On January 8, 2008, the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore ("the City") filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Financial Leasing, Inc. ("Wells Fargo") under the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, ...
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On January 8, 2008, the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore ("the City") filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Financial Leasing, Inc. ("Wells Fargo") under the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division. The plaintiffs, alleging that Wells Fargo's predatory and discriminatory lending practices have led to foreclosures that harm the City, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief and damages. Two other cases -- Memphis v. Wells Fargo (FH-TN-0002 in the Clearinghouse) and U.S. v. Wells Fargo (FH-DC-0001 in the Clearinghouse) have made essentially equivalent allegations.
The City filed its initial Complaint on January 8, 2008. On March 21, 2008, Wells Fargo filed a Motion to Dismiss, challenging the City's standing and contending that the complaint failed to state a cognizable FHA violation under either a disparate treatment or disparate impact theory. On June 1, 2009, the City filed a Motion to File an Amended Complaint with exhibits. Chief Judge Benson Everett Legg then held a hearing on the initial Complaint, denied the Motion to Dismiss, and granted the City leave to file an amended complaint. City of Baltimore v. Wells Fargo, 631 F.Supp.2d 702, 703-04 (D. Md. July 2, 2009). The City filed an Amended Complaint.
On August 6, 2009, the case was reassigned to Judge J. Frederick Motz. Judge Motz granted Wells Fargo's Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint. Judge Motz held that if the City desires to pursue a more limited claim, such as a claim for specific damages allegedly suffered by the City in regard to specific houses that became vacant allegedly because of Wells Fargo's lending activities or a claim for damages allegedly caused to a specific neighborhood in which Wells Fargo made enough allegedly improper loans that its activities bear a plausible causal relationship to the destruction of that neighborhood, it may file a Second Amended Complaint. City of Baltimore v. Wells Fargo, 677 F.Supp.2d 847, 851 (D. Md. January 6, 2010). The City filed a Second Amended Complaint.
On September 8, 2010, Judge Motz held a hearing and granted Wells Fargo's Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint, and granted the City leave to file a Third Amended Complaint. The City filed a Third Amended Complaint on October 21, 2010. In the Third Amended Complaint, the City seeks redress for injuries caused by Wells Fargo's pattern or practice of illegal and discriminatory mortgage lending. Specifically, the City seeks injunctive relief and damages for the injuries caused by foreclosures on Wells Fargo loans in minority neighborhoods and to minority borrowers that are the result of Wells Fargo's unlawful, irresponsible, unfair, deceptive, and discriminatory lending practices.
Wells Fargo filed a Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Complaint on December 3, 2010. On April 22, 2011, Judge Motz denied Wells Fargo's Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Complaint, concluding that the City has plausibly alleged injuries that are fairly traceable to Wells Fargo’s alleged conduct.
On August 7, 2012, Judge Motz approved a settlement order between the parties. Wells Fargo agreed to a $175 million settlement fund for disbursements to the Affected Class. Judge Motz then dismissed the case without prejudice.Xin Chen - 07/23/2012
Asma Husain - 01/31/2016