Saturday, September 19, 2020
Cheryl Wade and Janis Sarra have a new book out entitled, Predatory Lending and the Destruction of the African-American Dream. It's available to order now. My copy is on the way and I'm looking forward to getting into it. The authors describe the book this way:
Since the Great Recession of 2008, the racial wealth gap between black and white Americans has continued to widen. In Predatory Lending and the Destruction of the African-American Dream, Janis Sarra and Cheryl Wade detail the reasons for this failure by analyzing the economic exploitation of African Americans, with a focus on predatory practices in the home mortgage context. They also examine the failure of reform and litigation efforts ostensibly aimed at addressing this form of racial discrimination. This research, augmented by first-hand narratives, provides invaluable insight into the racial wealth gap by vividly illustrating the predation that targets African-American consumers and examining the intentionally obfuscating settlement terms of cases brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, states attorneys, and municipalities. The authors conclude by offering structural, systemic changes to address predatory practices. This important work should be read by anyone seeking to understand racial inequality in the United States.
Predatory lending in the home mortgage market has been in the news before. I recall this Times article detailing some allegations that Wells Fargo and other lenders steered African-American borrowers into subprime loans when white applicants with similar credit profiles were offered better rates and prime loans. These kinds of lending practices would undoubtedly contribute to the enormous wealth gap between black and white Americans.