Inner City Press' Community Reinvestment Reporter

  

     Welcome to Inner City Press’ CRA Report.  Our other Reporters cover the financial services industry, human rights, the Federal Reserve, and other beats.  ICP has published a book about the CRA-relevant topic of predatory lending - click here for sample chapters, a map, and ordering informationCBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts."  The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of 'Predatory Bender']," City Limits, Oct. 2004.  The Pittsburgh City Paper says the 100-page afterword makes the "indispensable point that predatory lending is now being aggressively exported to the rest of the globe." Click here for that review; click here to Search This Site  Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.

Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere. Click here for a recent BBC piece on Inner City Press' reporting from the United Nations. New: Follow us on TWITTER   BloggingHeads.tv  Click for March 1, 2011 BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption by Inner City Press. 2014: MRL on Beacon Reader  For or with more information, contact us.

January 18, 2021

As Crypto Comptroller Brooks Gifts Anchorage He Quits Early So Can Corrupted OCC Be Fixed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SOUTH BRONX, Jan 14 – In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and after the insurrection, crypto Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks on January 13 gave another quid pro quo gift, a bank charter to Anchorage, even as he quit with a week left in the Administration. Where might he land and get rewarded for all this?

 Meanwhile Inner City Press' requests under the Freedom of Information Act into Brooks' conflicts of interest in the fintech and crypto-currency world have yet to be fully answered.  Will Brooks be taking "his" documents with him?

  Brooks went whole hog with Anchorage, the so-called first crypto bank. It should be reversed - but will it be? Anchorage was represented by Dana Syracuse through the revolving door from the NYS Department of Financial Services.

Fair Finance Watch and others opposed and requested extensions on Figure, for which OCC has yet to answer Inner City Press' FOIA request, here.

On December 9, Brooks spoke at a Sinapore FinTech conference that charged for entrance. His Twitter profile gives equal space to CoinBase as the OCC. And what's next for him? Watch this site.

January 11, 2021

Manafort Lender Calk In Florida Is Denied Transfer To Illinois OCC Witnesses at Issue

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
Honduras - The Source - The Root - etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 7 – Steven M. Calk of FDIC-regulated Federal Savings Bank was presented and arraigned on May 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for financial institution bribery for corruptly using his position with FSB to issue $16 million in high-risk loans to Paul Manafort in a bid to obtain a senior position with the Trump administration, namely Undersecretary of the Army.

  On April 23 SDNY Judge Lorna G. Schofield held an oral argument, by telephone with Calk himself on the line from Chicago. Inner City Press covered it, below.

On December 17, this: " ORDERED that this case is in second place to be tried beginning on February 17, 2021. The parties shall be prepared to begin trial on that date."

Now on January 7, Judge Schofield held a proceeding and Inner City Press covered it. Calk, currently in Florida, had his lawyers argue to transfer the trial to Chicago. But jury trial there are banned through at least March 1. Calk's lawyer stressed their right to confront witnesses; OCC witnesses arose. Will the OCC's position change? Or, might Calk get a pardon before January 20? Inner City Press live tweeted some, here:

Manafort's lender Calk is arguing again that a Chicago and not  @SDNYLIVE  trial would be more convenient, with OCC witnesses. Will OCC get more aggressive?

Calk's lawyer: "Mr. Calk is in Florida today, but would have no problem being in Chicago whenever necessary."  AUSA: We're not sure the witnesses could testify by video of the defense's objections....

 Judge Schofield has just denied the motion to transfer the trial to Chicago. Calk's lawyers said they oppose Zoom cross examination. Case to proceed in SDNY.

Jan 7 podcast here.

On November 13 Calk again asked to transfer his case to the Northern District of Illinois, saying that "critical Chicago-based witnesses" will not come to New York due to travel restrictions and COVID quarantine rules.

Calk's filing listed Office of the Comptroller of the Currency witnesses Catherine Aguirre and four unnamed in the Chicago area and one in Virginia. 

Now on November 27, the day after Thanksgiving, Calk's lawyers have made a filing stating that "the infection rate in Illinois is high but may be cresting; in New York it is lower but clearly rising." Watch this site.

  On September 4 a trial date was set, after review by the SDNY assignment committee made up of Judges J. Paul Oetken and P. Kevin Castel and White Plains-based District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti: "ORDER as to Stephen M. Calk. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties are advised that jury trials will resume, and the jury trial in this action shall commence on December 2, 2020."

 But on September 11, the US Attorney wrote to Judge Schofield to put on the record the Illinois has been added to New York's (and the SDNY's) 14 day quarantine list, and says it may significantly impact the feasibility of a December trial. On September 17 Judge Schofield held a proceeding on this, and Inner City Press live tweeted it, here ...

  While the OCC has yet to sufficiently answer, and is trying to hinder Inner City Press' reporting, we will stay on this case.

  On May 23, still from the SDNY courthouse covering other cases including one involving the death penalty, Inner City Press reported finding no U.S. Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data for "Federal Savings Bank." But there's more.

The Federal Savings Bank's website, while providing a generic link to the FDIC, and a statement "Member FDIC," has no link for the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act. (Nor does it mention the indictment of Stephen Calk, simply listing his brother John Calk now as CEO and Vice Chairman. Who is the chairman?)

  It lists a loan production office on Avenue J in Brooklyn, and two deposit taking braches in Illinois. Did it see some exemption from the CRA and other consumer protection laws? From fair lending laws?

  Earlier on the morning of May 24 Inner City Press asked the FDIC, "Having covered yesterday's arraignment of the Chairman of The Federal Savings Bank in the SDNY courthouse, including the FDIC's involvement, I checked the bank's website and found "Member FDIC" but no mention of the Community Reinvestment Act."

  The FDIC's spokesperson David Barr, to his credit, responded quickly, writing to Inner City Press: "The Federal Savings Bank, Chicago, is regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. They would be responsible for CRA and regulatory oversight. You should contact the OCC for more information."

  Stephen Calk was quoted, at least in 2012, opposing regulation: "As Mr. Stephen Calk writes in the September 7, 2012 edition of Origination News: “Basel III is designed to level the playing field among major banking institutions that operate internationally. Force-feeding these same rules to community banks in the United States is unnecessary and in fact counter-productive, particularly in the current economic environment.” Basel III is one thing. But no Community Reinvestment Act?

The Federal Savings Bank lists locations - and bankers - in       Arizona - Scottsdale California - Irvine Colorado - Fort Collins Delaware - Selbyville Florida - Sarasota Illinois - Chicago Illinois - Lake Forest Illinois - Oak Brook Illinois - Park Ridge Indiana - Bloomington Indiana - Indianapolis Kansas - Overland Park Louisiana - Laplace Maryland - Annapolis Maryland - Timonium CD Massachusetts - Lawrence New Jersey - Hackensack New Jersey - Lakewood New York - Brooklyn New York - Melville New York - New York New York - Queens North Carolina - Raleigh Ohio - Columbus Rhode Island - South Kingstown Tennessee - Nashville Virginia - Alexandria Virginia - Fredericksburg Virginia - Newport News Virginia - Richmond Virginia - Vienna Virginia - Warrenton...  We'll have more on this.

January 4, 2021

Santander Makes Yonkers Towing A Federal Case Citing US Constitution and 42 USC 1983

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 31 – Santander Consumer USA, Inc. has sued the City of Yonkers, citing the U.S. Constitution, for towing vehicles in which Santander has a security interest. 

 Now on New Year's Eve Santander has complained to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison about Yonkers not cooperating with discovery.  

 Santanter writes, "This is a 42 USC 1983 case regarding the policies and customs of Yonkers and its towing agent, APOW... the only document Yonkers produced was a redacted letter relating to some other seized vehicle. This is not a sufficient production."  

 Depositions are to be completed by January 29, 2021.

The case is Santander Consumer USA, Inc. v. The City of Yonkers, et al., 20-cv-4553 (Karas / Davison)

***

Your support means a lot. As little as $5 a month helps keep us going and grants you access to exclusive bonus material on our Patreon page. Click here to become a patron.

