Lehman Supports Foreclosure Prevention

Lehman Brothers has contributed $1.25 million to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition to support the coalition's foreclosure prevention fund and homeownership initiatives, which includes going after lenders with restrictive lending policies.

The investment banking firm, which owns two nonprime mortgage companies, also agreed to abide by NCRC's best lending and servicing practices.

"Lehman Brothers is committed to making home financing available to consumers by originating and purchasing sound residential mortgage loans to creditworthy borrowers and by servicing such loans and engaging in collection activities in a fair and equal manner," a Lehman spokesman said.

Lehman owns subprime wholesaler BNC Mortgage Inc. in Irvine, Calif., and alt-A wholesaler and correspondent lender Aurora (Colo.) Loan Services Inc.

"We are delighted to join forces with Lehman Brothers to expand and sustain homeownership for all Americans," NCRC president and chief executive Paul Taylor said.

Meanwhile, NCRC scored another win in its campaign against mortgage lenders that refuse to fund loans on row house properties in inner cities.

First Indiana Bank NA, Indianapolis, has agreed to pay $100,000 in settling allegations that it discriminated against minorities by refusing to make loans on row houses in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington.

The NCRC filed a fair housing complaint against the $2.1 billion national bank in March, alleging its policies of not lending on row houses and properties valued under $100,000 discriminates against African-American and Hispanics.

The publicly traded banking company is a wholesale and retail lender that sells most of its loan production. Its wholesale operation originated $43.6 million in home-equity loans in the first quarter, compared to $82.5 million in the same quarter of 2006. (c) 2007 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com