Indy organization part of first-ever settlement involving REO properties

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The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana is one of 13 fair-housing organizations that will split a $27 million settlement from Wells Fargo Bank with the National Fair Housing Alliance after a complaint alleged the bank better maintained its real estate properties in white neighborhoods.

The federal-housing complaint was filed in April 2012 with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It alleged that Wells Fargo did not maintain or market its REO properties in African-American and Latino neighborhoods as well as those properties found in white neighborhoods.

REO properties have gone through foreclosure and are now owned by banks, investors, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administrator or Veterans Affairs.

The $27 million will assist the NFHA and the fair-housing organizations in promoting home ownership, neighborhood stabilization, property rehabilitation and development in communities of color in 19 cities, according to a release from the NFHA. Under the agreement, Wells Fargo will make it easier to obtain information about REO properties, will implement best practices for the maintenance and marketing of its REO properties, and will develop a fair-housing training program on REO issues for its employees and agents who sell Wells Fargo REO properties.

“Indianapolis has been nicknamed one of the emptiest cities in America due to the number of vacant houses post foreclosure crisis,” said Amy Nelson, executive director of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. “These funds will provide a welcome boost to rehab vacant homes in need in our hardest hit neighborhoods of color and stop any further deterioration into required demolition and loss of housing stock.”

Wells Fargo will end up paying out more than $42 million dollars: An additional $11.5 million will go to support neighborhoods in 25 other cities; $3 million to the NFHA and the 13 fair-housing organizations involved in the complaint for cost and damages; and $550,000 for conferences and seminars.

There are two similar housing-discrimination complaints pending against US Bank and Bank of America that were also filed last year.



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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.