It was two years ago that the NAACP and Baltimore city officials went after Wells Fargo over revelations that the bank had marketed subprime "ghetto loans" to blacks, referred to in internal memos as "mud people." The Justice Department has finally decided to act, suing Wells Fargo for discriminatory lending practices.
The probe isn't coming from the section of the Justice Department focused on financial crimes, which has developed a disturbingly cozy relationship with the banks. Instead it's coming from Thomas Perez and the Civil Rights Division:
The previously-undisclosed Justice probe, which is being led by the Civil Rights division's Fair Lending Unit, lends credence to the city's lawsuit, sources told The Huffington Post. The official overseeing the office, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, previously served as secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, a consumer protection agency that regulates mortgage and foreclosure terms and houses the state's financial regulator.
The Civil Rights Division under Bush saw a notable decline in anti-discrimination cases -- particularly when it came to housing, even though this stuff was occurring under his watch. Whatever disappointments liberals have with the Obama administration at large, its Civil Rights Division has performed admirably, particularly in comparison to its predecessor.
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