Lowell, MA

Mortgage lender Sage Bank sued by DOJ for alleged discriminatory practices

December 02, 2015
Lowell, Mass.-based mortgage lender Sage Bank will pay $1.175 million to resolve allegations brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that it violated the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by charging African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher prices for home loans than it did for white borrowers with comparable creditworthiness.
     As per a DOJ press release, Sage Bank had a pricing policy in place wherein each of its loan officers was assigned a "target price," which was the price a loan officer was required to achieve on each home loan, regardless of a borrower's creditworthiness.
     The DOJ's complaint alleges that the loan officers who were assigned higher target prices disproportionately served African-American and Hispanic borrowers. The complaint also alleges that loan officers had the discretion to price loans above their target prices and did so to a greater extent for African-American and Hispanic borrowers than for white borrowers.

Growing Asian population confronts bias

October 02, 2000
Chanrithy Uong keeps a yellowing newspaper clip on his office bulletin board at Lowell High School. In it, JohnSilber, the former Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate and firebrand chancellor of Boston University says, "There has got to be a welfare magnet going on. . . . Why should Lowell be the Cambodian capital of America?"
      The article seems an oddly bitter memento for Uong, whose sunny disposition and touching personal story speak to the sweet promise of America. Uong, 41, lost two brothers to Cambodia's murderous Khmer Rouge before fleeing to the United States in 1981. He eventually earned a master's degree, became a guidance counselor and last year won election to the city council by forging a multiracial coalition.
      "I keep that there as a reminder that even someone at Silber's level will be so blatant with their bias," he said.
Subscribe to RSS - Lowell, MA