Golden Empire Mortgage charged Hispanics higher rates, feds say

House sold
House sold

A California mortgage lender agreed to settle a U.S. Federal Trade Commission lawsuit claiming it charged Hispanics more for mortgage loans, the agency announced.

The FTC filed a complaint in federal court on May 7, 2009, alleging Golden Empire Mortgage, Inc. and its owner, Howard D. Kootstra, violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in pricing mortgage loans based on ethnicity rather than applicants' credit characteristics or underwriting risk.