Deservedly or not, banks will be on the hot seat for months and maybe years as a result of the Los Angeles race riots. The political fallout from the unrest has galvanized the government to step up its search for bias by mortgage lenders.

Over the past several weeks, major investigations into discriminatory mortgage lending have been unveiled separately by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Justice Department.

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