Income does not explain why minority borrowers got a disproportionate number of subprime mortgages in the run-up to the current foreclosure crisis, a study released Thursday concludes.

That study also ranked cities by the mortgage disparities between white borrowers and those from racial and ethnic minorities. Only Milwaukee gave a poorer showing than the Twin Cities metro area, based on 2006 data -- the most recent numbers available -- gathered under the federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

"The data reminds us that the current housing crisis was overwhelmingly the result of the explosion of bad loan products in financially vulnerable communities," said John Taylor, head of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, which issued the study. It did not consider credit histories or scores.

In the Twin Cities area, middle- and upper-income blacks were three times more likely than comparably paid whites to get loans that carry more expensive terms designed for high-risk borrowers -- called subprime or "Alt-A" mortgages. Middle- and upper-income Hispanics were 2.4 times more likely; Asians, 1.6 times.

The results did not surprise Dave Snyder, a community organizer at Jewish Community Action in St. Paul, one of 600 members of the coalition.

"It's not a statistic that stands in isolation," Snyder said. Minnesota has one of the nation's lowest homeownership rates for blacks, and one of the highest for whites, he said.

Also among the worst cities in Thursday's report were Huntsville, Ala.; Ann Arbor, Mich., and Hartford, Conn.

H.J. Cummins • 612-673-4671