Bill Brennan calls subprime mortgage lending “the biggest type of fraud” he saw in roughly a quarter of a century as director of the Home Defense Program of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.
To this day, eight years after the foreclosure crisis that plunged the American economy into a deep recession, he said he couldn’t believe that banks would so willingly risk their reputations to loan money to people who would have difficulty paying it back. The predatory lending that contributed to the undoing of the financial system disproportionately targeted black and Latino families and set them up with risky loans. Institutions even convinced minorities firmly in the middle class to take loans with adjustable rates when they qualified for the standard, 30-year fixed mortgage.
Atlanta was one of several cities in the country that took the brunt of the hit caused by the housing crash. According to Brennan, the…
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