| NEW YORK, June 16
NEW YORK, June 16 JPMorgan Chase & Co
has been sued by the city of Miami, accusing the bank of
predatory mortgage lending in minority neighborhoods that
allegedly caused a wave of foreclosures during the last decade's
The lawsuit, filed on Friday in federal court in Florida,
said the country's largest bank engaged in a continuous practice
of discriminatory mortgage lending since at least 2004,
violating the U.S. Fair Housing Act.
After issuing high-cost loans to minorities in the years
before the housing crisis, JPMorgan later refused to refinance
the loans on the same terms as it extended to whites, leading to
defaults and foreclosures, the complaint said.
The lawsuit came just weeks after the city of Los Angeles
filed similar claims against JPMorgan, seeking to recoup damages
for lost tax revenue and increased city services needed in
"The Miami City Attorney's claims are baseless and stand
contrary to our long record of providing affordable housing to
low- to moderate-income families across the region," JPMorgan
spokesman Jason Lobo said. The bank will defend itself against
the claims, he said.
Wells Fargo & Co, Citigroup Inc and Bank of
America Corp also face lawsuits by Los Angeles and Miami
for allegedly giving minorities home loans they could not
afford, resulting in massive defaults.
The banks have contested the claims, saying they have
records as responsible lenders.
Among major cities, Miami has led the country in
foreclosures, and JPMorgan's practices contributed to its
problems, Friday's lawsuit alleged.
Loans in predominantly minority neighborhoods in Miami were
about 4.6 times more likely to result in foreclosure than loans
in neighborhoods with a majority of white residents, the lawsuit
Miami is still being damaged because of the services needed
to combat unsafe and dangerous conditions, crime and even gang
activity at foreclosed properties, the lawsuit said.
Wells Fargo and Citigroup recently lost bids to have their
A spokesman for the city of Miami did not immediately return
a request for comment.
The case is City of Miami v JPMorgan Chase & Co, U.S.
District Court, Southern District of Florida, No 14-cv-22205
(Editing by Will Dunham and Jeffrey Benkoe)