Wells Fargo: we stole houses and we're being investigated for dirty low-income housing credits


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/04/whoops-sorry-about-that.html


Wish we had race/ethnicity demographics on those 400 foreclosures.


To reflect reality Wells Fargo has to stop using the stagecoach branding and start using a highwayman or masked bandit instead.


Well, if you’re a successful masked bandit, presumably you possess a lot of stagecoaches.


I just got an email from Wells Fargo congratulating me on opening my new account.

I didn’t sign up for one, tho.

They never suffer any consequences for their crimes, and they don’t even slow down thinking of new ones.


If I were you, I’d contact Wells Fargo directly and check into that account. If you didn’t open it, it’s imperative to CYA and get it closed down ASAP before someone runs up an enormous debt on your credit record.


Wells Tango Fargo has been advertising as a sponsor on the local public radio station, attempting to rebrand themselves as being all about people & making a fresh start. I will send a link to this story to the station, KALW. They’re the oldest public radio station in the country & should know better. On the other hand, if they manage to separate editorial from advertising, I guess you could say it’s pretty funny that WTF, Inc is supporting their fairly left/liberal programming. Haven’t heard them report on this story, though!


I think that we can rule billionaires right out.


Why does anyone still bank with these people?


I get a lot of emails from them asking me to update my account information (handly link provided), but they are sadly confused because I’ve never banked there. If only there were some truly creative and somewhat pathological means of responding to such requests…


I bet they’re out there somewhere. I definitely remember some reporting about the sub-prime mortgages being pushed onto minorities way back in 2006 in the business pages of the newspaper, before the bottom fell out. Somebody must be tracking this.


Ta Nehisi Coates writing about the specificity of the harms of the subprime mortgage meltdown—as in specific actions by predatory lenders taken towards specific people and specific geographic communities—a decade past has put me on the alert for the details. 400 fake foreclosures to rob people is a generalized fact that carries moral weight (notably its repugnance). However, the specifics of which people specifically were so robbed should also be a fact that our moral consciences take in.


I try not to conflate race/ethnicity with class, but prefer to take an intersectional lens instead. The effects of racism and classism (and patriarchy) are difficult to understand well without looking at them simultaneously.


This is one case where I can bet that there was no racial motivation at all. With WF it’s pure greed - they don’t care who they fuck over, so long as they’re not in a position to sue.

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Good thing the CFPB is on the case! Oh, wait…


You’d probably be wrong looking at the patterns of housing related frauds. Wells Fargo has a massive history of racially biased housing practices resulting in settlements every couple years for the last two decades.


Hopefully you didn’t click on anything. Check the email address carefully, as this kind of thing is a common phishing scheme.


Instead of just slapping Wells Fargo’s hands, they must be required to “make their victims whole again”. That would include replacing the stolen house with an equal of better place–fully paid for.

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Sadly, I don’t think we will ever see that kind of restorative justice in the US. In settlements no one ever admits to much of anything, and most of these people will have signed something as part of the foreclosure process that cuts off future remedies in court.

WF will pay a fine that’s a fraction of the gain from their misdeeds and then their execs will laugh and go back to torturing kittens and knifing homeless people in back alleys.


Some phishers probably pick WF because people are now primed to suspect WF of opening fraudulent accounts. Do I blame the phishers? No, I blame WF because fuck them forever. (No love for the phishers either though.)