How Bank Of America Neglects Minority Neighborhoods (And Why They Might Get Away With It): Bank of America (BOA) is falling short of its obligations around foreclosed properties in predominantly black and hispanic neighborhoods, according to a complaint filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Wednesday. It is the second such well-documented allegation of discrimination by BOA from the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) in the past year, but the evidence NFHA has now mustered twice in support of the charge could be rendered legally moot by a Supreme Court case that threatens to gut housing discrimination law.
When a bank forecloses on a home it has a legal duty to maintain the property to some basic standard so as not to depress property values for neighboring homeowners. NFHA inspectors went to foreclosed homes either owned or managed by BOA in various cities and evaluated the upkeep of foreclosed properties in both predominantly white and predominantly minority neighborhoods, and found that more than half of the bank-owned properties in minority areas showed multiple signs of neglect. None of the bank-owned homes in white neighborhoods that NFHA inspectors went to showed similar levels of neglect. Wednesday’s complaint adds to an already large pile of evidence from NFHA inspectors, who first started reporting data on discriminatory patterns of neglect from foreclosing banks in 2009.