Nearly one third of people who applied for a mortgage last year were denied, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.

The denial rate was up 29 percent from 2006 when approvals were highest. Last year's denial rate was twice as high for African-Americans and Hispanics as it was for whites.

FHA insured more than 50 percent of all loans to African-Americans and 45 percent to Hispanics. Nearly 17 percent of African-Americans and 15 percent of Hispanics got high-priced loans, compared to 7 percent of whites.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said lenders weren't discriminating by race, but making decisions base on credit score and the size of the down payments.

The data, collected from nearly 8,400 lenders, is required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975.

Source: The Associated Press, Alan Zibel (09/30/2009)