Posted: Feb 21, 2013 12:21 PM by Ben Lloyd - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Feb 21, 2013 5:53 PM
ALICE - A $700,000 settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Texas Champion Bank of Alice over allegations of lender discrimination is awaiting the approval of U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos.
According to the Department of Justice, Texas Champion Bank did not provide adequate direction to loan officers at 13 branches on what factors to consider when setting interest rates for customers seeking unsecured loans prior to December 2010.
Court documents allege from 2006 to late 2010, just over two thousand Hispanic customers were given higher interest rates on unsecured loans than white customers in similar financial situations.
The government alleges the rates "cannot be explained by factors unrelated to national origin."
Such acts would be a violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The Justice Department says the bank has agreed to pay $700,000 to the victims, monitor its loans for potential disparities based on national origin, and provide equal credit opportunity training to its employees.
Texas Champion Bank has branches in Corpus Christi, Alice, San Antonio, Kenedy, Pleasanton, Charlotte, George West, Mathis, Benavides, Beeville and San Diego.
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