HOT OFF THE PRESS FROM REV. EDWARD PINKNEY'S DESK:
NAACP, Wells Fargo and the Road Less Traveled
Not so long ago, Memphis, a city where a majority of the residents are black, was a symbol of a South where racial history no longer tightly constrained the choices of a rising black working and middle class. Now this city epitomizes something more grim: How rising unemployment and growing foreclosures in the recession have combined to destroy black wealth and income and erase two decades of slow progress.[…]The mayor and former bank loan officers point a finger of blame at large national banks — in particular, Wells Fargo. During the last decade, they say, these banks singled out blacks in Memphis to sell them risky high-cost mortgages and consumer loans.The City of Memphis and Shelby County sued Wells Fargo late last year, asserting that the bank’s foreclosure rate in predominantly black neighborhoods was nearly seven times that of the foreclosure rate in predominantly white neighborhoods. Other banks, including Citibank and Countrywide, foreclosed in more equal measure.
- How do the “fair mortgage lending principles” differ from Wells Fargo’s Responsible Lending Principles for Consumer Credit?
- Was a formal partnership agreement signed? If so, how will it be enforced?
- How will the NAACP secure remedies for those who have already lost their homes due to predatory lending?
- Does the NAACP have the resources to examine the lending practices of the fourth-largest U.S. bank with more than 27,000 employees?
- How will the NAACP be able to manage Wells Fargo’s behavior more effectively than the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development departments, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency?