Borough of Sharon Hill Accuses Wells Fargo of Discriminatory Lending

The borough of Sharon Hill has accused Wells Fargo of steering minorities toward higher-cost loans and suppressing property values across town. Image of 766 Elmwood Avenue in Sharon Hill via Trend.

Riding the coattails of other communities across the nation, the borough of Sharon Hill has gone to court to try to stop what it sees as discriminatory lending by Wells Fargo against minority homeowners.

According to a Philadelphia Business Journal report by Jeff Blumenthal, the U.S. District Court lawsuit against Wells Fargo alleges that these illegal practices:

  • suppressed property tax values in the borough, a minority and low-income community.
  • reduced the borough and supporting school district’s tax revenues.
  • increased the cost of providing municipal services, such as police, firefighting, and code enforcement, as well as the housing counseling and other housing-related services that the borough provides and/or funds.

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Wells Fargo, however, dismissed the lawsuit as unsubstantiated.

“These types of cases have been pending in other states and have been rejected by all courts who have addressed the merits of the claims,” the company stated. “Wells Fargo has been a part of the southeastern Pennsylvania community for more than 140 years, and we will vigorously defend our record as a fair and responsible lender.”

The action specifically addresses claims that Wells Fargo steered Sharon Hill’s minority borrowers toward higher-cost, riskier loans and created a barrier to fair housing opportunities.

Read more about the Wells Fargo lawsuit in the Philadelphia Business Journal here.

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