Fair Housing Group to File Discrimination Complaint Against U.S. Bank
April 18, 2012
The National Fair Housing Alliance recently announced its intention to file an administrative complaint against U.S. Bancorp (USB), alleging that the bank failed to maintain and market real estate-owned (REO) properties in minority communities. The alliance said the bank treated foreclosed homes "differently based on the racial composition of the neighborhood," according to the complaint. "When you maintain a property differently because of race or origin, you violate the Fair Housing Act," said National Fair Housing Alliance CEO Shanna Smith. The move comes after the advocacy group studied 177 REO properties owned by U.S. Bank in seven cities. The investigation uncovered a discrepancy in care and maintenance between homes in minority neighborhoods versus those in predominantly white communities. USB said that because it serves as a trustee for private mortgage securitizations, it may not have the authority to manage the properties underpinning the securities. The alliance filed a similar complaint against Wells Fargo and is in talks with Bank of America. "The goal is to get people to change their poor practices and their discriminatory practices," said Smith.
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