Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

In the United States District Court
For the Northern District of Illinois
Eastern Division

United States of America,
Plaintiff

v.

The Northern Trust Company;
Northern Trust Bank/Lake
Forest N.A.; Northern Trust
Bank/O'Hare N.A.; and
Northern Trust Bank/Du Page,
Defendants.

_________________________________

CONSENT DECREE
  1. Introduction

    The United States files this Consent Decree simultaneously with its Complaint against The Northern Trust Company ("the lender") and its three Illinois affiliates, Northern Trust Bank/Lake Forest N.A., Northern trust Bank/O'Hare N.A., and Northern Trust Bank/Du Page ("the banks"), alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619 and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C. §§1691-1691f, as amended.

    The Complaint alleges that, in processing home mortgage loan applications received during the period January 1992 through December 1993, the banks engaged in lending practices that constituted unlawful discrimination on the basis of race and national origin. The United States maintains that the evidence in this case would show that the African-American and Hispanic loan applicants were treated differently (and less favorably) than white applicants and that there is no nondiscriminatory explanation for this difference in treatment.

    the banks deny that any of their actions have constituted illegal discrimination on the basis of race or national origin. The banks acknowledge the need to improve internal review procedures in order to assure that all applicants receive the same level of assistance appropriate to the situation. Finally, the banks state that, whatever their differences with the United States as to the characterization of past events, they share the goal of the United States of assuring that considerations such as race and national origin play no role whatsoever in decisions with respect to credit, and the banks are entering into this Consent Decree in order to further that goal.

  2. The Claims Made By The United States

    The United States' investigation concentrated on the period from January 1992 through January 1994 and on the practices of The Northern Trust Company, which is the lead bank among the four defendants and has, during the past three years, taken over increased responsibility for mortgage loan processing for the three affiliates.

    At the time the United States initiated its investigation, Northern Trust knew, on the basis of its Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reports(1), that for at least four years the banks had been denying the home mortgage loan applications of African-American and Hispanic applicants at substantially higher rates than the applications of white applicants. The United States maintains that, while not dispositive in themselves, the differential denial rates should have caused the defendant banks to examine their loan processing and underwriting in order to determine whether they were engaged in disparate treatment of loan applicants on a basis prohibited for the fair lending laws.

    The United States maintains that its investigation of the banks' practices revealed a pattern of differences in the treatment of white applicants compared to African-American and Hispanic applicants in the category of those who needed assistance in (1) gathering or documenting their basic qualifying information, (2) explaining apparently negative information, or (3) providing information that could offset and compensate for negative information. The United States notes that, although such evidence is not necessary to establish that the banks' employees or officials acted out of any racial hostility or racial animosity.

    The central allegation of the Complaint is that the banks did not ensure that all loan officers, originators, processors, and underwriters provided the same level of assistance in maximizing the possibility of loan approval to all loan applicants, without regard to race or national origin. This difference in treatment included:

    1. Failing to follow up on information provided by African-American and Hispanic applicants in ways that would have been helpful to their applications, in the same manner that the banks did for similarly situated white applicants. What the banks did not do equally for the affected African-Americans and Hispanics included; (a) obtaining documentation of income such as bonus, overtime, or commission income, or secondary income sources such as rents, alimony, or child support payments; (b) obtaining from applicants explanations for adverse items on credit reports, and ensuring that applicants would not be denied solely on the basis of "in-file" credit reports; (c) advising applicants how to lower their other monthly debt to reduce their overall debt rations; (d) ascertaining any possible "offsetting" qualifications that might have compensated for any deficiencies in the required qualifying information; and (e) inquiring about sources of funds for closing other than bank accounts listed on the application, such as assistance from relatives;
    2. Failing to analyze or credit properly the information provided by African-American and Hispanic applicants in ways that would have been helpful to their applications, in the same manner that the banks did for similarly situated white applicants. What the banks did not do equally for African-Americans and Hispanics included: (a) computing documented bonus and/or overtime income when calculating debt rations; (b) excluding from the overall debt ration installment debts with ten or fewer months remaining; (c) calculating other monthly debt using the actual minimum payment, when available, rather than 5% of the outstanding balance; (d) requesting and properly evaluating explanations for adverse items on the applicant's credit report; (e) computing income using an average for a period extending back longer than two years when the applicant's income had been declining; and (f) computing an applicant's income using current income, rather than a two-year average, when the applicant's income had been increasing;
    3. Failing to provide all the African-American or Hispanic applicant's qualifying information, as was done for white applicants, to the private mortgage insurance (PMI) company when PMI was required (when the loan had a greater than 80% loan-to-value ration), and then relying in whole or in part on the PMI company's rejection to deny the application; and
    4. Deeming collateral to be unsuitable because of conditions, such as disrepair, that were already reflected in the property's appraised value.
  3. United States' Investigation and the Banks' Response

