Barack H. Obama, Esq.’s Role in the Financial Crisis – Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Federal Sav. Bank

October 10, 2008

Alright, to recap, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA 1977) gave an opening for subprime lending. The CRA encouraged banks to lend money to high risk borrowers with the noble notion that it would enable more Americans to be homeowners. Unfortunately, it was undefined for a very long time and that gave community organizing groups such as ACORN to push the boundaries of the law and engage in coercive methods of forcing banks to loan to high risk borrowers. They would threaten to block mergers and expansions of banks unless the banks would dole out these risky loans. In addition, numerous suits were brought against banks alleging that the banks engaged in discriminatory lending phasing out African Americans from loans in an attempt to bully banks into doling out high risk loans. 

One such suit was Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Federal Sav. Bank, 162 F.R.D. 322 (N.D. Ill. 1995). This case is most notable for one of the members of counsel representing Selma Buycks-Roberson, Calvin R. Roberson and Rene Brooks. That attorney was a young lawyer named BARACK H. OBAMA

  • According to the record, the plaintiffs, all African-Americans sued Citibank for seeking redress for alleged racial discrimination with regard to loan applications. 
  • Ms. Buycks Roberson had applied for a loan to refinance her existing mortgage but was denied because her income did not support the amount of credit requested.
  • Obama and friends presented evidence noting that Citibank denied refinancing “to only 19% of upper-income applicants living in areas with less than 10% minority population,” while Citibank denied loans to 49& of ALL applicants living in areas of 80-100% minority population. BHO and friends also asserted that 780 minority applications were denied by Citibank in between 1992 and 1993. 
  • Citibank asserted that their underwriting procedure was race-neutral, however the court certified the class regardless. 
  • As a result of the court’s analysis, the court certified a class of “all African-Americans who filed applications for home loans to Citibank on or after July 6, 1992, and whose applications were rejected because they were African-American and/or the racial composition of the neighborhood in which their properties were located were African-American.

While it is very somewhat possible that these loans were denied because of a racial impetus, it is much more likely that the loans were denied because of the stated reason – the individuals’ incomes were insufficient to cover to cover the loans in light of their credit history. In addition, it would be improper for a bank to invest in a loan where the borrowers would be unlikely to pay the loan back and, if they defaulted, the value of the home would not equal the value of the loan.



  1. Nothing touches a work of art so little as words of criticism: they always result in more or less fortunate misunderstandings.RainerMariaRilkeRainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

  2. Citigroup, the parent, is the largest contributor to Chris Dodd, per OpenSecrets.org.


  3. Thank you very much for your post. Absolutely excellent information and very useful for me. Great done and keep posted. Looking forward to reading more from you.

  4. Your analysis makes a mountain of a molehill. You (nor anyone else I have seen) have produced not a scintilla of evidence that then-junior lawyer Barack Obama influenced the Buycks-Roberson case in any significant way. His name was not even mentioned in court papers on the major milestones of the case, such as the three complaints,a lengthy discussion among opposing attorneys and the judge, the motion seeking class action certification, the settlement or the final orders. He was essentially a little-used errand boy. Look into the case file — I have.
    The outcome of the case has been grossly misrepresented as well. The bank never agreed in the settlement to make loans to uncreditworthy applicants, but did offer to fashion a way to educate unsuccessful applicants on how to repair their creditworthiness and other problems to qualify for future loans.
    Nor has anyone demonstrated that the Buycks-Roberson case had any appreciable effect on the mortgage crisis several years down the road.

    Just a lot of innuendo.

    Jerry Reed

  5. I find it outrageous that you say the “individuals’ incomes were insufficient to cover the loans in light of their credit history.” Mr. Calvin Roberson who was also a plaintiff in the case and I cite, Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Federal Sav. Bank, 162 F.R.D. 322 (N.D. Ill 1995)

    “Mr. Roberson provided Citibank with all requested documentation, including documents showing an annual income of approximately $69,000 from his management position at AT & T and the equity in his home valued at approximately $75,000. Mr. Roberson also provided documentation showing additional liquid assets well in excess of the amount of the loan requested. Mr. Roberson’s income was more than sufficient to enable him to meet his credit obligations.”

    So that to you is an individual that is not qualified to repay a loan of $43,000 to refinance his home. Maybe you’re relaying on websites that are based more opinion and less on facts. I’m going to make the same suggestion Jerry made my friend get access to the actual case file.

    Take Care,


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