December 28, 2020

Fair Finance Watch Protests Figure Bank at OCC Which Is Now Sued By CSBS in DC District

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SOUTH BRONX, NY, Dec 26– Even amid the Coronavirus pandemic, U.S. banks and fintechs keeps seeking to merge and expand, with less and less oversight.  Now the Conference of State Bank Supervisors has sued the OCC, see below, citing "extensive consultation with Figure that occurred during the draft application process."

 Fair Finance Watch, with Inner City Press on the FOIA, filed a Community Reinvestment Act protest / request for extension of the OCC comment period:

Dear Comptroller Brooks, Mr. Lybarger, and others in the OCC:  This is a timely first comment opposing and requesting an extension of the required OCC's public comment period on the application of Figure Bank NA.    

  Back on November 23 Inner City Press submitted, through the OCC's FOIA portal, a request for "the entirety of the pending applications of, and all OCC communications since 1/1/2020 with... Figure. The records should be provided within the comment period on each application, including OCC communications with the companies and affiliates, given the policy issues raised by the application."       Now at the deadline, despite the policy issues, no response at all. This is unacceptable. The comment period must be extended - it is absurd to require the public to comment while having none of the information it timely requested.

       We will simply note for now that this proposal, and the rushing and cover up by the OCC, is an assault on the CRA.   

  On the obvious need for the OCC to respond to the FOIA request, from the public record: "Founder Mike Cagney is always pushing the envelope, and investors love him for it. Not long after sexual harassment allegations prompted him to leave SoFi, the personal finance company that he co-founded in 2011, he raised $50 million for a new lending startup called Figure that has since raised at least $225 million from investors and was valued a year ago at $1.2 billion.  Now, Cagney is trying to do something unprecedented with Figure."

Unprecedented - and covered up? Amid sexual harassment allegations?     

 For the above reasons, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, the comment period should not yet start or should extended, until in person public hearings can be held."

On December 10, a boiler plate acknowledgement of comment - with still no response at all to the FOIA request filed during the comment period: "Re: Figure Bank, National Association Charter Application OCC Control Number 2020-WE-Charter-317593

Dear Mr. Lee: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency acknowledges receipt of your letter dated December 7, 2020 regarding the above referenced application. We appreciate your comments and will consider these remarks during our review of the application. A copy of your comment letter has been provided to the applicant for their information."

  Now the Conference of State Bank Supervisors has sued the OCC over Figure: "Because of the extensive consultation with Figure that occurred during the draft application process, and the OCC’s accepting the application as complete, the OCC’s imminent approval of the Figure Charter Application is a foregone conclusion. Additionally, the OCC is actively soliciting other applications for Nonbank Charters and has expressed publicly its enthusiasm for issuing Nonbank Charters. 28. Both CSBS and each of its members that currently supervise and regulate Figure’s operations in their states have already suffered actual injury as a result of the confusion and disruption of resource allocation created by the Nonbank Charter Program and Figure Charter Application, as described herein. Additional injuries to CSBS and its members are imminent as Figure prepares to begin operating as a chartered nonbank and the OCC continues its pursuit of Case 1:20-cv-03797 Document 1 Filed 12/22/20 Page 9 of 70 10 additional Nonbank Charter applicants. The injuries suffered by CSBS and its members have therefore taken a concrete and particularized form, and the legal challenge brought by CSBS is fit for adjudication. 29. For all of these reasons, the Nonbank Charter Program and the OCC’s imminent granting of a Nonbank Charter to Figure are subject to this Court’s review under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) and cannot stand. CSBS brings this action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief declaring the OCC’s Nonbank Charter Program and the Figure Charter unlawful and enjoining the OCC from soliciting, accepting, or approving applications for Nonbank Charters, including the Figure Charter Application. 30. Additionally, CSBS seeks a declaration that the OCC’s preemption regulations (found at 12 CFR §§ 7.4007, 7.4008, & 34.4) are invalid and enjoining the OCC from further action pursuant to those regulations."