    The United States' investigation began in late 1993 and included an initial inspection, in February 1994, of a sample of the banks' 1992 and 1993 mortgage loan files and other records. From its reviews and inspections, and through later loan file reviews and interviews with bank employees, the United States determined that the Northern Trust Company had taken the following steps, prior to the investigation, intended to improve the banks' fair lending program:

      The Northern Trust Company engaged an independent firm, beginning in 1990, to conduct "shopping tests" of customer-contact personnel, including lenders, receptionists, and administrative assistants. The lender's goal was to detect any instances of disparate treatment in responses of bank personnel to requests for credit information and applications.
      In 1991, The Northern Trust Company formed the Community Mortgage Team, which includes African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American loan officers/originators. The Team solicits and originates loans to low and moderate income and minority applicants and also is responsible for originating loans under the various special loan programs Northern Trust has developed over the past several years.
      In December 1992, the banks' parent company formed a air Lending Council to sponsor and coordinate fair lending initiatives.
      Beginning in mid-1992, the banks' process for reviewing mortgage loan denials included a second review by the initial underwriter's supervisor. By November 1993, The Northern Trust Company had developed a plan for a second-review committee to review all denied loans.
      In March 1993, the banks modified and promulgated the "Decatur Federal Mortgage Checklist" for use in the underwriting unit. This detailed form standardized information to be obtained relating to the application process, including the appraisal, credit documents, debt rations, verifications, and fund sources.
      Beginning in June 1993, The Northern Trust Company required fair lending training (covering CRA, ECOA, HMDA, and the Fair Housing Act) of all customer-contact personnel, including relationship managers, administrative assistants, secretaries, loan processors, telephone operators, and tellers.
      In addition, The Northern Trust Company continued with plans it had had underway since February 1992 to locate a full-service branch in a mostly minority area on Chicago's South Side.

    The United States maintains that these steps were insufficient to address the disparate treatment that is the subject of the United States' Complaint, primarily because the banks' "second review" and use of the application checklist did not provide adequate assurance that the banks' underwriting decisions were based on complete qualifying information that had been properly evaluated and because, at the time the banks ended their reliance on the in-file credit reports, they did not install procedures to make certain that all applicants received a fair and non-discriminatory opportunity to explain any negative items on their credit reports.

    After the investigation began, the banks expanded the responsibilities of the second review committee, extending it to each back, strengthened the mandate of the Fair Lending Council (now designated the Fair Lending Policy Committee), and substantially strengthened employee supervision and training. The Northern Trust Company opened a full service branch at 7801 South State Street in December 1994.

  1. Resolution of the Dispute

    The parties have agreed that, in order to avoid costly litigation, this controversay should be resolved voluntarilty. The parties have also agreed that there should be no evidentiary hearing, trial, or other adjudication on the merits, and that the entry of this Consent Decree is not to be constued as an admission by the banks of the validity of any of the claims asserted in this action.

