Industry NewsMortgage

Citizens to boost lending to African Americans in Detroit

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Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. has agreed to open a mortgage loan office in a majority African-American neighborhood in Detroit and invest $3.6 million in surrounding Wayne County to settle allegations that the bank served predominantly white neighborhoods in Detroit "to a significantly greater extent," the Department of Justice said.A complaint the Justice Department filed against Citizens and Citizens Bank of Flint said that as the successor to Republic Bank, the companies violated the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which prohibit mortgage lenders from discriminating on the basis of race and color."Citizens Bank, and Republic Bank before it, have served the credit needs of the residents of predominantly white neighborhoods in the Detroit metropolitan area to a significantly greater extent than they have served the credit needs of majority African-American neighborhoods," the Justice Department said in a press release."Those neighborhoo...