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Mortgage Master Pays $250G To Settle Mortgage Discrimination Case

Mortgage Master Inc., Massachusetts' largest locally owned mortgage company based in Walpole, has reportedly dealt with two legal conflicts with state officials over the last year. In the company's latest case, it agreed to pay $250,000 in a settlement claim alleging that it discriminated against nearly 200 black consumers and charged them up to $1,000 more than its Latino or white borrowers.

The Boston Herald reported that Mortgage Master agreed to offer $95,000 in order to refund $250 to $1,000 to each borrower that supposedly had to pay the higher mortgage fees. The firm will also be paying Attorney General Martha Coakley's office $155,000 as part of the mortgage discrimination settlement, which Coakley plans on making available to local housing groups in the state, including Boston.

In its first run-in with the state government, Mortgage Master also paid $585,000 in another settlement for claims that accused the company of using unlicensed staffers and underwrote reverse mortgages without getting any state approval.

“Discrimination in lending is a problem that we are continuing to investigate and address,” stated Coakley after she publicly announced the settlement deal with Mortgage Master. “Lenders must take affirmative steps to ensure that fair lending and nondiscrimination are the rule as well as the result.”

But Mortgage Master President Paul Anastos contended that the company’s most recent “collaborative review with the attorney general’s office” showed “no findings of any violation of any fair-lending laws.”

Even so, the firm did agree to start offering data on new mortgage loans it writes during the next three years to third-party observers who will evaluate the loans and check for potential signs of racial discrimination.

To learn more about your legal options in a case like this regarding fair lending and mortgage discrimination, seek legal counsel from a skilled Boston real estate attorney who can determine the proper legal remedies available to you.

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