Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



Cook County, Illinois Files Fair Housing Act Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo & Co.

Monday, December 01, 2014
Special to suffredin.org
by Anita Alvarez

OFFICE OFTHE STATESATTORNEY

COOK COUNTY,ILLINOIS

ANITA ALVAREZ 69 WEST WASHINGTON ST.

STATES ATTORNEY SUITE 3200

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60602

Press Release

Cook County, Illinois Files Fair Housing Act Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo & Co.

for Predatory and Discriminatory Mortgage Lending & Foreclosure Practices

Cook County Minority Communities Devastated by Foreclosures

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez have filed a federal Fair Housing Act lawsuit on behalf of Cook County against Wells Fargo & Co., Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and their subsidiaries and affiliates including the former Wachovia Corporation. The lawsuit alleges that defendants’ predatory and discriminatory mortgage lending, servicing and foreclosure activities are part of a broad “equity stripping” practice that continues to this day and, in part, led to the foreclosure crisis in Cook County and elsewhere.

At issue are over 55,000 potentially predatory and discriminatory mortgage loans Wells Fargo is now responsible for that it, and its affiliates, made to minority borrowers in Cook County since January 2000. This includes many “Pick-A-Payment” loans made by Wachovia and World Savings Bank, among others.

Wells Fargo and its affiliates are responsible for over 26,700 foreclosure filings on homeowners in Cook County from January 2000 through August of this year. Over 18,900 of those filings – 71 percent -- are concentrated in Cook County’s minority neighborhoods and communities as depicted on the attached GIS map. In contrast, just 22.6% of all owner-occupied homes in Cook County are owned by minorities.

The County is seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages for the resulting harm that the defendants caused. This includes the segregative effect on Plaintiff’s minority communities and neighborhoods, leading to urban blight; the reallocation of Plaintiff’s limited financial and human resources to address the harms defendants’ actions have caused; and the monetary damages that the County has sustained, including the erosion of its tax base, loss of property tax and other revenue sources, and the costs incurred relating to abandoned or vacant properties.

“The predatory lending crisis has caused tremendous tangible and intangible damage, particularly to African American and Latino communities in Cook County,” President Preckwinkle said. “Predatory lending continues to exist in Cook County and the lending institutions engaged in such practices must be held accountable.”

"It is our intent that this lawsuit, along with the two previously filed against other lenders, will eradicate the harmful and discriminatory lending practices that have devastated so many homeowners in Cook County, particularly those targeting minorities and women," said Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Page 2/ Cook County Lawsuit

“Wells Fargo’s alleged predatory and discriminatory mortgage lending, servicing and foreclosure practices adversely impact all of Cook County. But they have had a particularly devastating effect on minority communities that have been the focus of such activities, particularly including African American women,” said Jim Evangelista, a partner with the law firm of Harris Penn Lowry, LLP which represents Cook County. James Montgomery, of James D. Montgomery & Associates, Ltd., who also represents Cook County, stated that “Wells Fargo continues to strip equity from minority homeowners and minority communities in Cook County. The County holds Wells Fargo accountable for such actions.”

Earlier this year, Cook County filed similar lawsuits against HSBC North America Holdings, Inc., and against Bank of America, which also is responsible for mortgage loans made by Countrywide and Merrill Lynch.

# # #



Recent Headlines

Choosing Cook County judges, Justice Ginsburg reminds us, should not be a popularity contest
Monday, September 16, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Kim Foxx interested, wary of working with Trump White House on criminal justice reform
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Is Clerk Karen Yarbrough ‘best official’ in county — or is patronage hiring flap only ‘tip of the iceberg’?
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A secret vote will choose Cook County’s next judicial chief. A $270 million budget, thousands of employees, and the future of a huge court system are at stake.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Evans Faces Challenge Thursday For Position As Cook County Chief Judge
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
WBEZ News

Cook County Health's John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital Receives $5M Federal Grant to Support Cancer Research
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County Forest Preserves Might Pitch Property Tax Hike To Voters
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
WBEZ News

Column: Ethically, Todd Ricketts owes Cook County six more years of property taxes on his Wilmette house. He should pay up.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Watchdog accuses County Clerk Karen Yarbrough of running ‘illegal patronage’ operation, wants court oversight
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Prosecutors Decline To File Charges In About 1 In Every 5 Murder Cases
Thursday, September 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Maps Story of Opioid Epidemic with New Website
Thursday, September 05, 2019
WBEZ News

Slow refund checks for Water Tower residents—including the county treasurer—lead to proposed fee
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Criminal history vs. compassion? County debate over role of rap sheets in rental decisions
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County’s new law barring landlords from turning away tenants with certain criminal backgrounds faces controversy
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Upholding Cook County’s assault weapons ban
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Hospital rehab awarded $3 million in state tax credits
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Curbed Chicago

Cook County Finance Committee to approve $3 million settlement in medical malpractice case
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lightfoot, Preckwinkle must stop feuding with each other, work together on gun violence
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Here’s Why Cook County’s Property Tax Freeze Might Thaw
Tuesday, September 03, 2019
WBEZ News

South, southwest suburbs getting grants to beef up security
Friday, August 30, 2019
Daily Southtown

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP