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Fair Housing Organizations File Discrimination Complaint Against Wells Fargo

National Fair Housing Alliance Alleges Discrimination in Marketing and Maintenance of Foreclosed Properties

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and four of its member organizations announced a federal housing discrimination complaint against Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.  This complaint, which was filed earlier today with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is the result of an undercover investigation of Wells Fargo's bank-owned properties that found foreclosed properties in White areas are much better maintained and marketed by Wells Fargo than such properties in African-American and Latino neighborhoods. 

The investigation of 218 foreclosed properties owned by Wells Fargo demonstrates that Wells Fargo has engaged in a systemic practice of maintaining and marketing its foreclosed, bank-owned properties (also known as Real Estate Owned or REO) in a state of disrepair in communities of color while maintaining and marketing REO properties in predominantly White communities in a far superior manner.  The Wells Fargo investigation evaluated REO properties in the eight metropolitan areas of Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Dallas, TX; Dayton, OH; Miami/ Fort Lauderdale, FL; Oakland/ Richmond/ Concord, CA; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington, DC. 

Nationally, and in each of the eight metropolitan areas, Wells Fargo's REO properties in communities of color were far more likely to have several deficiencies in maintenance or marketing  than REO properties in predominantly White communities.   

Without a "for sale" sign, for example, potential homebuyers would simply not know the property is available.  Also, if there is storm damage or unauthorized occupants, neighbors have no one to call. With a for sale sign, neighbors can call a real estate agent to report these kinds of problems. 

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