Fed: CRA Didn't Cause B&C Mess

Washington-A Federal Reserve Board study discovered that banks and thrifts made only a small percentage of subprime loans in their Community Reinvestment Act assessment areas, refuting critics who claim CRA contributed to the crisis.

"Only 6% of all the higher-priced (subprime) loans were extended by CRA-covered lenders to lower-income borrowers or neighborhoods in their CRA assessment areas," Fed governor Randall Kroszner said. This evidence does not support the view that CRA contributed in any substantial way to the subprime mortgage crisis, he added.

In examining foreclosure data, Fed researchers also discovered that foreclosure filings have increased at a faster pace in middle-income and higher-income areas than in lower-income areas served by CRA lenders.

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