This is today's OCC. It must change.

December 21, 2020


FDIC Widens ILC Loophope As Abuses FOIA Exemption 8 To Withhold From Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SOUTH BRONX, SDNY, Dec 11 – How pro-bank has the FDIC become? There's been evasion of FOIA - and now a wider ILC loophole.

On the former, when Inner City Press submitted a FOIA request for the absurd redactions by Multi-Bank to its application for a denovo bank in Florida, the response was that there will be no review of the redactions to the application - until the application is approved.   

Also, the FDIC uses FOIA exemption 8 to say that every single one of its communications about the application are exempt. This is a new low.

As is this, the finalization of an industrial loan company loophole rule which could, unless closed, allow Amazon, Facebook, Walmart and even Google through. Even Bank Policy Institute said of an ILC application Inner City Press opposed, "it will set a precedent for every other Big Tech company (Amazon, Facebook, Google, etc.) to enter banking through an [industrial loan company] charter without consolidated supervision." This must be opposed.

Inner City Press (and Fair Finance Watch) requested:

This is a FOIA request for (all of) the overly redacted "public" application of Multi-Bank Application For DeNovo State Bank in Florida. Inner City Press has seen the redacted version, which withholdings from the public and press information about those involved and their plans. The entire application should be provide, along with all of the FDIC's communications with these applicants for the past year (including for preparation of public comment - it should be expedited and provided on a rolling basis).

Here is the FDIC's response of December 11:

This is in response to your November 29, 2020 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request... In general, the non-confidential portions of an application for deposit insurance for a de novo bank, an application to establish a branch, and other applications are publicly available in the appropriate FDIC Regional Office until 180 days following final disposition of the filing... for access to the public file, please contact: FDIC Atlanta Regional Office ATTN: RMS Regional Director 10 10th Street, NE, Suite 800 Atlanta, GA 30309 Since a FOIA request for these records is premature under our regulations, we are administratively closing this portion of your request.   

So there is no review of redactions. Outrageous

. Communications Between the FDIC and Applicants By its very nature, the information that you requested, if it exists and could be located, would be information contained in, or related to, the examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of the FDIC in its regulation or supervision of financial institutions. All of that information, if it exists and could be located, would be exempt from disclosure in full under FOIA Exemption 8, 5 U.S.C. § 552 (b)(8). Therefore, this portion of your request is denied under Exemption 8

Inner City Press has appealed:

This is a FOIA appeal to the outrageous total denial by the FDIC to Inner City Press' FOIA request for the erroneously redacted portions of a pending bank application, and to communication about it.   Contrary to FOIA and the practice of other regulators, the December 11 decision ("Denial") by Alisa Colgrove Government Information Specialist FOIA/Privacy Act Group makes review of an applicant's redactions impossible until the FDIC approves an application.   

Exemptions are not supposed to be invoked across the board - it is impossible to believe that every since FDIC communication is covered by the exemption, and that is not the practice of the FRB. This is a laughable FOIA response and must immediately be reviewed and reversed, and the pending application stayed until it is.

December 14, 2020


Fair Finance Watch Protests Figure Bank at OCC Which Ignores FOIA Reply Is Boilerplate

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SOUTH BRONX, NY, Dec 10– Even amid the Coronavirus pandemic, U.S. banks and fintechs keeps seeking to merge and expand, with less and less oversight.   Fair Finance Watch, with Inner City Press on the FOIA, filed a Community Reinvestment Act protest / request for extension of the OCC comment period:

Dear Comptroller Brooks, Mr. Lybarger, and others in the OCC:  This is a timely first comment opposing and requesting an extension of the required OCC's public comment period on the application of Figure Bank NA.    

  Back on November 23 Inner City Press submitted, through the OCC's FOIA portal, a request for "the entirety of the pending applications of, and all OCC communications since 1/1/2020 with... Figure. The records should be provided within the comment period on each application, including OCC communications with the companies and affiliates, given the policy issues raised by the application."       Now at the deadline, despite the policy issues, no response at all. This is unacceptable. The comment period must be extended - it is absurd to require the public to comment while having none of the information it timely requested.

