The race game goes on…….
Today’s (June 7) NYT has an article on a suit against Wells Fargo for pushing minorities into subprime loans, even though they clearly qualified for regular loans. A 3% increase in the interest rate could cost a family $100,000 over time. These high interest loans pushed thousands in foreclosure and cost the city, Baltimore in the case of this lawsuit, millions upon millions of dollars.
Two whistle-blowers have come out in sworn affidavits describing in detail not only the practice but also the derogatory way loan officers viewed minority customers. One whistle-blower is White and the other Black. Black churches in particular were targeted with the thought that pastors could persuade their congregants to take these subprime loans.
Personally, when my wife was looking to refinance last year – and we are with Wells Fargo – she kept complaining to me that the loan officers she spoke with kept trying to push her into a subprime loan. Our credit score is over 800. Our home has retained much of its value and is in prime location, in the so-called “hottest” part of the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix). I wondered at the time if they knew she is Black. I just read her the article and she said they could always look at the Ethnicity disclosure on all loans.
My feeling is that if these companies used that information despite the declaration that it will not be used that way, everyone involved should have their license revoked and never be allowed to go near financial services again. Rough, you say? Not as rough as hanging from a lamp post.
Here is a perfect example of how this notion of a post-racial America is nothing more than a cute slogan to let White people off the hook. These practices have histories and until we understand that history and admit to how this country has been run, we will allow the slime to seep under our door.