    Now therefore, on the basis of the foregoing representations of teh United States and the banks, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED as follows:

  1. GENERAL INJUNCTIVE PROVISION
    1. The Northern Trust Company, Northern Trust Bank.Lake Forest N.A., Northern Trust Bank/O'Hare N.A., and Northern Trust Bank/DuPage, their officials, employees, and agents, as well as successors, are enjoined from engaging in any act or practice that discriminates on the basis of race or national origin in the provision of home mortgages, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with any such transactions; and from imposing on the basis of race or national origin different terms or conditions for the availability of home mortgage loans. Fair HOusing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604 and 3605; Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1691(a)(1)
  2. SPECIFIC INJUNCTIVE PROVISIONS
    1. The United States believes that the procedural and substantive changes the banks have made since the initiation of the United States' investigation will help to serve the goal that African-American and Hispanic borrowers who apply for credit will be treated in a non-discriminatory fashion, both in the processing of their applications before underwriting and in the underwriting decisions themselves.(2) The banks will continue the measures set forth to ensure the banks' future compliance with the fair lending provisions of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act:
      1. Loan Declination Review Committee

        The Loan Declination Review Committee, as reconstituted by The Northern Trust Company in April 1994, will continue to carefully analyze all home mortgage loan applications that the underwriters propose to reject. In any case in which further information gathering or analysis is warranted, the Committee will return the files to the processors and underwriters for reconsideration and further follow-up.

      2. Community Mortgage Team

        The Community Mortgage Team, now part of the Community Banking Group, will continue to focus its efforts on originating loans to low and moderate income and minority applicants and continue to be responsible for originating loans under programs such as those described in Attachment I.

      3. Policy Committee

        The Corporate Fair Lending Policy Committee will continue to oversee the implementation of policies designed to ensure that the banks make credit products available on a non-discriminatory basis.

  3. RECORD-KEEPING AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
    1. For a three-year period, the banks will retain all loan application files submitted for home mortgage loans, and all documents and notices relevant to any home mortgage underwriting decisions, including the Loan Declination Review Committee's decisions and the ultimate disposition of any files returned by the Committee for further consideration. The banks will also retain all records relating to their fair lending compliance program, including documents concerning their employee training on fair lending, mortgage production, and compliance activities,as they relate to African-American and Hispanic applicants and borrowers.
    2. To monitor the banks' processing and evaluation of home mortgage loan applicants under this Consent Decree, the United States may, from time to time, seek and be provided access to individual home mortgage loan application files and related records such as the minutes of the banks' Loan Declination Review Committee, provided such requests are reasonable and are made upon reasonable notice and in writing to the banks. The United States will keep all records and information relating to load applicants confidential to protect the applicants' privacy rights. If the United States identifies any concerns with respect to the banks' compliance with this Consent Decree in their treatment of home mortgage loan applicants, it will promptly notify the banks of its concerns and seek to resolve them. In the event that attempts at informal resolution fail, the United States may present such matters to the United States District Court for resolution.
    3. The banks will report their progress under this Consent Decree to the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice on a semi-annual basis for the first year, beginning September 30, 1995, annually thereafter for the next two years. All reports will be submitted to the United States withing 45 days after the close of each reporting period and will include a report on the banks' performance in their processing and underwriting of African-American and Hispanic applicants for mortgage credit. This report should discus, among other things, the banks' mortgage production, compliance activities, underwriting, and Loan Declination Review Committee activities, as they relate to African-American and Hispanic applicants and borrowers.
    4. Copies of all notices, correspondence, reports, or documents required to be provided by one party or the other under this Consent Decree will be mailed to the following addresses:
      For the United States:
      Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
      Civil Rights Division
      U.S.Department of Justice
      P.O. Box 65998
      Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
      For the banks:
      Chief Compliance Officer
      The Northern Trust Company
      50 South LaSalle Street
      Chicago, IL 60675
  4. COMPENSATORY RELIEF
    1. The banks will place seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) into a Northern Trust Company Consent Decree Compensation Fund to be administered at the direction of the United States. The purpose of this fund is to compensate those who were injured be the banks' practices during the period included in the United States' investigation (january 1992 through December 1993). The compensation fund will be administered as follows:
      1. Applicants whose files were reviewed by the United States during the course of its investigation This group of applicants ("payees")(3) will be compensated in the amounts agreed upon by the parties prior to the entry of this Decree, as follows:
        1. Persons Applying for Purchase or Refinance Loans.

          The compensation amounts will range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $40,000 per payee.

        2. Persons Applying for Home Improvement Loans.

          The compensation amounts will range from a minimum of $1,500 to a maximum of $3,000 per payee.