       We will simply note for now that this proposal, and the rushing and cover up by the OCC, is an assault on the CRA.   

December 7, 2020

Fair Finance Watch Protests Hanover Bank Bid On Savoy Bank As Bronx and Brooklyn Harmed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SOUTH BRONX, NY, Dec 5 – Even amid the Coronavirus pandemic, U.S. banks keeps seeking to merge and expand, with less and less oversight.   Fair Finance Watch, with Inner City Press on the FOIA, has filed a Community Reinvestment Act protest:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Attn: Frank Hughes, Regional Director and Robert P. Cordeiro, Scott D. Strockoz 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1200 New York, NY 10118-0110   Re: Timely First Comment on Applications by Hanover to acquire Savoy Bank.  Dear Regional Director Vogel and others at the FDIC: 

 This is a timely first comment opposing and requesting an extension of the FDIC's public comment period on the Applications by Hanover to acquire Savoy Bank.   

   The applicant Hanover in the New York in 2019 made 67 home loans to whites and only THREE to African Americans. Note that Hanover's CRA assessment area includes The Bronx, and Brooklyn. 

  Hearings are requested on that; they may also touch on the financing of the proposed deal: "“We are pleased to announce the successful completion of our subordinated debt offering,” said Michael Puorro, Hanover’s Chairman and CEO. “This offering is directly aligned with Hanover’s strategic plan of high growth and high profitability, which continues to create significant shareholder value. The proceeds from this transaction provide us with the necessary capital to finance our recently announced partnership with Savoy Bank, as well as the ability to continue to compete in an exciting marketplace and to execute upon our longer-term strategic goals.”  Stephens Inc. acted as lead placement agent for the offering, with PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. acting as co-placement agent. Windels Marx served as legal counsel to Hanover and Covington & Burling LLP served as legal counsel for the placement agents." 

The comment period should be extended; evidentiary hearings should be held; and on the current record, the application should not be approved  From the FDIC: Matthew R. Lee, Esq. Fair Finance Watch P.O. Box 20047 New York, New York 10017 Dear Mr. Lee:  We received your e-mail dated November 28, 2020, concerning Hanover Community Bank’s applications to acquire Savoy Bank. We reviewed your correspondence in accordance with the guidelines of 12 C.F.R. Section 303.2(c) and 303.2(l), and consider it a protest for the purpose of the applications. We forwarded your comments to the applicant

That is,

 Michael P. Puorro Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hanover Community Bank 2131 Jericho Turnpike Garden City Park, New York 11040 Subject: Community Reinvestment Act Protest and the Removal of Application from Expedited Processing for Interagency Bank Merger Act Applications to acquire/merge with Savoy Bank, New York, New York Applications Tracking No. 20201214 and 20201215 Dear Mr. Puorro:  We are writing in reference to the enclosed e-mail correspondence that we received from Matthew R. Lee of Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch, concerning your institution’s applications to acquire Savoy Bank. We reviewed the e-mail correspondence in accordance with the guidelines of 12 C.F.R. Section 303, and deemed it a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) protest for the purpose of the applications. The subject e-mail raises issues regarding the bank’s record of lending to African American persons. The anticipated time and research required to investigate these issues has necessitated the removal of your applications from expedited processing.  You may provide a written response on the protest to me within ten business days after the date of this letter, in accordance with 12 C.F.R. Section 303

November 30, 2020

HUD FOIA Case Put Off For Inauguration As Rule on Housing Eligibility May Die Sine Die

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 24 –  The Legal Aid Society, represented by the Winston & Strawn law firm, has sued the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under FOIA in March. On July 16 U.S. District for the Southern District of New York Judge Lewis J. Liman held another conference on the case; Inner City Press covered it. 

 Now on November 24 the case has been adjourned "sine die" because the underlying rule may die. There was a proceeding on November 24 and Inner City Press covered it. Reference was made to the Presidential inauguration being less than 50 days off. Judge Liman apologized for not getting into the docket endorsement of the adjournment, and took the opportunity to wish Happy Thanksgiving and safety. How many other cases will be adjourned like this?

