Bank Accused of 'Redlining' Black Neighborhoods in Buffalo

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has accused a mortgage lender of refusing to offer financing to African-Americans living in Buffalo.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has accused a mortgage lender of refusing to offer financing to African-Americans living in Buffalo. CARLO ALLEGRI / Reuters

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/ Source: Associated Press

New York's attorney general is accusing a mortgage lender of refusing to offer financing to African-Americans living in Buffalo. Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday alleging that Evans Bank intentionally excluded predominantly African-American neighborhoods on the city's east side from its lending area. In a statement, bank President David Nasca says Evans will "vigorously" defend itself against meritless accusations.

Schneiderman says the lawsuit is part of a wider investigation by his office into the illegal practice of redlining, in which a lender denies access to mortgages or charges more in certain neighborhoods based on race. The lawsuit alleges that more than 75 percent of Buffalo's African-American population was denied access to the bank's mortgage products. Evans Bank has 13 branches in western New York.

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-- The Associated Press