Last month, The Chicago Reporter raised the question: “If Baltimore sued Wells Fargo, why aren’t we?” Today, the Illinois Attorney General became the latest in a growing line of folks to charge the lending giant with discriminatory lending practices. After raising that question, the Reporter revealed that among the nation’s 10 largest lenders, black borrowers in Chicago received their priciest loans from Wells Fargo. In addition, Wells Fargo gave wealthy blacks subprime loans more often than poorer whites and sold mostly high-cost loans in black neighborhoods.
Madigan cited much of that work in her lawsuit, which alleges that Wells Fargo targeted African American and Latino borrowers with subprime products.
A Chicago couple filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo earlier this week in a federal court in California. The City of Baltimore and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have also filed lawsuits against Wells Fargo. In addition, the lender has also been the subject of other studies and analyses documenting its racially disparate lending.
Wells Fargo officials deny the charges and maintain that the company’s lending is based on credit worthiness not race.