FTC Refunds Hispanic Consumers Overcharged for Mortgage Loans

Hispanic family in California
Hispanic family in California

More than 3,000 Hispanic consumers who were fleeced by a California mortgage company because of their ethnicity have been mailed refund checks by the Federal Trade Commission.

On April 22, 2011, the FTC mailed 3,162 refund checks to mortgage loan borrowers taken advantage of by Golden Empire Mortgage Inc. of Bakersfield, Calif., and its president and CEO, Howard D. Kootstra.

The FTC sued Golden Empire and Koostra in May 2009 for violating the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by pricing mortgage loans based on ethnicity rather than on applicants' credit characteristics or underwriting risk.