Wells Fargo & Co. is the latest bank to face a
multi-million dollar fine for scamming black homebuyers during the height of
the housing bubble.
A series of revelations about underhanded tactics by
lenders runs contrary to the right-wing canard that the entire housing crisis
was caused by Rep. Barney Frank and other Democrats who forced the banks to
make risky loans at special rates to minorities.
In fact, shady banks and mortgage companies engaged in “reverse
redlining” – a form of discrimination that imposed higher lending costs based
entirely on race or national origin.
Here’s a portion of a news account by Reuters:
“Well Fargo & Co. has agreed to pay $125 million to
settle an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into whether it
discriminated on the basis of race and national origin in its mortgage lending,
according to court documents filed on Thursday.
“The settlement, which needs approval from a judge, would
end the investigation into whether the fourth largest U.S. bank between 2004
and 2009 knowingly targeted minorities for risky mortgages that came with
higher costs, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia.
“… The government investigation found that loans
submitted to Wells Fargo by mortgage brokers had varied interest rates, fees,
and costs based only on race and not correlated to the borrowers'
creditworthiness, according to the court document.
“… The disclosure came after Bank of America Corp's
Countrywide Financial unit agreed in December to pay a record $335 million to
settle similar charges.”