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HUD settlement in Associated Bank lawsuit includes $1.4 million in advertising

(May 29, 2015) The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced an agreement with Associated Bank, N.A. to resolve a disparate treatment redlining case, one of the largest redlining complaints brought by the federal government against a mortgage lender. At approximately $200 million, it is the largest settlement of this kind HUD has ever reached.

The settlement stems from a HUD Secretary-initiated complaint alleging that from 2008-2010, the Wisconsin-based bank engaged in discriminatory lending practices regarding the denial of mortgage loans to African-American and Hispanic applicants and the provision of loan services in neighborhoods with significant African-American or Hispanic populations.

"This settlement sends a strong message that HUD does not tolerate practices that unfairly restrict an equal and open housing market," said HUD Secretary Julian Castro. "Discriminatory lending practices have too often cut off too many credit-worthy families from the opportunities they need to thrive. This agreement will ensure that more Americans can fulfill their hopes and aspirations."

Over the next three years, Associated will pay nearly $10 million in the form of lower interest rate home mortgages and down payment/closing cost assistance to qualified borrowers in majority-minority census tracts in the housing market areas of Chicago; Milwaukee; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Racine, Wisconsin; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Lake County, Illinois. Associated also agrees to pay $1.4 million to support affirmative marketing of loans in the above census tracts, and commit $1.35 million for community reinvestment and fair lending education and training;

The agreement further commits Associated to invest nearly $200 million through increased home mortgage lending activity in majority-minority census tracts in these areas; provide nearly $3 million to help existing homeowners repair their properties in these predominantly minority communities; and open three loan production offices in the Chicago area and one in the Milwaukee area, subject to regulatory approval.


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