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Report ranks St. Louis low for loan disparity

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Minorities in the St. Louis area are more likely to receive high-cost loans than whites, according to a national report released Wednesday.

The Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now---or ACORN---looked at data available through the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for 2006.

ACORN's Missouri state director Jeff Ordower says in St. Louis minorities received higher-cost loans more often than whites, regardless of income level.

"Upper income African-American home buyers were three times more likely to receive a high cost loan than low-income whites," Ordower said, in an interview. "And upper and middle income African-Americans were much more likely to receive a high cost loan, so it doesn't break down by income.

"It really is racial targeting."

The report defines 'high-cost loans' as those with an APR at least three points above the comparable rate on U.S. Treasury Securities.

ACORN looked at more than 170 U.S. cities; St. Louis was in the bottom third for racial disparity in loans.

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