Published: Tuesday 17 April 2012
“Numerous studies have shown that lenders targeted minorities for the riskiest loans, and often charged them more than similarly qualified white borrowers.”

Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank have let foreclosed homes in black and Latino neighborhoods lapse into disrepair, while bank-owned homes in mainly white neighborhoods are better cared-for, according to housing advocates.

The National Fair Housing Alliance, a non-profit group, brought a formal complaint to the Department of Housing and Urban Development last week alleging that Wells Fargo violated the Fair Housing Act by failing to keep up homes in minority neighborhoods. Today, the group announced they are also filing a second complaint, against U.S. Bank.

Earlier this month, the group released a survey, which was funded in part by HUD, of more than 1,000 unoccupied, foreclosed homes across the country owned by unspecified banks. When a house is foreclosed upon, the bank that takes it over is responsible for maintaining it. The report cites evidence — photos and interviews with neighbors — showing houses becoming dilapidated under banks' watch.

The complaint against Wells Fargo claims that among more than 200 homes surveyed, those in black and Latino neighborhoods were much more likely to have yards filled with trash, broken doors, damaged windows, and other signs of neglect. Fewer homes in those neighborhoods had "for sale" signs visible. For example, 68 out of 149 homes in black and Latino neighborhoods had damaged roofs, compared to only nine out of 69 properties in white neighborhoods.

The study looked at homes owned by Wells Fargo in Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Dallas, Miami, ...

Published: Friday 20 January 2012
“Newly-appointed bureau head Richard Cordray intends to research the industry and its enforcement actions that pose ‘immediate risk to consumers and are clearly illegal.’”

As a growing number of Americans slip out of the middle-class into economic insecurity, they are increasingly vulnerable to predatory lending schemes like the payday loan. Each year, about 12 million Americans incur long-term debt by taking out a short-term loan that’s intended to cover a borrowers’ expenses until they receive their next paycheck. Payday lending takes “unfair advantage of lower-income borrowers,” with most taking out nine repeat loans per year with an interest rate as high as 400 percent. Forty-four percent of borrowers ...

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