Wells Fargo Accused of Discriminatory Home Foreclosures

Categories: Housing
Later this evening, frustrated San Franciscans will descend on the home of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf to shame him, once again, over his gross wealth and our gross despair. And if that isn't enough to rattle him, this might be: The National Fair Housing Alliance is accusing the big bank of racial discrimination when it comes to home foreclosures.

The Washington, D.C.-based organization filed a complaint today, saying foreclosed properties in white neighborhoods around the nation are much better managed than those maintained and marketed by Wells Fargo in neighborhoods of color, including houses in Oakland.

The complaint was filed with the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development after a comprehensive investigation which evaluated more than 200 homes in eight different cities, including Philadelphia, Oakland, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Miami.
The investigation revealed that in Oakland, 75 percent of foreclosed properties in white neighborhoods had fewer than five maintenance or marketing problems, while only 22 percent had fewer than five deficiencies in communities of color.

Likewise, 57 percent the properties in communities of color were trashed, while only 25 percent of properties in white neighborhoods had the same problem. Meanwhile, 52 percent of the homes in Latino and African American communities had damaged fences, compared  to 13 percent in Oakland's white neighborhoods, the investigation found.

"Wells Fargo's disregard for homes in communities of color has severely damaged these communities," said Shanna L. Smith, NFHA president and CEO. "The company has also hindered this nation's efforts to promote fair housing and is in clear violation of the Fair Housing Act."

The fun doesn't stop here; next week, the organization will file a new complaint against another big bank.

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