In a discrimination complaint that it filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) often represented U.S. Bank as the entity responsible for maintaining foreclosed properties that it’s actually not even authorized to maintain, a U.S. Bank spokesperson tells American Banker.
The original complaint the NFHA filed against U.S. Bank pointed to 171 properties in minority neighborhoods that it said the bank was responsible for maintaining, but, in contrast to its properties in white neighborhoods, did not.
But a U.S. Bank spokesperson said that the bank was actually only responsible for maintaining eight of them. That’s because it was the trustee for mortgage-backed securities tied to the other 163 properties, not the servicer of those properties. As a trustee, it said it’s not even authorized, let alone responsible for, maintaining foreclosed homes.
The possible misidentifications are just one example of questionable tactics that the NFHA has used to cast banks as discriminatory, according to American Banker. The trade publication also previously reported that the NFHA has released the addresses of only a small fraction of properties in minority areas that allegedly received less attention from banks than properties in white neighborhoods, works with HUD through an official whose ties to the NFHA may pose a conflict of interest, and sometimes faults banks for damage to homes that occurred before their repossession.