who happen to be white: You bailed out Bank of America when they (and every other big bank) nearly collapsed the economy,” claimed Cortes. “Now…BofA pays you back with an explicitly race-based lending program that overtly discriminates against white people. Had enough???”
Breanna Morello, a user on Twitter, joked around by claiming that she could qualify for the new program simply by identifying as a minority, despite the fact that she is not.
“As a transracial woman, I am excited that @BankofAmerica will be providing me and other transracial Americans with the opportunity of owning a home without a down payment and closing costs,” stated Morello in a post. “Transracials EVERYWHERE need to take advantage of this opportunity.”