After filing suit against HSBC units on March 24 for alleged predatory lending practices, Cook County, Ill., has now taken similar action against Bank of America.
County officials say the lenders are partly to blame for the foreclosure epidemic and should compensate the municipality for losses that it suffered as a result. According to the lawsuit, HSBC and Bank of America violated the federal Fair Housing Act by extending unaffordable mortgages to the county's minority populations.
"This predatory lending crisis caused tremendous tangible and intangible damage, particularly to African American and Latino communities ... ," read a statement from Cook County's president. "These practices led to the erosion of the tax base, the loss of property tax revenue, out-of-pocket costs relating to abandoned or vacant properties, and other damages to the fabric of the communities and residents arising from the resulting urban blight."