Michigan Bank in Fair-Housing Settlement

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Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. in Flint, Mich., has agreed to create two new housing programs in Detroit as part of a settlement with the Justice Department involving violations of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

On Thursday, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, against the $9.7 billion-asset company and its bank, claiming that the entities engaged in redlining activities against African-American areas, primarily in Detroit, after an analysis of lending activity from 2006 to 2008.

Also on Thursday, the parties filed an agreed order, for Citizens to partner with the city to establish a $1.6 million fund for exterior improvement grants and a $1.5 million special loan program.

The company agreed to establish a loan production office in a "majority-black census tract in the City of Detroit," according to the agreed order. Citizens did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement.

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