Thirty-six percent of home-loan applications from Chicago blacks were denied in 1991, according to a study released by the Woodstock Institute.
The denial rate for blacks was more than double that for whites, who were turned down 13.5% of the time.. Nearly 22% of the Hispanics who applied for mortgages were rejected in 1991, the study says.
"You have to look a lot deeper than the numbers before you say there is blatant racism," said Ernestine Jackson, who led the study for Chicago-based Woodstock.
She said the discrepancy may suggest that blacks applying for mortgages are not financially ready to meet with bankers and may need additional advice on credit requirements. "It may be that people who are walking in the door are not necessarily counseled by loan officers."
This is the eighth consecutive year that Woodstock has released in Community Lending Fact Book, which compiles and analyzes data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Woodstock reviewed 46,000 loan applications.
HMDA requires banks to compile information on home-loan applications that include race, sex, and income
Ms. Jackson said denials for blacks are up in Chicago from 29.8% in 1990. The study also shows that of mortgages originated in 1991, whites received 57.4% of the loans. Hispanics 16.5%, blacks 16.2%, Asians 4.0%, and others 1.1%6. When income is held constant, "patterns of racial discrimination exist," the study says.
It found that black loan applicants earning $25,000 to $50,000 were about 17.5 times as likely as whites to be turned down. The comparable figure was 1.68 for blacks earning $50,000 to $75,000. And black applicants with incomes of $75,000 or more were twice as likely as middle-income whites and Hispanics to be denied loans.