Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Announces Campaign to Educate About Predatory Lending
From the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Amos Maki reports:
A new program will inform citizens about predatory lending that targets Memphis homeowners who are attempting to refinance mortgages or prevent foreclosure.
The effort, spearheaded by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Neighborworks America and Fannie Mae, is designed to warn property owners about shady loan modification and foreclosure-prevention offers.
Mayor A C Wharton announced the education program Wednesday morning, saying lenders who target homeowners facing foreclosure were like vultures “picking the carcass” of a victim.
Wharton said the city’s high poverty rate and low financial literacy of residents make Memphis a target for foreclosure scammers.
The educational campaign dovetails with a Memphis and Shelby County lawsuit against Wells Fargo. The complaint charges that the company targeted predominantly black neighborhoods, getting residents with high consumer debt to refinance and use their homes as collateral.
As a result, the suit alleges, loans in predominantly black areas of Memphis are eight times more likely to go into foreclosure than in white areas.
See also preventloanscams.org for more information on scams or call The Memphis Housing Counseling Network, a group of nonprofit organizations that provide housing and foreclosure counseling, at 901-725-8361.