United States v. KleinBank (D. Minn.)
On May 8, 2018, the United States entered into a settlement agreement resolving United States v. KleinBank (D. Minn.). The United States filed its complaint on January 13, 2017, alleging that the defendant violated the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act on the basis of race and national origin by engaging in unlawful “redlining” of majority-minority neighborhoods in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The complaint alleged that from 2010 to at least 2015, KleinBank structured its residential mortgage lending business in such a way as to avoid serving the credit needs of neighborhoods where a majority of residents are racial and ethnic minorities. On January 30, 2018, the magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation to deny KleinBank’s motion to dismiss. On March 30, 2018, the court entered an order adopting the report and recommendation and denying the motion to dismiss. Under the settlement agreement, KleinBank will take a number of steps to remedy the harm alleged in the complaint and to ensure that its mortgage lending services are made available on a non-discriminatory basis, and will expand its banking services in predominantly minority neighborhoods in the Minneapolis area in a variety of ways. For example, it will invest $300,000 in a loan subsidy fund to increase the amount of credit that KleinBank extends to residents of predominantly minority neighborhoods, and another $300,000 in advertising, outreach, financial education and credit repair in order to improve the bank’s visibility in, and successful expansion into, its new service area. The bank will employ a community development officer to oversee the development of the bank’s lending in predominantly minority neighborhoods, and will conduct fair lending training, including training on redlining, for its employees and officers.