Black People : Trusted Blacks Drew Minorities to High-Rate Loans

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Suit Alleges Trusted Blacks Drew Minorities to High-Rate Loans
    Wells Fargo Hired Tavis Smiley as Headliner for Seminars Targeting African Americans

    As the housing market began booming in mid-2000, Wells Fargo & Co. teamed up with prominent African American commentator and PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley and financial author Kelvin Boston, the host of “Moneywise,” a multicultural financial affairs show, to host something called “Wealth Building” seminars in black neighborhoods.
    Smiley was the keynote speaker, and the big draw, according to Boston and Keith Corbett, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, who attended two of the seminars. Smiley would charge up the audience — and rattle the Wells Fargo executives in attendance — by launching into a story about how he hated banks, and how they used to refuse to lend him money for his real estate projects in Compton, Calif., and elsewhere. After Hurricane Katrina, Smiley also emphasized the importance of building assets and wealth, saying those who had done so were able to leave New Orleans, while people with nothing had to stay behind, Boston said.
    “My spiel was the financial planning process, how you want to be able to save and invest for the future, and to have a plan of action,” Boston said. “Then Tavis talked about his experiences with the banks, and how people should be thinking about some real estate.”
    The seminars in some cities drew standing room only crowds, with numerous Wells Fargo representatives on hand, seated at carrels to meet one-on-one with potential borrowers who lined up after the speeches, which were usually held in hotels. The free, day-long events were heavily advertised in the black media, and launched in eight cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Richmond, Va., and San Francisco.
    But what appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth was actually just the opposite, according to a little-noticed explanation of the “Wealth Building” seminar strategy, contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
    Wells’ plan for the seminars all along was to target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages, not for wealth-building, the suit charged. And the seminars were a part of the bank’s overall illegal and discriminatory practice of steering black and Hispanic borrowers into riskier and more expensive loans, the suit said.
    “According to a former Wells Fargo Home Mortgage employee, one of these ‘Wealth Building’ seminars held in Maryland was planned for an audience that would be virtually all African American,” the suit said. “The plan for the seminar was for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage employees to talk about subprime mortgages, although they were directed by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage to use the term ‘alternative lending’ when marketing these products.”
    The former employee, who is white, was scheduled to speak at the seminar, but was told by a manager that she was “too white,” and that only black employees could make presentations, the suit said.
    Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders and a recipient of $25 billion in government bailout money, has denied all the charges in the Illinois suit, as well as other allegations of unfair lending. The bank did not respond to requests for comment on the seminars...
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    wow.

    If Tavis Smiley did this with full knowledge, then I've lost all respect for him.
     
  3. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Did Tavis Smiley Push Bad Loans to Blacks?
    Posted by Carmen Dixon on Sep 18th 2009 2:00PM
    Filed under: News, Opinion
    Comments (17)
    With HP wireless printers, you could have printed this from any room in the house. Live wirelessly. Print wirelessly.
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    Did Tavis Smiley help Wells Fargo herd black people into subprime loans? Yes, according to information contained in a lawsuit filed recently by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The suit alleges that Smiley was the hook used to draw in potential customers for subprime mortgages.

    You might be familiar with the "Wealth Building" seminars that Wells Fargo conducted beginning in the year 2000. Smiley was the headline speaker at these events, held in Baltimore; Chicago; Richmond, Va.; and San Francisco. The seminars were advertised aggressively in black media and aimed directly at black communities. They were a huge success. Often, standing room only audiences would hear Smiley speak about how he mostly disliked banks while strongly urging attendees to invest in real estate as a sound strategy to build wealth. ...


    Turns out that his keynote address may be responsible for many would-be home buyers being pulled to the subprime loan slop Wells Fargo allegedly intended to push on them:

    But what appeared on the surface as a way to help black borrowers build wealth was actually just the opposite, according to a little-noticed explanation of the "Wealth Building" seminar strategy, contained in a lawsuit recently filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

    Wells' plan for the seminars all along was to target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages, not for wealth-building, the suit charged. And the seminars were a part of the bank's overall illegal and discriminatory practice of steering black and Hispanic borrowers into riskier and more expensive loans, the suit said.

    According to a former Wells Fargo Home Mortgage employee, one of these "Wealth Building" seminars held in Maryland was planned for an audience that would be virtually all African American, the suit said. The plan for the seminar was for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage employees to talk about subprime mortgages, although they were directed by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage to use the term 'alternative lending' when marketing these products." The former employee, who is white, was scheduled to speak at the seminar, but was told by a manager that she was "too white," and that only black employees could make presentations, the suit said.

    Wells Fargo, one of the nation's largest mortgage lenders and a recipient of $25 billion in government bailout money, has denied all the charges in the Illinois suit, as well as other allegations of unfair lending. The bank did not respond to requests for comment on the seminars. Smiley, an author and advocate who hosts the late-night talk show, 'Tavis Smiley,' and who organizes the State of the Black Union symposiums each year, also declined comment. Source: Suit Alleges Trusted Black Figures Drew Minorities to High Rate Loans, Washington Independent

    These are extremely serious allegations that will play out in the legal arena. But having worked with Smiley during the last "State of the Black Union," I do not believe he intentionally set out to hurt black people or poor people in general. That would be like me believing that Wall Street intentionally set out to destroy its own money-making schemes.

    full article
    http://www.bvblackspin.com/2009/09/18/a-matter-of-trust-did-tavis-smiley-push-bad-loans-to-blacks/
     
  4. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Welcome to the world of Black Leadership

    Carter G Woodson stated in "The Miseducation of the Negro" that after slavery and at the inseption of the reconstruction era,
    Whites were ready to free Africans physicaly but not financialy or politicaly.
    They would purchase big halls in the Black designated residential areas and discover amongst us which ones were the most articulate,as well as the most decietful.
    They would print up flyers and posters promoting so and so as a liberator, and a race man, encouraging folks to come and listen , while he would rant and rail against the White man,
    and when the rhetoric was over he would run back to his Overseer and report how things ent and which ones were the most radical in the group.

    HG Wells provided a fictional version of this ploy in his book "1984" were the man who sold the protagonist his book on liberation was the man working secretly for the state.

    "Message to the Black Man" written by the Honorable Elijah Muhammed however, unbeknown to most that the editor and his personal secretary was an FBI informant,
    John Ali.

    I have worked, or should I say tried to work with Rev Al Sharpton, and Minister Louis Farrakhan, when he came to New York with his men's program, and to be honest, this is how these cats operate.
    Straight up and down!
    Farrakhan's men's program was supposed to rally us to clean up and patrol our communities as proud Black men.
    We, from all the boroughs and the tristate area, sat at the armory on 144th street and listened and cheered and fellowshipped but at the end of the speech and emotional elation , the whole thing was a scam to get us to sell his Power products, that were not moving in Chicago.
    As far as Sharpton, he now supports Bloomberg's fascist plan to totaly diss community input, community school boards, in the New York City school systems, so good old Tavis is on course with the good old OKEE DOKE.

    Look how many Black folks have swindled thier own family and friends with ponzi and pyramid schemes like Prime America, Amway, Pre Paid legal and various Gas and Electric shoddy utility services.

    I guess good old Armstrong Williams has good company with Tavis.

    All the more reason why we must create our own rotating grass roots leadership
     
  5. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    And that is the reason why I hold all Black faces in high places feet to the fire, from personal experience, not hate
     
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