A review of home appraisals on which Fleet Financial Group made loans in a minority neighborhood outside Boston will take place in the next month after a delay.
At issue are the appraised values on homes in Dorchester, a minority neighborhood, where a community housing group noticed discrepancies in the valuations compared with comparable homes in the area.
The loans Fleet made on these homes were for 20% more than loans made on similar homes in the area, according to Jim Ferris, executive director of the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corp.
After a three-month delay requested by the community group so it could gather its own information, the independent review of the 24 appraisals will take place. The appraisers will try to determine whether the higher values are genuine or if there were mistakes - deliberate or otherwise.
The homes were initially purchased by developers that put some work into the properties, then sold them to minority borrowers a few months later at much higher prices. The review will include determining the added value of the work by the developers.
A Fleet spokeswoman said the lender had no comment because the reviews had not been completed.
Mr. Ferris said his group planned to keep a close eye on all lending activity in the community. He said he was concerned with the increase in mergers of regional banks because the decisions made get farther away from the communities, and bankers in another state are probably not familiar with all the communities to which a merger brings them.
"This is not a veiled threat," Mr. Ferris said, "but a promise we will keep an eye on lending activity."