NEW YORK (AP) — A Pennsylvania mortgage firm owned by billionaire businessman Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway discriminated towards potential Black and Latino homebuyers in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware, the Department of Justice mentioned Wednesday, in what they’re calling the second-largest redlining settlement in historical past.
Trident Mortgage Co., a division of Berkshire’s HomeServices of America, intentionally averted writing mortgages in minority-majority neighborhoods in West Philadelphia like Malcolm X Park; Camden, New Jersey; and in Wilmington, Delaware; the DOJ and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau mentioned of their settlement with Trident. As a part of the settlement with the DOJ and the CFPB, Trident must put aside $20 million to make loans in underserved neighborhoods.
The DOJ alleged that workers of Trident, which stopped writing mortgages in 2020, made racist feedback about making loans to Black homebuyers, calling sure neighborhoods “ghettos” and one supervisor of Trident was photographed posing in entrance of the Confederate Flag.
“Trident’s unlawful redlining activity denied communities of color equal access to residential mortgages, stripped them of the opportunity to build wealth, and devalued properties in their neighborhoods,” mentioned Kristen Clarke, an assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in a ready assertion.
Trident additionally agreed to rent mortgage mortgage officers in impacted neighborhoods in addition to pay a financial effective of $4 million. Since Trident now not operates, a separate firm can be contracted to supply the $20 million in mortgage subsidies, the DOJ mentioned.
HomeServices of America didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.