The City of Baltimore on Tuesday said it had filed the first lawsuit brought by a major American city against a national lender, alleging that Wells Fargo Bank engaged in what it called “reverse redlining” — in other words, targeting minorities for subprime loans. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, alleges that Wells Fargo Bank has, since at least 2000, intentionally targeted Baltimore’s minority communities for bad loans with discriminatory and unfair terms. “These illegal lending practices have resulted in extraordinarily high rates of foreclosure in some of Baltimore’s most vulnerable communities â€“ foreclosures that ultimately cost the City millions of dollars in lost tax revenues, added police and fire costs, court administrative costs, and social programs needed to maintain stable and healthy neighborhoods,” according to a press statement released by the city. The city is suing for lost revenue and added costs associated with foreclosures, as well as for punitive damages. Click here for the full press release.
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