U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz of Maryland dismissed a lawsuit from the City of Baltimore against Wells Fargo (WFC) filed in 2008, alleging the bank’s lending practices caused economically damaging foreclosures. In January, the same judge dismissed the suit, but allowed the city the chance to narrow the filing to address only economic impacts associated with Wells’ foreclosures in Baltimore. In the original complaint, the city claimed Wells was responsible for less than one-half of 1% of the 30,000 vacant properties in Baltimore. According to Wells, Balitmore’s housing department reported a third of those vacancies are owned by the city in contrast. “We have contended from the beginning that the challenges Baltimore faces cannot be attributed to the small number of loans Wells Fargo foreclosed in the city,” said Cara Heiden, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “Even the city has acknowledged that long-standing crime, unemployment and socioeconomic issues have contributed to the city’s problems. A spokesperson for the city of Baltimore did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Write to Jon Prior.
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