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More Dems raise concerns on mortgage disparity at Navy Federal

News: The chorus of congressional Democrats hammering the country’s largest credit union over allegations of discriminatory practices is growing. This time, New Democrats and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are jumping in.

Led by Democratic Reps. Norma Torres (Calif.), Emilia Sykes (Ohio) and Nanette Barragán (Calif.), lawmakers demanded that potentially discriminatory mortgage practices be addressed, according to a pair of letters we obtained. These letters were sent to the Navy Federal Credit Union, as well as a battery of financial regulators.

The Navy Federal Credit Union has found itself under a bright spotlight since late 2023, when a CNN report found significant disparities in the credit union’s mortgage approvals for Black and white borrowers.

The letter from Torres, Sykes and Barragán addressed to Navy Federal CEO Mary McDuffie asked the credit union to ensure “access to opportunity as a basic moral and legal principle of fairness” and asked for an in-person meeting to discuss further.

And to the regulators – including National Credit Union Administration Todd Harper, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra – the members asked for a “thorough fair lending examination and investigation of these alleged disparities.”

Congress has already been active on this issue. McDuffie met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss earlier this month.

Navy Federal spokesperson Wes Shaw said in a statement that the credit union “is committed to serving each and every one of our members fairly, and we work daily to help expand economic opportunity and access to credit for our diverse community of members.”

Meanwhile at the IRS: The agency is moving on crypto. It’s bringing in two new hires from crypto world amid efforts to crack down on tax evasion via digital assets.

Raj Mukherjee, who was global head of tax at a private blockchain software tech company, and Seth Wilks, who’s worked at crypto tax firms, are joining the IRS as executive advisors, the agency announced. The IRS added it’s working on compliance in “emerging areas” as it spends extra dollars from Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act tagged for enforcement.

– Brendan Pedersen, Max Cohen and Laura Weiss

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