      2. Other applicants denied between January 1992 and December 1993
        1. The banks' personnel will review all other loan files of denied African-American and Hispanic home mortgage applicants under the review standards that have been used by the Loan Declination Review Committee since April 1994;
        2. the banks will then compile a list of those applicants who would have been accepted or received counter-offers if they had been considered under the standards currently applied by the Review Committee;
        3. the banks will state their reasons for affirming all other loan denials for African-American and Hispanic applicants from January 1992 through December 1993;
        4. the United States will then review the reasons for continued denial of those applicants the banks identified as ineligible for compensation and will have the right to add any whom it believes should be included as payee; and
        5. the banks will compensate the additional payees that they or the United States identify, in amounts consistent with the ranges described above. The United States reserves the right to review the circumstances surrounding the denials reviewed by the banks, and may identify any persons ho may be entitled to higher awards withing the agreed ranges.
    2. The banks will then notify all payees by registered mail, return receipt requested, of the nature of the settlement and of their right to receive compensation, and will include a copy of the Consent Decree withwithnotice. They will notify the United States of the names and last known addresses of all payees from whom no return receipt had been received within thirty days of the mailing of the notice, and the United States will have an additional thirty days to locate these payees and provide them with a copy of the notice. the notice will include a requirement that each payee respond within sixty days of receipt of the notice and execute a waiver, in the form set forth in Attachment II, of any additional rights to proceed against the banks on claims relating to home mortgage lending. The banks will issue checks to each payee for the designated amount.
    3. The disposition of any amount remaining in the fund after all payees have been compensated will be determined by the United States. In the event that the fund is insufficient to compensate all payees according to the provisions of this Decree, the banks will supplement the fund to provide the required compensation.
  5. SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST
    1. The terms of this Consent Decree will bind any successor in interest to The Northern trust Company as to employees, branches, and offices now under the control of the banks, branches subsequently acquired by the banks, and any branches into which the banks' branches are consolidated. It is assumed by the parties that any successor in interest will voluntarily implement the provisions of this Consent Decree in all new successor in interest branches located in the banks' current service area, but if any such successor in interest declines to implement voluntarily the provisions of the Decree in all such branches and offices, it shall present to the United States its proposed plan of operation. If the United States concludes that the proposed plan of operation will hinder the attainment of the goals of this Consent Decree, it shall present such concerns to the successor in interest and attempt to resolve the differences voluntarily. Any differences that cannot be resolved by the parties may be presented to the Court for resolution.
  6. MODIFICATION
    1. This Consent Decree may be modified by written agreement of the defendants and the Department of Justice.
  7. RETENTION OF JURISDICTION
    1. For a three-year period, this Court will retain jurisdiction for purposes of enforcing all provisions of this Consent Decree. The parties to the Decree will endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation and compliance with this Consent Decree prior to bringing such matters to the COurt for resolution. Thereafter, the Court will retain jurisdiction for an additional two-year period solely for the purpose of enforcing the general injunctive provision.
  8. COSTS
    1. Each party to this litigation will bear its own costs.

    It is so ORDERD, ADJUDGED, and Decreed this ______ day of _____________, 1995.

_____________________________________
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

The undersigned apply for consent to the entry of this Order:

For the plaintiff:

JANET RENO
ATTORNEY GENERAL

DEVAL L. PATRICK
ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GERNERAL

PAUL F. HANCOCK
ALEXANDER C. ROSS
SHARON BRADFORD FRANKLIN
ELIZABETH A. SINGER
Attorneys
Housing and Civil Enforecement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202)514-4713

SCOTT LASSAR
ACTING UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

JOAN LASER
Assistant United States Attorney
219 S. Dearborn Street
Room 12000
Chicago, IL 60604
(312)353-1857

For the defendants:

PETER L. ROSSITER
General Counsel
Northern Trust Corporation
50 S. LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60675

ROBERT W. TARUN
THOMAS R. BEARROWS
TIMOTHY P. O'CONNOR
Winston & Strawn
35 W. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
(312)558-5600

MARK A. WEISS
D. JEAN VETA
Covington & Burling
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202)662-6000

Attorneys for the Northern Trust Company,
Northern Trust Bank/Lake Forest N.A.,
Northern Trust Bank/O'Hare N.A., and
Northern Trust Bank/DuPage


ATTACHMENT I
THE NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

Below are the community development mortgage programs which The Northern Trust Company has developed. Also listed are third-party programs which Northern Trust offers through community-based partnerships.

