Settlement Provides Over $13 Million to Ensure Equal Home Loan Opportunities
The Justice Department announced today an agreement to resolve allegations that Lakeland Bank (Lakeland) engaged in a pattern or practice of lending discrimination by "redlining" in the Newark metropolitan area, including neighborhoods in Essex, Somerset and Union counties in New Jersey. This resolution is part of the Justice Department's nationwide Combating Redlining Initiative and represents the third-largest redlining settlement in department history.
"Financial institutions that refuse to provide mortgage lending services to communities of color not only contribute to the persistent racial wealth gap that exists in this country, but also violate federal law," said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. "The agreement with Lakeland announced today represents the Justice Department's continued commitment to addressing modern-day redlining, and to ensuring that all Americans have equal opportunity to obtain credit, no matter their race or national origin."
"Ending redlining is a critical step in our work to close the widening gaps in wealth between communities of color and others," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "This settlement demonstrates our firm commitment to combating modern day redlining and holding banks and other lenders accountable when they deny people of color equal access to lending opportunities. Through this agreement, we are sending a strong message to the financial industry that we will not stand for discriminatory and unlawful barriers in residential mortgage lending."