"We are looking at other banks in other parts of the state, and if banks do not agree to resolve these really disgraceful practices, then there will be further litigation," Schneiderman said at a press conference in his
Schneiderman made his remarks after his office filed a lawsuit against the parent company of
Schneiderman said his office had become concerned about banks' lending practices in minority communities in the years following the mortgage crisis, prompting an investigation.
"Financial institutions can't use the fact that the housing market crashed as an excuse to exclude black communities from their loan products, to exclude black communities from the marketing, so they know what products are available, to exclude black communities from any access to service, and branches or ATMs," he said.
Evans has denied any wrongdoing. In a statement following Schneiderman's allegations today,
Evans is a relatively small player in the Buffalo Niagara region compared to leaders
The trade area map is a publicly available document, created by Evans, showing where Evans solicits business and markets its lending products and services. The map's boundary excludes the
"This is classic redlining," Schneiderman said, tracing his finger around the boundary. "If you had to make up a hypothetical to explain to law students what redlining is, you would use a map like this."
Schneiderman also cited statistics showing that from 2009 to 2012, Evans received 1,114 applications for residential mortgages in the
Schneiderman's office filed its suit in the
"We hope that the bank will see the error of their ways and quickly start to comply with the law, but we don't know how aggressively they're going to fight it," he said. "It's hard to predict it."
Meanwhile, Evans has set aside
"The bottom line is that after several months of discussions with (Schneiderman's) office to resolve this matter, the bank was not going to admit to something that it did not do," Vacco said in a statement. "
Schneiderman presented his own viewpoint of those talks: "We never got close to an agreement in which Evans would accept responsibility for its misconduct, if I can put it that way. That was really the problem. They just did not want to accept responsibility for discrimination, for redlining, for their own documents."
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