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Baltimore suit pivots on discrimination

April 21, 2010 at 3:52 PM   |   Comments

BALTIMORE, April 21 (UPI) -- A lawyer helping Baltimore sue Wells Fargo & Co. in a second round of litigation said the case centers on predatory lending involving African-Americans.

Attorney John Relman said, "Ultimately, the amount of damages in this case is far less significant than whether or not a jury says, 'You're right, Wells Fargo targeted an African-American community with predatory loans and they did it for reasons of greed," The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday.

Last year, a judged dismissed the case, calling it "implausible" that the loans could be blamed for inner city decay, despite some of them ending in foreclosure.

The second suit filed against the bank attempts to answer that with specifics. City Solicitor George Nilson said the city is seeking $20 million in damages, based on a $1,472 annual increase in cost for fire and police services per vacant property.

Wells Fargo attorney Andrew Sandler said: "There's nothing here. They just want to go fishing to see if maybe they can come up with something."

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