  1. MORTGAGE-RELATED PRODUCTS AND PROGRAMS DEVELOPED BY THE NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY
    1. First Time Home Buyer's Program -- A low-cost mortgage product, introduced in 1989, aimed specifically at new home buyers. All types of owner-occupied property, up to four units, qualify. FTHBC offers a 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, and adjustable rate alternatives. The Program is income-restricted. Through 1994, Northern Trust has made over 560 mortgages under this program since its inception. The Program will allow a maximum Loan to Value of 97% with private mortgage insurance. FTHB has no points and no application fee. The underwriting criteria follow Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac community lending guidelines. The Program includes an optional savings program for down-payment accumulation. in 1993, the income cap was increased and in 1994, the maximum purchase price and mortgage amount were also increased. in 1995, loan-to-value ratios of up to 97% were introduced.
    2. Neighborhood Lending Program - Single Family -- A mortgage program aimed a spurring home ownership in low- and moderate-income census tracts throughout Cook County. This program was established in 1984. All types of owner-occupied property, up to four units, qualify. There are no income restrictions. However, the property must be located ina designated low- and moderate-income census tract within Cook County and the maximum loan amount is $100,000 for a single-family property. The Program also features reduced application fee and points. The Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac community lending criteria are used.
    3. Lease/Purchase Program -- A mortgage program begun in 1991, which is conducted in partnership with a community group; prospective home buyers lease a home owned by the community group, with a portion of the monthly rent going toward a down-payment. Once a 5% down-payment is saved, the tenant assumes the mortgage. The Bank currently has active relationships with Lawndale Christian Development Corporation in North Lawndale and with Allied Housing Group in Englewood for this program. the Bank is developing additional partnerships with ACORN in Englewood, Ahkenaton Development Corporation in the New City community, and La Villita Community Development Corp. in the Little Village Community.
    4. Affordable Home Ownership Program -- A program that began in 1992 which is positioned midway between the Neighborhood lending Program and our conventional mortgage loans for more expensive homes located within low- and moderate-income census tracts in Cook County. AHOP has a maximum mortgage amount at the conforming loan limit of $203,150 and features reduced points and application fee. 15-, 20- or 30-year fixed or 3-year adjustable pricing options are available. Underwriting criteria conform to the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac community lending guidelines.
    5. Home Ownership Program through Education -- A mortgage program begun in 1992 which is offered directly by the Northern Trust to enable low income borrowers to qualify for mortgage loans. Home ownership seminars are a required part of the program. The program was initially committed at $2,500,000 in 1992 and expanded by an additional $1,000,000 in 1993, of which, $1,500,000 was reserved for direct loans by the Bank. Underwriting criteria have been significantly relaxed in this program. A significant feature of the program is a maximum loan to value ratio up to 95% without private mortgage insurance.
  2. MORTGAGE-RELATED PRODUCTS AND PROGRAMS OFFERED IN CONJUNCTION WITH COMMUNITY BASED PARTNERS

    Chicago Family Housing Fund -- A new program offered in participation with Neighborhood Housing Service (NHS)of Chicago, the City of Chicago Department of Housing, and twelve other area financial institutions. The Family Housing Fund provides a means of financing home purchases, purchase/rehabs, and home improvements. First mortgages are offered at 60-day FNMA case rate plus a maximum of 50 basis points on a 30-year fixed rate basis. second mortgages are offered at 5%, fixed for 15 years. For the first round of the Fund, Norther Trust committed to fund up to $500,000 in the first mortgage pool (total size: $5,000,000) and $100,000 in the second mortgage pool (total size: $1,000,000). Neighborhood Housing Services provides administrative services, including origination, processing, underwriting, closing, and construction management; a committee comprised of Fund participants perform the loan approval function. 67 loan participations were funded in 1994, the first year of the Fund. Northern Trust has also committed an additional $600,000 ($500,000 in first mortgage money and $100,000 in second mortgage funding) for the second round of the Fund.

