Former National Bank accused of discriminating against blacks seeking a mortgage


INDIANAPOLIS – The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana argues that a bank in Indiana does not treat everyone the same when it comes to mortgages. The FHCCI on Thursday filed a lawsuit in federal court against Old National Bank, alleging they broke the law by discriminating in residential mortgages against African Americans.

In the complaint, FHCCI accused Old National Bank of granting far fewer loans to black applicants than other banks. They also claim that the Old National Bank aims to limit its lending activities to predominantly white neighborhoods and people, and the bank has deliberately cut branches in black neighborhoods and moved them to white neighborhoods – which, according to the FHCCI, is red and violates federal fair housing law.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Statistical Area is made up of Indy, Carmel, and Anderson. According to FHCCI, 305,000 blacks out of a population of two million live here. In Marion County, over 260,000 people are African Americans.

FHCCI alleges that Old National Bank made over 2,250 mortgages in the Indianapolis MSA from 2019 to 2020. In about 91% of loans, the race of the borrower was included.

The FHCCI says only 23 loans were made to black borrowers in Marion County, and only 37 to black borrowers across the Indianapolis MSA. In 2019, FHCCI said the Old National Bank made just 8 loans to African Americans across Marion County.

FHCCI Executive Director Amy Nelson said that in Marion County, nearly 15% of the four peer lenders they studied have made loans to black borrowers.

Nelson said the Old National Bank website lists where its mortgage originators work across the Indianapolis MSA. She said all of them are located in predominantly white areas and all but one are white and none are black.
We are still working to get feedback from the old National Bank. This story will be updated.

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