Mortgage seekers, beware. TD Bank, the New Jersey-based lender with a heavy presence in Tampa Bay, is one of eight banks under fire for discriminating against homebuyers of color.
An investigation by the Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that black borrowers were getting rejected for a mortgage by TD Bank 54 percent of the time, while borrowers who are Latinx — the gender neutral term for Latino and Latina — were turned down 45 percent of the time.
That’s triple the industry average, Reveal said, making it the worst offender of banks that accepted up to 10,000 conventional loan applications in 2015 and 2016.
The bank denies any discrimination took place.
"(TD Bank) makes credit decisions based on each customer’s credit profile, not on factors such as race and ethnicity," Judith Schmidt, spokesperson for TD Bank, told Reveal.
TD Bank told the publication that an internal review of how it lends — while factoring in an applicant’s creditworthiness — found no patterns of discrimination against black and Latinx applicants.
Among the other banks accused of this practice are one Florida lender — Sumter County-based Citizens First Wholesale Mortgage Co. — as well as Indiana-based Ruoff Home Mortgage, Illinois-based First National Bank, Pennsylvania-based First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Greene County, Minnesota’s KleinBank and Wisconsin-based Associated Bank. Virginia-based Capital One was also included, but it no longer does home mortgages.
TD Bank moved into Florida in the early 2000s when its Canadian parent company, Toronto Dominion, bought a number of failing banks across the state. In addition to its Floridian clients, "America’s most convenient bank" as it calls itself has catered to snowbirds from Canada as well as out-of-state transplants.
TD Bank has about a dozen locations in Tampa Bay.
Contact this reporter at [email protected] or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.