  3. HOME OWNERSHIP SEMINARS OFFERED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATIONS
    1. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago -- A series of monthly home ownership seminars targeted to the first time home buyer. The seminars are offered in a convenient downtown hotel on Saturday mornings. Once per month, the seminars are conducted in Spanish. The Bank regularly has loan originators in attendance to answer questions regarding the Bank's specific programs.
    2. Hi Hopes -- A collaborative effort directed by GE Capital Mortgage, UNited Neighborhood Organizations (UNO) and area lenders. in this program, a network of several dozen local churches sponsor seminars on the naturalization process and on the subject of home ownership. UNO successfully assisted over 8000 Chicago-are residents through the naturalization process in 1994. UNO estimates that fully 30% of these newly naturalized citizens are qualified to immediately become home owners, if they understood the process. The Bank has agreed to co-host six naturalization/home ownership events with UNO at selected churches and expects to fund at least 20 mortgages in 1995.
    3. Chicago Urban League Development Corporation -- The Urban League Development Corporation is a loan packager for the Bank's community lending programs. The Bank cosponsors and conducts home ownership seminars for the Urban League's clients. The group is interested in providing these services in the "GAP" area of the Douglas community in Chicago.
    4. Town of Country Club Hills -- At the request of an alderwoman of the town council, the Bank sponsors and conducts home ownership seminars for residents of this south suburban Cook County community.
  4. MULTIFAMILY MORTGAGE - RELATED PROGRAMS
    1. Neighborhood Lending Program -- Multifamily, Mixed-Use and Commercial

      The Neighborhood Lending Program was negotiated between the Bank and the Community Reinvestment Alliance and commenced on September 1, 1984. The program was undertaken to provide below market mortgage loans on properties located within municipalities of Cook County which have a median household income of less than 75% of the median income for the Chicago Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA). These municipalities include Ford Heights, Harvey, Phoenix, Dixmoor, Robbins, and the City of Chicago. Commercial, industrial and mixed-use real estate are made available anywhere within the Neighborhood Lending Program municipalities, except the Chicago central business district. For NLP transactions, the loan must be prepared through an approved packager. The NLP offers a capped, adjustable rate mortgage with a 20 year term. The Bank collects no points and no application fee.

    2. Community Mortgage Loans

      The Bank's Community Mortgage Loans are available to borrowers who do not need the services of a loan packager. This product offers a fixed-rate, five-year term with a 15- or 20-year amortization. 1.5 - 2 points are charged. The property locations are restricted to low- and moderate-income or 50% minority-populated census tracts in Cook County.


GENERAL RELEASE

FORM A (CO-APPLICANTS)

WHEREAS we, ___________ and _______________, understand that the United States Department of Justice ("the Department of Justice") has conducted an investigation of The Northern Trust Company, Northern Trust Bank/Lake Forest N.A., Northern Trust Bank/O'Hare N.A., and Northern Trust Bank/DuPage ("the Banks"), and has concluded that with with respect to certain home mortgage loan applications during the period of January, 1992 through December, 1993, the Banks violated provisions of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act;

WHEREAS, we understand that the Banks categorically deny that they have violated any provisions of the Fair Housing Act or the Equal Credit Opportunity Act;

WHEREAS, we applied for (a) home mortgage loan(s) with one of the Banks in the period between January, 1992 and December, 1993;

WHEREAS, we understand that in order to avoid costly litigation, the Banks and the United States have resolved the matter by entering into a Consent Decree, and that we will be entitled to a payment from the Consent Decree Fund established by the Banks pursuant to the Consent Decree provided that we execute the General Release described below;

THEREFORE, we agree to the following:

In consideration of ______________, to be paid to us out of the Banks' Consent Decree Fund established pursuant to the Consent Decree, we, ______________ and ______________, hereby agree, effective upon receipt of payment,to release and forever discharge the Banks, and their current, former, and future officers, directors, employees, agents, parent companies, affiliates, and successors-in-interest from all legal and equitable claims or causes of action that have been or might have been asserted by us or the United States, as of the date of execution of this General Release, that arise out of any alleged discrimination with respect to home mortgage lending.

