How Banks Stole Homes From the Most Vulnerable New Yorkers

Reverse redlining flooded communities of color with toxic mortgages, practically ensuring default.

News Story (New York)

Michelle Chen
Nation, The
July 15, 2016

Tags: Housing: Foreclosure

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services NYC (LSNYC)


The Great Recession has technically started to recede, but the banks that sparked it have mostly been allowed to walk. Some even prospered in the aftermath. But a jury just hit back against one predatory lender, restoring a little of the confidence in the system that Wall Street stripped away from Brooklyn during the financial crisis.

The lawsuit, filed by Brooklyn Legal Services, with support from Center for Responsible Lending and private attorneys, charged Emigrant Savings Bank under the Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and New York City Human Rights Law for “aggressively marketing toxic mortgages to Black and Latino homeowners,” using a process is known as “reverse redlining”—pushing high-cost, toxic products that inevitably led homeowners into a financial disaster that still scars the city’s increasingly unaffordable working-class neighborhoods.