Roland Martin, political correspondent for CNN and The Tom Joyner Morning Show, interviewed NAACP's CEO Ben Jealous about the law suit against Wells Fargo and several other banks for institutionalized racism. Mr. Jealous addressed the records that banks must make public about their lending ratios. Jealous stated that many of the blacks applicants were put in subprime loans that actually qualified for conventional loans. Jealous also stated that African American were target specifically for this type of discriminatory practices.
I read the lawsuit several times prior to my posting several weeks ago but I thought it would be interesting to pull out several key points of the lawsuit to further expand on my original post.
The suit states:
5. Wells Faro Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc target the African American community by capitalizing on their relative lack of experience in dealing with banking institutions and mortgage loans. Upon information and belief, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. are aware of the African American Community's susceptibility to predatory lending practices, but nonetheless engage in policies and procedures that they know will result in African Americans being steered toward less favorable loans.
6. Indeed, in 2006, the Center for Responsible Lending, a non-profit research organization, found that even when income and credit risk were accounted for, African American were still 31% to 34% more likely to receive higher rate subprime loans, and that the disparities between them and Caucasians with the same risk factors were "large and statistically significant."
These particular points intrigued me more so than others in light of recent charge to hold folks Accountable by Tavis Smiley. Again this is not a personal attack of Tavis, only a charge to him to do his research and get back to the community that he often admonishes to educate ourselves on the issues, to know all the facts, and to dig deeper in our pursuit of being empowered.
Section 11. states The NAACP brings this class action lawsuit seeking declaratory and injuctive relief based upon the Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Civil Rights Act.