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Original.complaint.against.wells.fargo.bank.Wells.fargo.home.Mortgage

Original.complaint.against.wells.fargo.bank.Wells.fargo.home.Mortgage

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Published by sigmarick

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Published by: sigmarick on Mar 14, 2009
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05/10/2014

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Angela Ciccolo(To be admitted
 pro hac vice
)General Counsel, NAACP4805 Mt. Hope Dr.Baltimore, MD 21215Tel: (410) 580-5792Fax: (410) 358-9350Brian S. Kabateck (SBN 152054) Austin Tighe (AdmittedRichard L. Kellner (SBN 171416)
 pro hac vice
)KABATECK BROWN KELLNER LLP FEAZELL & TIGHE, LLP644 South Figueroa Street 6300 Bridgepoint ParkwayLos Angeles, California 90017 Bridgepoint 1, Suite 220Tel: (213) 217-5000 Austin, Texas 78730Fax: (213) 217-5010 Tel: (512) 372-8100rlk@kbklawyers.comFax: (512) 372-8140austin@feazell-tighe.com Attorneys for Plaintiff UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTCENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIANATIONAL ASSOCIATION FORTHE ADVANCEMENT OFCOLORED PEOPLE (NAACP), onBehalf of Itself and All OthersSimilarly Situated, as well as onBehalf of the General Public andActing in the Public Interest,Plaintiff,vs.Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., andWells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc.Defendants.
CASE NO. SACV 07-0794ORIGINAL CLASS ACTIONCOMPLAINT FOR:1.
 
VIOLATIONS OF THE FAIRHOUSING ACT;2.
 
VIOLATION OF THE EQUALCREDIT OPPORTUNITY ACT;3.
 
VIOLATIONS OF THE CIVILRIGHTS ACT, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1982JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
1Original Class Action Complaint
 
 
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Plaintiff, on behalf of itself and a Class consisting of all its members and basedupon information and belief, states as follows:
INTRODUCTION
1.
 
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the“NAACP”) brings this action in its representative capacity and as a class action seekinginjunctive and other relief against numerous mortgage lenders who are engaged ininstitutionalized, systematic racism in connection with its members’ purchase of residential mortgage loans. The pervasiveness of this discrimination has beendocumented in numerous empirical studies that all confirm that African-Americans aresubstantially more likely to receive higher-rate residential mortgage loans thanCaucasian borrowers
with the same qualifications
.2.
 
Defendants Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc.have engaged in disparate treatment of African Americans, and have adopted faciallyneutral policies and practices that have a disparate discriminatory impact on AfricanAmericans in residential mortgage lending.3.
 
With respect to the Defendant lenders, the Class is comprised of AfricanAmericans: (a) who received subprime mortgage loans even though they qualified formore favorable conventional mortgage loans in the prime market or (b) whose loanswere approved based upon the low initial interest rate but who would not qualify basedupon the interest rate that would be charged when the rate was scheduled to adjustupward within the first four years of the loan.4.
 
It is beyond dispute that the African American community has long beenthe victim of discriminatory banking practices. Generations of African Americans havebeen deprived the opportunity to participate in the American dream by banks thatrefused to give them mortgage loans simply because of the color of their skin, or placedthem in unfavorable loans that decimate them financially.
2Original Class Action Complaint
 
 
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5.
 
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. target theAfrican American community by capitalizing on their relative lack of experience indealing 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 AfricanAmerican community’s susceptibility to predatory lending practices, but nonethelessengage in policies and procedures that they know will result in African Americans beingsteered toward less favorable loans.6.
 
Indeed, in 2006, the Center for Responsible Lending, a non-profit researchorganization, found that even when income and credit risk were accounted for, AfricanAmericans were
still
31% to 34% more likely to receive higher rate subprime loans, andthat the disparities between them and Caucasians with the same risk factors were “largeand statistically significant.”7.
 
In another study, the National Community Reinvestment Coalitiondetermined that lending institutions in six major metropolitan areas engaged in“pervasive discriminatory and predatory practices”, including making high costsubprime loans to higher-qualified African-Americans 54% of the time, compared to23% of the time for Caucasians, even when Caucasian applicants were similarly, andoften
less
,
 
qualified.8.
 
Similarly, the Federal Reserve Board concluded that African Americanswere more likely to pay higher prices for mortgages than their Caucasian counterparts.The United States Inspector General cited that report as showing “significant”differences, making it “clear” that African Americans were “much more likely to gethigher-priced loans” than Caucasians. For example, a 2006 study by ACORN showedthat African Americans were 3.6 times more likely than whites to be put into a subprimepurchase loan and 6.1 times more likely to be refinanced into such a loan.9.
 
These statistical disparities are not mere happenstance, but instead resultfrom the systematic and predatory targeting of African Americans, as well as facially
3Original Class Action Complaint
 

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