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BRIEFCASE

Banking And Finance

October 21, 1994|James S. Granelli, Times staff writer

American Savings Honored: American Savings Bank, hailed in the past year as an industry role model for funding mortgages to low-income and minority neighborhoods, won a fair lending award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, a quasi-government body.

The award, one of four the agency issued, recognized the Irvine savings and loan for the changes it has made in qualifying borrowers for loans.

Recognizing that traditional standards meant little in an increasingly untraditional U.S. household, American became more flexible in its criteria for mortgage borrowers. It accepted multiple borrowers, for instance, and didn't reject an applicant simply for having no credit history.

It started taking a second look at all applications that were denied and, for loans to minorities, took a third look. The thrift learned that such reviews were needed because certain minorities would not question a rejected application when they could have and should have.

As part of the award, the Federal Home Loan Bank will donate $10,000, broken up into five grants of $2,000 each, to community organizations American Savings chooses. The first cash donation went to an Oakland community group. Others will be made later.

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