Wells Fargo Settles Discrimination Complaint with $42 Million

Wells Fargo agreed on Friday to pay a settlement of $42 million for a complaint that was filed in April of 2012 by the NFHA or the National Fair Housing Alliance.

The NFHA complaint alleged that the bank marketed and maintained repossessed properties it owned in neighborhoods that were predominantly white better than its properties that were located in neighborhoods that were predominantly minority.

Wells Fargo will pay the monies to the Department of House and Urban Development, 13 groups that deal in fair housing and the NFHA. HUD will use their portion of the monies to support minority homeownership that was impacted during the crisis dealing with foreclosures.

Similar complaints were filed by the NFHA against U.S. Bank and Bank of America, acting upon an investigation the group conducted that was able to find that the those two lenders seemed to maintain white neighborhood REOs better than those in minority neighborhoods.

The NFHA said that its agreement reached with Wells Fargo was the first of its type regarding equal marketing and maintenance of REOs. That seems to suggest the complaints that were filed against other banks have yet to be settled.

Part of the agreement involves Wells Fargo providing over $27 million to NFHA and 13 organizations in fair housing, which would be distributed to 19 different cities to promote new homeownership, stability in the neighborhood, rehabilitation of property and new development in neighborhoods that are predominantly minority, said a representative from the NFHA.