We understand that the payment to be made to us does not constitute an admission by the Banks of the validity of any claims made by us or by the United States on our behalf.

We understand that there will be only one compensation payment to us even though there may have been two or more co-applicants and that the above designated payment will be the sole and total compensation paid to us arising out of our home mortgage loan application(s).

We acknowledge that we understand and are waiving our right to pursue our own legal action instead of accepting payment from the Consent Decree Fund.

This general Release constitutes the entire agreement between the Banks and us, without exception or exclusion.

We have read this General Release and understand the contents hereof, and we execute this General Release of our own free act(s) and deed(s).

Signed this _______ day of ____________, 1995 at _______________.

___________________________

Social Security Number:__________________________
Current Address:_________________________________
_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
Other Identification:____________________________

SWORN and SUBSCRIBED to before
me this ______ day of __________, 1995.
____________________________
NOTARY PUBLIC
(Seal)

Social Security Number:__________________________
Current Address:_________________________________
_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
Other Identification:____________________________

SWORN and SUBSCRIBED to before
me this ______ day of __________, 1995.
____________________________
NOTARY PUBLIC
(Seal)


GENERAL RELEASE

FORM B (SOLE APPLICANTS)

WHEREAS I, ___________ , understand that the United States Department of Justice ("the Department of Justice") has conducted an investigation of The Northern Trust Company, Northern Trust Bank/Lake Forest N.A., Northern Trust Bank/O'Hare N.A., and Northern Trust Bank/DuPage ("the Banks"), and has concluded that with with respect to certain home mortgage loan applications during the period of January, 1992 through December, 1993, the Banks violated provisions of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act;

WHEREAS, I understand that the Banks categorically deny that they have violated any provisions of the Fair Housing Act or the Equal Credit Opportunity Act;

WHEREAS, I applied for (a) home mortgage loan(s) with one of the Banks in the period between January, 1992 and December, 1993;

WHEREAS, I understand that in order to avoid costly litigation, the Banks and the United States have resolved the matter by entering into a Consent Decree, and that we will be entitled to a payment from the Consent Decree Fund established by the Banks pursuant to the Consent Decree provided that we execute the General Release described below;

THEREFORE, I agree to the following:

In consideration of ______________, to be paid to us out of the Banks' Consent Decree Fund established pursuant to the Consent Decree, I, ______________, hereby agree, effective upon receipt of payment,to release and forever discharge the Banks, and their current, former, and future officers, directors, employees, agents, parent companies, affiliates, and successors-in-interest from all legal and equitable claims or causes of action that have been or might have been asserted by me or the United States, as of the date of execution of this General Release, that arise out of any alleged discrimination with respect to home mortgage lending.

I understand that the payment to be made to me does not constitute an admission by the Banks of the validity of any claims made by me or by the United States on my behalf.

I understand that the above designated payment will be the sole and total compesation paid to me arising out of my home mortgage application(s).

I acknowledge that I understand and am waiving my right to pursue my own legal action instead of accepting payment from the Consent Decree Fund.

This general Release constitutes the entire agreement between the Banks and me, without exception or exclusion.

I have read this General Release and understand the contents hereof, and I execute this General Release of my own free act and deed.

Signed this _______ day of ____________, 1995 at _______________.

___________________________

Social Security Number:__________________________
Current Address:_________________________________
_________________________________________________
_________________________________________________
Other Identification:____________________________

SWORN and SUBSCRIBED to before
me this ______ day of __________, 1995.
____________________________
NOTARY PUBLIC
(Seal)


1 The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, 12 U.S.C. §§ 2801 et seq., requires covered financial institutions to compile and disclose data about the applications they receive and the home purchase and home improvement loans they originate or purchase during each calendar year.

2Attacment I summarizes the banks' principal loan products designed to facilitate home ownership by low-to-moderate income persons and the marketing and outreach activities the banks use to inform potential low-to-moderate income and minority borrowers of loan availability. The banks will continue these programs, or similar programs, to serve the goals of the fair lending laws during the duration of this Decree.

3 There is to be one compensation payment per application, even if there were two or more co-applicants. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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