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Cook County sues banks for predatory lending

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News,Business

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County officials have filed a lawsuit contending two major banks helped cause the Chicago area's foreclosure crisis by marketing predatory loans to black and Latino borrowers.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1htWzuM) the lawsuit contends HSBC, Bank of America and their subsidiaries hurt black and Latino neighborhoods by targeting minority homebuyers for subprime loans. They allege the loans came with higher interest rates and fees.

The lawsuit asserts black and Latino homeowners in many cases lost their homes when they ended up paying "hundreds of dollars more" in monthly mortgage payments than they should have.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in Baltimore, Cleveland and Memphis.

A Bank of America spokesman says the bank's record will demonstrate there is no basis for the claims. HSBC officials couldn't be reached for comment.

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