THE TERM redlining originated in the insurance industry where insurance executives would draw a red line around a neighborhood to be excluded or treated differently. Defined as the refusal or an inequality of service to a specific geographic region based upon income and/or race, it has been common in the banking and insurance industries. Banks practice redlining when they refuse to accept checks over a certain amount from customers, or when they assign disproportionately higher loan costs, interest rates, loans greater than real value, loans with no regard to borrower's income, loan/property flipping, balloon payments, or negative amortization. Neighborhoods where such practices are commonplace can become devastated by loss of equity and mortgage foreclosure.

The disparity of loan refusals between whites and minorities has been on ...

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