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Bloomberg study flags lower refinancing approvals for African Americans by Wells Fargo

African American homeowners drew the lowest mortgage refinancing approval rate by lenders nationwide and also had the lowest number of applicants, according to a study in a Bloomberg article published Friday. Forty-seven percent of black homeowners who completed a refinance application with Wells Fargo in 2020 were approved, compared with 72% of white homeowners, according to an analysis of federal mortgage data by Bloomberg. JPMorgan Chase & Co. approved 81% of refinancing applications from black homeowners and 90% from white home owners. Bank of America Corp. approved 66% of its black applicants and 78% of white applicants. Rocket Mortgage LLC OK’d 79% of black applicants and 86% of white ones applicants. Wells Fargo did not dispute the statistics reported by Bloomberg, but said it treats all potential borrowers the same and it’s more selective than other lenders. Wells Fargo also said an internal review of its 2020 refinancing decisions confirmed that additional, legitimate, credit-related factors were responsible for the differences, Bloomberg reported.

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