Walpole lender settles discrimination allegations
A mortgage company based in Walpole agreed to a $250,000 settlement to end to a state investigation into allegations that it discriminated against African American borrowers, the attorney general's office said today.
Mortgage Master Inc., with offices in 10 states, agreed to the deal as well as plans to provide new safeguards to assure that borrowers are not charged different fees or costs because of their race, according to the state.
"Mortgage Master will be implementing important best practices to promote fair lending,'' said Attorney General Martha Coakley in a statement. "I encourage all lenders who do business in Massachusetts to follow its lead."
Paul Anastos, the company's president, said that while Mortgage Master agreed to the settlement, the state did not find that it violated any fair lending laws. "Our management team agreed to a proposed settlement, the bulk of which will go to a charity yet to be determined," Anastos said.
As part of the settlement, the company will provide a $95,000 to be distributed to African American borrowers in Massachusetts who obtained mortgages between 2004 and 2008. Mortgage Master will also provide $155,000 to nonprofit groups that work with Massachusetts consumers, the state said.