The National Home Equity Mortgage Association claims that the latest report by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now fails to address legitimate concerns about abusive lending practices and instead attacks the non-prime mortgage lending industry as a whole, an industry that NHEMA said has played a central role in increasing home ownership and access to mainstream credit in minority communities.

While ACORN’s report highlights a great deal of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, NHEMA said it avoids the key HMDA statistics showing that the ethnic distribution of non-prime mortgage loans–68 percent white, 14 percent Hispanic, 12 percent African-American and 6 percent Asian and other–almost precisely mirrors America’s overall demographic breakdown. If disparities in mortgage lending actually exist, NHEMA said they are clearly not the result of excessive lending to any particular group by non-prime mortgage lenders.

“Non-prime mortgage lenders have been working for years to end the vestiges of redlining and give every American an opportunity to get a mortgage,” said NHEMA President Mitch Feinstein. “We welcome any ideas from consumer advocates and others about how to enhance protections for vulnerable consumers and how we can get mortgages to more people, more efficiently. It’s disappointing, however, when a group that claims to represent consumers releases yet another report that uses flawed data to advance its view that only those who meet the strict criteria for prime loans should be able to get a mortgage.”

NHEMA is a trade association solely representing the non-prime home equity lending industry.

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