JPMorgan Chase settles racial discrimination lawsuit for $55 million

Chase discrimination lawsuitOn January 18, the DOJ and JPMorgan Chase agreed to settle a federal lawsuit that alleged that the bank had discriminated against minority borrowers in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). On the same day that the DOJ filed its complaint, the parties agreed to settle the matter for $55 million.

According to the complaint, between 2006 and 2009, JPMorgan had charged higher prices for residential mortgage loans on the basis of race or ethnicity. For years, JPMorgan used a network of mortgage brokers across the country. Chase gave those independent mortgage brokers discretion to change the interest rates and fees charged on mortgage loans from the rates initially set (which were based on objective criteria).

Western Union fined $586 for consumer fraud violations

Western Union fraud settlementOn January 19, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million to settle an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Western Union, the world’s biggest money-transfer company, is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado.

According to a DOJ press release, Western Union has admitted to violations of federal anti-fraud and money-laundering laws. The DOJ alleges that, between 2004 and 2012, Western Union violated the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-fraud statutes by processing thousands of transactions for Western Union agents and others involved in an international consumer fraud scheme.

DOJ files lawsuit against Minnesota bank for alleged redlining practices

DOJ lawsuit KleinBankOn January 13, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release announcing that it had filed a lawsuit against KleinBank alleging that the bank had engaged in unlawful “redlining” of minority neighborhoods in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.

In its complaint, the DOJ alleged that KleinBank violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). The complaint alleges that KleinBank structured its residential mortgage lending practices in a way that allowed the bank to avoid providing credit services to consumers in neighborhoods where a majority of the residents are racial and ethnic minorities.