The recent cases illustrate how redlining has evolved. Bankers no longer talk openly about denying loans to black people. Instead, officials said, some banks have quietly institutionalized bias in their operations, deliberately placing branches, brokers and mortgage services outside minority communities, even as other banks find and serve borrowers in those neighborhoods.
“Redlining is not a vestige of the past,” Vanita Gupta, the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said last month in a conference call with reporters.
The effect on minority communities can be profound. Homeownership is a cornerstone of economic mobility, and without a stable group of homeowners, neighborhoods can be left vulnerable to blight and disrepair.