PA Human Relations Commission Alleges ‘Reverse Redlining’ Against Wells Fargo
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission filed a complaint against Wells Fargo Bank early this month, claiming that the bank used reverse redlining in Philadelphia neighborhoods. In other words, Wells Fargo is accused of exploiting poor, African-American residents by allowing an abundant of sub-prime loans in densely black-populated neighborhoods that ultimately caused thousands of vacant properties.
Among other allegations, the complaint claims that:
“Approximately 8.2% of respondents’ loans in Philadelphia’s predominately African-American neighborhoods result in foreclosure, but the same is true for only 2.0% of loans in predominantly white neighborhoods. Respondents’ disproportionately high foreclosure rate in Philadelphia’s African American neighborhoods is the result of reverse redlining.”
James Baum, a communication’s manager for Wells Fargo, basically told PhillyNow in an e-mail that the allegations are (what else,) full of shit:
“We do not tolerate discrimination against, or unfair treatment of, any consumer. We practice responsible lending with the overarching principle of only approving mortgage loan applications where we believe the borrower has the ability to repay the loan, and our loan decisions are based on credit and transaction risk. We are committed to serving all customers responsibly and fairly, and we will vigorously defend the Commission’s unfounded claims.”