A survey of metro areas focused on where residents face the greatest risk of "rate shock."
ACORN, a nationwide community activist organization looked at 130 metro areas, focusing on loans in the subprime market, including adjustable-rate mortgages.
The ACORN study found that, in general, minority borrowers are more likely than white borrowers to receive high-interest loans. This is seen across the country, and even when the minority borrowers have larger household incomes.
The study relies on a sample of 275 lenders and uses data required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
The data did not include factors such as credit scores, loan-to-value ratios or payment histories, explained E. Robert Levy, legislative regulatory cousel for the Mortgage Bankers Association of Pennsylvania.
"Without that kind of information you cannt make any reasonable determination as to why any individual or group" did not qualify for a lower-interest loan, Levy said.
While ARMs and other alternative loan options are often singled out as predatory lending methods by critics, Levy says that such financing techniques have helped more people own homes.
Home ownership rates in the US have increased for all groups, including minorities. Levy says that the nonprime market has been helpful in making home ownership possible for more consumers.
All consumers are advised to take advantage of educational programs, such as the one offered by the Fair Housing Council. Education is the best knowledge against predatory lending.