Tuesday, May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024
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Local News

MUCH ADO, PART DEUX

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I know this one is going to just ensure my NAACP Image award nomination, but this story played up on the front page of Sunday’s DMN has some serious problems. Jump for some nitpicking goodness.

This is not new to the News. A month or so ago, Tim and I argued about the story they splashed over the front where they found a few dozen felons working at DISD. Maybe three dozen. Something like that. Anyhow, Tim said it looked like they invested a lot of time and, despite finding very little, they went ahead and played up the story anyhow. (In hindsight, Tim was right.)

Looks like the same happened with this story on minorities in North Texas overpaying for home loans. Lengthy story, lots of anecdotes, splashy headline, authoritative graphs – but pretty thin.

The News poured over data from over 600,000 loans over a two year period to conclude that minorities are twice as likely to get higher mortgage interest rates.

However, the data didn’t include information on borrowers’ debt, credit ratings or sale prices — all of which affect a mortgage loan’s final interest rate and terms.

And then came the clincher a few paragraphs down.

A recent study by the Texas Department of Insurance showed that blacks maintain average credit scores 10 percent to 35 percent lower than average scores for whites; Hispanics were 5 percent to 25 percent lower than whites.

And just to pile on, there was this.

Federal regulators and lending experts say the difference is wide enough to warrant a closer look at whether lenders are taking advantage of minority borrowers.

I read that story three times and didn’t find a single federal regulator saying that. Maybe a quote got cut for space. That happens. But there’s nothing there to back that up.

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