Minorities Get Brunt of Tough Lending Rules

Tougher lending policies have unintended consequences for minorities and low- to moderate-income families, according to a survey of 1,135 combined members of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB).

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, lenders, and mortgage insurance companies are all implementing declining market policies, which increases mortgage and refinance rates and usually call for larger down payments. “In effect, the consequence of these policies is a near complete suspension of financing resources to communities that need it most,” says NAHREP Chair Felix DeHerrera.

Here’s a rundown of the survey’s top findings:

  • 62 percent of minority real estate professionals are concerned about declining market policies.
  • 35 percent say areas with a high concentration of minorities and low-income residents have experienced a disparate impact of the policies.
  • 27 percent are worried that some lenders may act too quickly to identify minority neighborhoods as being declining markets.
  • 69 percent say that for every transaction they close, they turn away two to four customers that are unable to qualify for a mortgage under declining market guidelines.

Source: NAHREP, AREAA, NAREB (04/01/2008)