Wells Fargo to Pay $175 Million Settlement for Racist Lending Practices

Wells Fargo, the San Francisco-based banking giant, has agreed to pay a $175 million settlement for discriminatory lending practices where black and brown people were charged higher interest rates than white people, the Justice Department announced today.

“If you were African-American or Latino, you were more likely to be placed in a subprime loan or pay more for your mortgage loan, even though you were qualified and deserved better treatment,” Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said at a press conference.
Those borrowers, he added, “paid, on average, tens of thousands of dollars more for their loans and were subject to possible prepayment penalties, increased risk of credit problems, default, and foreclosure.”
The DOJ, in its lawsuit, claimed that between 2004 and 2009 the bank “discriminated by charging approximately 30,000 African-American and Hispanic wholesale borrowers higher fees and rates than non-Hispanic white borrowers because of their race or national origin rather than the borrowers' credit worthiness or other objective criteria related to borrower risk.”

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