HUD settles redlining claim against lender for $200 million.

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it had reached an agreement with Associated Bank NA, Green Bay, Wisconsin, to settle a complaint brought by HUD that alleges the bank engaged in "discriminatory lending practices" from 2008 to 2010.

The HUD press release noted that the settlement stems from a HUD secretary-initiated complaint involving a disparate-treatment redlining case. The settlement amount, at $200 million, "is the largest settlement of this kind HUD has ever reached," according to HUD.

The agreement requires Associated to invest nearly $200 million through increased home lending in majority-minority census tract areas. Associated will be required to provide nearly $3 million to help existing homeowners in the designated areas repair their properties in predominantly minority communities. The bank also must pay $1.4 million to support affirmative marketing of loans in the designated census tracts.

The settlement requires Associated to open four loan production offices in majority-minority census tracts (three in the Chicago area and one in the Milwaukee area), subject to regulatory approval. These would be in addition to three branches it has already opened or committed to open in or near majority-minority census tracts in Chicago, Milwaukee and Racine, Wisconsin, since the HUD complaint was filed.

The settlement also requires the bank to commit $1.35 million for community reinvestment and fair lending education and training. Associated will also be required to offer fair housing training to all of its employees and agents handling heavy residential origination activity...

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