5 comments on “Subhuman Subpriming

  1. Hey Dre,
    IF these allegations are true, then the people engaging in them should be punished accordingly and I have NO sympathies for them whatsoever. However, again, it seems you are casting ALL of Wells Fargo in a bad light due to the possible (but not proven)actions of a few. Wells Fargo is a very large institution. And again, these are allegations, they have not been convicted of anything yet. Shouldn’t we offer everyone the same “innocent until proven guilty”? The words of those loan officers amount to nothing more than heresay in the eyes of the courts. The true solution here would be to stop allowing the sale of subprime loans on the open market. If the institutions were forced to hold loans they made to high-risk clients, black, white or brown, they would be far less likely to loan them out at all. Then the complaint would be that those people no longer have access to loans. Which should it be? Loans to high risk people at high interest w/bundling and selling on the market, (which creates what you call predatory leading) or no access to the loans for poorer people? You can’t ask institutions to just take a loss. The only other choice is passing it along to the prime people who would then pay higher interest rates because of the irresponsible actions of others (like what is already happening to the credit cards). This is exactly the reason I stopped supporting Dems years ago. Punish the good, reward the bad. Where exactly do you stand on this? To loan to subprime or not? It seems your all over the map. Help me understand your position.

    • Truth be told, my response to the racialized aspect of this story (certain individuals calling black folks “mud people” and such) was strictly visceral. I concede that point. You know I’m not placing all of Wells Fargo on blast for a couple of (alleged) racists. But just to avoid any confusion, I made an amendment to the post to reflect the actions of employees and NOT the employer. Crisis averted.

      But to address the real issue of predatory lending, my main issue with brokers has always been their irresponsible lending practices; particularly since they are the folks who are supposed to have the real market savy. For minorities, young people, and poorer people, the prospect of owning a nice home blinded them to the risks associated with subprime lending. Simply seeing an opportunity to get a mortgage that would not have otherwise been available…while ALSO gaining access to quality housing drove them to accept those loans even when (in many cases) they could not afford it. While we’re at it, even people who COULD afford prime loans had subprime loan options thrown at them. Were lenders just SO DESPERATE to toss out money, that they shook the trees too aggressively? I think they were. The folks who took the bait were often the ones who simply to do a little better for themselves…especially when our country’s tax structure offers incentives upon incentives for home ownership.

      So I hope when you referred to the “bad” people getting rewarded, you weren’t referring to to folks who simply want better living conditions for themselves and their families.

      I don’t pretend to be an economic expert. I don’t own a home (thank God), and I’m certainly no market analyst. But even I could’ve suspected that something was afoul when the number of prime loans being issued kept decreasing. That said, I’m left to wonder: at what point should all of that risky market behavior (subprime ledning) cease…especially when the borrowers typically don’t have a clue on what they’re signing into?

  2. Andre, you clearly missed the memo. Subprime lending practices only became a REAL issue once white people were affected. Duh!

  3. Dre,

    I agree with thehc. You can’t make Wells Fargo responsible for what a few employees say and do. The only exception would be if it’s proven true what these employees said and W.F. still decided to sit on it. At that point, they would be complicit.

    To the larger point, I don’t think predatory lenders solely target minorities. Even the article you pointed to suggests that whites were lured into subprime mortgages when they could have qualified for much better. Borrowers should NEVER assume their brokers are operating in their best interest. They are usually only trying to peddle deals that work out the best FOR THEM! If that means offering lousy deals to unsuspecting clients, so be it.

    • Hey Kenya,
      Thanks for the support. I was starting to feel like the right-wing of Andre’s fans. I just want to say that if Wells Fargo starts to run cover for these people and it comes out that the accusations are true, I will be the first to take W.F. to task for any racist policies.

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