  That FOIA request concerns a HUD rule limiting eligibility to housing based on immigration status of family members. The requesters want to know who worked on the rule.

  In another FOIA case against HUD handled by Judge Liman, PRLDEF now LatinoJustice is seeking documents about the disproportionate impact of the "Verification of Eligible Status Rule." Judge Liman held a proceeding on July 28 and Inner City Press covered it. A meet and confer had released a few documents, but HUD still disputes a fee waiver.

Judge Liman asked how LatinoJustice plans to disseminate documents to the public. The response was, El Diario, Huffington Post, even the Daily Mail. The next conference was set for August 20. This case is LatinoJustice PRLDEF v. HUD, 20-cv-4859 (Liman).

 On July 16 Judge Liman told the parties to agree to a production schedule by July 27, or to brief the issue. The Government's lead lawyer said she will be on vacation. The the deadline remains, with another conference scheduled for July 31. There were 640 pages in 132 White House documents, minus White House briefing documents.

 On September 25 Judge Liman held another conference with Inner City Press also covered. It came after a dispute arose whether PRLDEF's request for mixed-status family data was a new request not covered by the fee waiver request. Judge Liman inquired in detail, and set a new October 30 date. Inner City Press will continue to follow this case.

Inner City Press as a journalistic FOIA practitioner sees increasing foot dragging by Federal agencies like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, see here. So Judge Liman's approach is needed. The case is Legal Aid Society v. HUD, 20-cv-2283 (Liman).

November 23, 2020

Pro Crypto US Comptroller Brooks Wants To Give Gifts to Anchorage and Figure at 11th Hour

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SOUTH BRONX, Nov 18 – In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and the election, with a fintech and crypto-currency proponent installed as Acting Comptroller, SoFi and its controller SoftBank sought to get and got a U.S. bank charter.

 Meanwhile Inner City Press' requests under the Freedom of Information Act into Acting Comproller Brian P. Brooks' conflicts of interest in the fintech and crypto-currency world have yet to be fully answered.  

  Now, with Brooks cynically nominated to be confirmed (to test out how fast he could be fired under Section 2 of the National Bank Act), Brooks has gone whole hog, inviting any and all crypto firms into the national bank world through the trust bank loophole, without regard to CRA or anything else. There is Anchorage, represented by Dana Syracuse through the revolving door from the NYS Department of Financial Services; there is Figure. All this must be opposed - and will be.

   And so now on November 9, Fair Finance Watch and Inner City Press have begun a call to block Brooks from handing out any more national bank charters between now at January 10 - such charters would be illegitimate, gifts by a lame duck. We'll have more on this.

November 16, 2020

While FTC Gets $371 For Discrimination Victims of Bronx Honda Lenders Not Named

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 10 – Bronx Honda of East Tremont Avenue targeted Bronxites of color for higher prices; victims now get $371 each from the FTC. But when Inner City Press checks it out, Bronx Honda doesn't only use Honda Finance - it says it has "strong relationships" to find customers the best loans. So who are the other lenders? And are they being charged? We aim to have more on this. Here's from the FTC, November 10:

"The Federal Trade Commission is sending refunds totaling nearly $1.5 million to individuals who were affected by allegedly unlawful financing and sales practices by Bronx Honda. According to the FTC, Bronx Honda and its general manager told sales employees to charge higher financing markups and fees to African-American and Hispanic customers. The defendants told employees that these groups should be targeted due to their limited education, and not to attempt the same practices with non-Hispanic white consumers. The FTC further alleged that Bronx Honda failed to honor advertised sale prices, changed the sales price on paperwork in the middle of the sale without telling the consumer, double-charged consumers for taxes and fees, and misrepresented to consumers that they were required to pay extra reconditioning and warranty fees to purchase “certified” vehicles. The FTC is providing refunds, averaging about $371 each, to 3,977 victims of Bronx Honda’s practices.

November 9, 2020

Flagstar Bank Blames Regulators For Golden Parachute Delay But Docket Excludes Public