Skip to content

November 18th Actions in Iowa and Ohio

November 18, 2010

Iowans Challenge Bank of America and Wells Fargo CRA Ratings

Des Moines, IA – More than 50 members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI) filed an official protest Thursday against the U.S. Treasury, and its Comptroller of the Currency office, for betraying their legal obligation to hold banks accountable after the federal agency gave Bank of America and Wells Fargo “Outstanding” ratings for their banking practices under the provisions of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

Iowa CCI members delivered their written CRA complaint in person to both banks today.  CCI members also met with top legal aides to Attorney General Tom Miller about the home foreclosure crisis.  Fifteen other community organizations allied with the National People’s Action network also filed similar CRA complaints against Bank of America and Wells Fargo today.

“Bank of America and Wells Fargo aren’t outstanding, they’re outrageous,” said Mike McCarthy, an Iowa CCI member from Des Moines, Iowa.  “Their subprime and reckless lending practices helped cause an economic meltdown, tore apart the fabric of our local communities and destroyed the personal finances of millions of American families and homeowners.  Bank of America and Wells Fargo have failed to meet their obligations under the CRA and deserve a failing grade.”

Under the provisions of the CRA, banks have a legal and affirmative obligation to serve the convenience and needs of the communities in which they do business with safe and sound lending and investments.  Under the Act, the failure to provide lending and investment services fairly and in a safe and sound manner should result in an unsatisfactory rating, which would limit the ability of the banks to expand by denying their applications for branches, mergers, acquisitions, and additional charters.

“Not only did Bank of America and Wells Fargo fail to provide the communities they served with safe and sound lending and investments,” CCI member Brenda LaBlanc, “but they, in league with other major bank holding companies, exploited communities all across America by making and investing in the very same predatory and high-cost mortgages that pushed our financial system to the brink of collapse.”

Iowa CCI members highlighted several key points where the banks failed to meet the safe and sound lending test required under CRA, including:

  • Targeting minority borrowers with high-cost subprime loans;
  • Using bailout funds to restore billions of dollars in salaries and bonuses to bank executives;
  • Investing in payday loan shops that charge as much as 400 percent interest;
  • Failing to provide meaningful and sustainable loan modifications, and;
  • Engaging in foreclosure fraud.

“We demand that the Treasury and the Comptroller re-open the examination of these banks,” McCarthy said.  “We want them to hold public hearings in our communities to answer our challenges and to explain why they have ignored their paramount obligation to protect the public from predatory, subprime, and fraudulent lending practices.”

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is a group of everyday people who talk, act and get things done on issues that matter most. With thousands of members from all walks of life — urban and rural, black and white, immigrants and lifelong Iowans — CCI has been tackling tough issues and getting things done for more than 35 years.

For more information about Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, visit

“Fix Your Mess!”

Cincinnati, OH – “Fix Your Mess!” is the message that community leaders from Communities United For Action (CUFA) & Citizens Against Loan Sharks (CALS) sent to Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citbank and Chase today, standing outside a foreclosed house. However, even though the bank foreclosed they never put the deed in their name and consequently the former owner is still receiving property tax bills and building code violations.

“The banks are failing us and our economy,” said Marilyn Evans, Executive Director of CUFA. “The regulators always give the banks an outstanding rating even though they are failing our neighborhoods,” said Roger Davis, President of Communities United For Action.  “It’s time for the people to grade the banks,” he concluded.

Melowese Richardson of CUFAMelowese Richardson (pictured on the right), a member of Citizens Against Loan Sharks, talked about the emotional and financial stress of losing her home yet still receiving bills and building code violations for the house because her lender, Chase, did not take possession of the house.

“This was my father’s house and I tried to work with Chase to keep it out of foreclosure,” said Ms. Richardson.    “I was told that this house no longer belongs to me but the property was never transferred at the Court House.  Now I am getting letters from the City telling me to fix it up and I am getting property tax and water bills.  This is the bank’s mess, not my mess!”

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: