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Subprime Crash Affects Minority Neighborhoods

The subprime market crash has affected minority neighborhoods all over the U.S. Why? The reason is because they were heavily targeted for risky high cost loans. With millions of Americans who are suffering from inflating mortgage payments due to adjustable rates, balloon payments and other unscrupulous sub-prime programs, many people are now in panic mode, having recently lost their homes or living in constant fear that their homes will be lost.

United for a Fair Economy, a Boston-based economic policy group minorities put out a study about subprime mortgage situation. In the "State of the Dream 2008: Foreclosed" report, which evaluated subprime lending during the past eight years, a direct loss from defaulted subprime loans to range between $365 billion and $605 billion is projected.

Whites hold 55 percent of the bad subprime loans are held by whites, while minorities hold the other 45 percent, according to estimates. Borrowers who are African-Americans are projected to lose between $71 billion and $122 billion - or about 20 percent of the total projected losses. Latinos are projected to lose $76 billion to $129 billion for the same period. This would be about 21 percent of the burden from subprime defaults.

"It is bad here in New York, and especially in places like Brooklyn which has a higher number of minorities," said Rocco Basile, product manager for New York-based Basile Builder's Group. "Our company's goal is to help answer questions and provide the community here with guidance and advice."

According to a January 26, 2008 Bloomberg subprime article, the communities of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights in New York had a foreclosure rate of almost four times the national subprime figure of 6.89 percent in October of 2007. One ion four owners who had subprime mortgages in the 11233 zip code areas lost their homes. This was the highest number since March of 2003 according to the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington. Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights is mostly black, there were 194 foreclosures out of 770 subprime borrowers, according to Federal data.

It appears that many of these minority families had credit scores that led them to predatory loans with extremely high interest. According to a 2006 study of 50,000 mortgages by the Center for Responsible Lending in Durham, North Carolina, blacks and Latinos are 30 percent more likely to be charged a higher rate for a home loan than whites with credit histories that are similar. What's more, subprime loans were available to those borrowers with incomplete or bad credit and these loans carry higher interest rates than loans to people with good credit histories.

Sharp increases in subprime mortgage loan delinquencies and also the number of homes entering foreclosure raise important economic and social questions.

About the Author:

Kristin Gabriel is an author and social media marketing professional with clients including Rocco Basile of the the Basile Builders Group based in New York. Basile is involved with several charities including Children of the City and the Joe DiMaggio Committee (www.joedimmagioaward.com)for Xaverian High School

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