Abstract

This article summarizes a recently completed study, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and conducted by the Urban Institute, of discrimination against black and Hispanic homebuyers when they visit mortgage lending institutions in two major metropolitan markets to make pre-application inquiries. It represents the first application of paired testing to rigorously measure discrimination in the mortgage lending process. The paired tests disclosed significant levels of adverse treatment on the basis of race and ethnicity, with African Americans and Hispanics receiving less information and assistance than comparable whites, even at this very early stage in the application process.

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