‘Significant racial disparities’: Nevada politicians call for review of credit union – Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Navy Federal Credit Union has come under fire after a CNN investigation showed they disproportionately deny Black and Hispanic residents home loans, and two Nevada politicians have joined the chorus for a review of the company’s practices.

The CNN report found Navy Federal was more than twice as likely to deny a home loan from a Black applicant, and Hispanic applicants were close to 85 percent more likely to be denied a home loan compared with a white applicant.

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Navy Federal is the largest credit union in the country with total assets of more than $168 billion and has 13 million-plus members.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev, joined three other Democrat senators in calling on the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to review “the concerning gap in mortgage approval rates” according to race.

“The Navy Federal Credit Union serves almost 27,000 Nevada servicemembers and their families, and I was proud to join my colleagues in demanding an investigation into why Black and Hispanic applicants are far more likely to be denied home loans,” Cortez Masto said via email to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I’ll always fight against discrimination and will continue to make sure all Nevadans are treated fairly.”

A Navy Federal spokesperson said via email to the Review-Journal that the credit union has already initiated a review to assess their core mortgage lending policies and practices.

“We are proud of the fact that Navy Federal’s percentage of originations to Black borrowers is among the largest of the top 50 lenders,” the email also stated. “We will continue to work to support all of our members – including Black borrowers – to help them build strong financial futures.”

Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and other members of the caucus on Jan. 11 sent a letter directly to Navy Federal President and CEO Mary McDuffie asking for a meeting about perceived “significant racial disparities” in the company’s mortgage approval rates.

“As you know, homeownership is the primary way most Americans build wealth,” the letter stated. “Historically, Black Americans have both been denied the opportunity to own a home and denied the full benefits of homeownership, such as the ability to purchase a home in their neighborhood of choice, through discriminatory policies.”

Contact Patrick Blennerhassett at [email protected].

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