This week, Bank of America announced the launch of a mortgage option for first-time home purchasers that will need no closing costs, no down payments, and no minimum credit score.
Some people and families looking to buy a home in “designated markets, including specific Black/African American and/or Hispanic-Latino neighborhoods in Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Miami,” according to a news release from Bank of America on Tuesday, will be able to use the “Community Affordable Loan Solution.”
The banking giant said this week that the program does not call for mortgage insurance, which purchasers may have to pay if they put down less than 20% of the cost of a property, or a minimum credit score. A credit score, which ranges from 300 to 850, aims to assess a person’s creditworthiness.
However, after unveiling the program that will offer first-time homebuyers a mortgage with no down payment or closing expenses, but only if they are Black or Hispanic, as AJ Barkley, head of neighborhood and community lending for Bank of America, said on Tuesday’s statement that, “Homeownership strengthens our communities and can help individuals and families to build wealth over time, Our Community Affordable Loan Solution will help make the dream of sustained homeownership attainable for more Black and Hispanic families, and it is part of our broader commitment to the communities that we serve.”
The American investment bank then has been accused of discrimination. Twitter is currently on fire over the announcement and has slammed the bank for what some call its racist program.
In response to the news, former Trump Campaign advisor Steve Cortes ripped the Bank and asked followers on Twitter if they’ve “had enough.”
“Hey Americans who happen to be white: You bailed out Bank of America when they (and every other big bank) nearly collapsed the economy,” Cortes tweeted. “Now…BofA pays you back with an explicitly race-based lending program that overtly discriminates against white people. Had enough???”
The emergence of “Environmental, Social, and Governance” standards, sometimes known as ESG scores, and Critical Race Theory (CRT), which when combined have been dividing the country in the name of “equity” and “inclusion,” make this a legitimate question.
White kids are told they are born racists, white men are warned they are “toxic,” and just this week, a former American Express employee filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for allegedly discriminating against white workers in the wake of George Floyd’s 2020 death.
So it’s evident that a loud “yes!” is the response for many to Cortes’s question.
Now, the legality of a program that appears to openly discriminate against white homebuyers was immediately questioned:
“Is there a non-racist non-woke bank?” asked one angry user.
“Can someone explain to me how this isn’t racial discrimination?” asked author and Washington Times columnist Tim Young.
“So if you’re White, Asian, Indian, or Arab, you’re just shit out of luck?” asked former Commissioner of the New York Police Department Bernard Kerik.
“How is this legal?” asked former California Congressional candidate David Giglio. “This seems like a situation ripe for a Class Action lawsuit.”
The Unruh Act, a 1959 statute that forbids companies from discriminating against customers based on a variety of criteria including race, color, religion, ancestry, and national origin, might potentially be violated, according to California attorney Harmeet Dhillon. Additionally, it might be against the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, she stated.
The relationship between Bank of America and minority communities has been rocky. It was fined $335 million for allegedly charging black and Hispanic homeowners greater interest rates than whites at Countrywide Financial, a subprime lender it acquired in 2008.