WASHINGTON - Nearly half of the home refinancing loans made to African-Americans last year came from subprime lenders, compared with 12% to whites and 19.5% to Latinos, according to a study released Wednesday.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now analyzed the lending activity of more than 7,800 institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

"We know that many of the people who got subprime loans could have qualified for a lower-cost mortgage, but instead they were pushed into a higher-cost loan because the mortgage company saw an opportunity to make more money," Acorn president Maude Hurd said in a press statement.

The 45-page study also said 30.5% of refinance loans made to upper-income African-Americans came from subprime lenders, against 8.2% for wealthier whites.

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