HSBC subprime lawsuits and class action status

A new report from Indiana highlights some of HSBC’s troubles relative to subprime. The Times found that 20 lending institutions approved mortgage loans that accounted for 61 percent of subprime loan dollars in Lake and Porter counties in 2008.

A few of the top firms originating loans in Northwest Indiana have been accused of discriminatory lending practices, a charge the institutions deny.

Last year, the NAACP brought lawsuits against HSBC Mortgage Corp. and Wells Fargo, claiming both institutions engaged in discriminatory lending practices against minorities.

Both companies vigorously denied claims in court filings. The NAACP also filed a lawsuit against more than 10 lenders in 2007 over the same concerns.

The cases are ongoing in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Julkes, of Hammond, received a letter in the mail last month about a proposed class-action settlement for a certain group of homeowners nationwide with mortgages from Household Finance, Beneficial, Decision One or HSBC.

The lawsuit filed in 2007 in Massachusetts claimed that HSBC and its subsidiaries engaged in racial discrimination in connection with making residential mortgage loans. Plaintiffs said the entities charged minority borrowers higher interest rates or fees and put them into lower-quality loans than white borrowers.

Durham of HSBC declined to speak about the lawsuit. She said in a statement that the company takes its commitment to fair lending and consumer protection seriously.

HSBC Finance’s mortgage loans have been underwritten and priced according to risk, without regard to race, ethnicity or gender, she said.

HSBC Finance stopped originating residential real estate loans a year ago.

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