I've been a real estate broker in Virginia for 23 years. I own my own company. I am also a minority, having been born in Cuba. I've had many clients from South and Central America, African Americans and Africans along with others with varying incomes. The Sept. 14 Business story "Minorities Often Pay More for Mortgages; Lenders Required to Give Fed Data on Subprime Loans" should have been headlined, "People With Lower Credit Scores Often Pay More for Mortgages."
That minorities "often pay more for mortgages" is directly a result of their credit scores. Writing a story about why minorities have lower credit scores would help their cause and be revealing. The headline insinuated that being a minority alone is the determining factor in obtaining better interest rates or terms. Buried in the story was a statement from the Fed report that "the numbers do not necessarily indicate widespread discrimination."
Most of my minority and nonminority clients have obtained market-rate loans over the years because they have good credit scores. My clients who have not had good credit scores have had to obtain financing from subprime lenders, whether they were members of minority groups or not.
The mortgage market does have many less-than-reputable lenders. But the existence of subprime lenders is necessary because many people would not be able to obtain mortgage loans otherwise. It is a complicated problem with no easy solutions.