Mortgage Meltdown: Wells Whistleblowers Call Lending Practices “Riding The Stagecoach To Hell” In Testimony Admitting To Targeting Blacks In Baltimore City Lawsuit
June 2, 2009
In Baltimore, Maryland, The Daily Record reports:
- The city of Baltimore has beefed up its groundbreaking racial discrimination lawsuit against Wells Fargo with sometimes shocking testimony from a pair of the megabank’s former subprime-loan officers. The two whistleblowers claim their co-workers targeted black ZIP codes and churches, used software to “translate” marketing materials into African-American vernacular, and referred to subprime loans in minority communities as “ghetto loans” and to borrowers as “mud people.”
- Their declarations were attached to an amended complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The loan officers, who worked for Wells Fargo in the Baltimore-Washington area from the late 1990s until 2007, also alleged bank employees deceptively steered prime borrowers into subprime loans for their own financial benefit and joked that they were “riding the stagecoach to Hell.”
- The city also filed declarations from four city residents who live near Wells Fargo’s foreclosed properties. They complained of squatters, rats and burst pipes, all of which have required attention from some city department. It cites 10 studies, including one specific to Baltimore, which studied reverse-redlining in black neighborhoods; and updated the foreclosure data to include the first part of 2009.
For more, see Ex-workers allege race-based loan approach at Wells Fargo.
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