Static: Wednesday, August 13, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
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The Wells Fargo un-welcome wagon rolls on: ACORN, the consumer watchdog group that has been ragging on Wells Fargo Financial for alleged predatory lending practices (“Wells Fargo Woes,” July 9, 2003), is calling on two more governmental agencies to investigate the company. Brennan Griffin, head organizer for Fort Worth ACORN, said his group would meet Thursday with the lead attorney for the Fort Worth-Dallas division of the Texas Attorney General’s office to discuss 11 housing-related complaints against the lender from around the state. Allegations of misleading practices, fraud, and discrimination are involved.

Also this week, ACORN plans to file two complaints with the Fort Worth Human Relations Commission against Wells Fargo Financial and other lenders. In both cases, borrowers allege that it was their ethnicity that caused financial companies to refer their business to subprime — and high-interest — lenders. ACORN has already filed housing discrimination complaints with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on behalf of four borrowers, even though more time has passed since the discrimination occurred than is generally allowed for such complaints. “We’re trying to make the case [that] it’s ongoing sex and race discrimination because they’re still paying on their mortgages,” said Griffin. “We are negotiating with Wells Fargo on many of these cases to get some sort of mitigation.”

Counting with Clyde

Folks at City Hall are abuzz over why Landslide Clyde Picht — that most tight-fisted of council members — voted recently in favor of builder Leonard Briscoe, Sr.’s plea for $100 thou in city housing money to jumpstart his proposed residential development on the city’s far southeast side. The 4-4 vote failed to carry, but still — ?

Briscoe, of course, spent some time as a guest of the feds for bribing a HUD official in the ’90s and more recently walked off the job at six unfinished FWISD construction sites when the school board refused to pay him more than his contract called for.

Cynics say that with Picht’s eye on the Precinct 1 county commissioner’s seat — the heavily minority-populated area where Briscoe’s development would be built — plus the fact that Briscoe had some prominent leaders from that area backing his request, Clyde was counting votes that day while he cast one. “I’m probably going to run, yes,” Picht told Static. But that didn’t affect his vote. “It’s a worthwhile project and badly needed.”


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