South Suburban Housing Center Joins National Federal Court Fair Housing Complaint Against Bank of America

CHICAGO — Today (June 26, 2018), the Homewood based South Suburban Housing Center (SSHC), joined with the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), HOPE Fair Housing Center of Wheaton, as well as 17 other fair housing organizations across the U.S., and two homeowners in Maryland to file a federal lawsuit, alleging Fair Housing Act violations against Bank of America, N.A., Bank of America Corp., and Safeguard Properties Management, LLC (“Bank of America/Safeguard”). The lawsuit alleges Defendants intentionally failed to provide routine exterior maintenance and marketing at Bank of America-owned homes in working- and middle-class African-American and Latino neighborhoods in 37 metropolitan areas, while they consistently maintained similar bank-owned homes in comparable white neighborhoods.

The data presented in the federal complaint, which is supported by substantial photographic evidence, shows a glaring pattern of discriminatory conduct by Bank of America/Safeguard. The investigation documented 37 objective aspects of routine exterior maintenance that are com-mon factors used in the preservation maintenance industry. More than 35,000 photos document the relevant conditions of the homes. In neighborhoods of color, Plaintiffs found evidence of poor maintenance such as wildly overgrown grass and weeds, unsecured doors and windows, damaged steps and handrails, accumulated trash and debris, unsecured pools, graffiti, and even dead animals decaying in yards. Plaintiffs investigated more than 1,600 Bank of America-owned homes in working- and middle-class white, African-American, and Latino neighborhoods. The lawsuit alleges that Bank of America-owned homes in predominantly white working- and middle-class neighborhoods are far more likely to have the lawns mowed and edged regularly, invasive weeds and vines removed, windows and doors secured or repaired, debris and trash removed, leaves raked, and graffiti erased from the property…

The full press release (in PDF format), details, and additional information about SSHC’s investigation of Bank of America’s REO properties, including NFHA’s news release and the federal complaint filed today, can be found below:

SSHC’s Full Press Release: Read SSHC full Press Release

Full Federal ComplaintRead the Federal Complaint filed 6/26/2018

NFHA’s National Press ReleaseRead the press release by NFHA

 

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South Suburban Housing Center Contact: John Petruszak (708) 957-4674 ext. 22 southsuburban@prodigy.net

National Fair Housing Alliance Contact: Jessica Aiwuyor 202-898-1661 jaiwuyor@nationalfairhousing.org

 

 

 

 

Want more? See below for previous actions concerning foreclosed properties

Deutsche Bank, Ocwen Financial, and Altisource Accused of Racial Discrimination in 30 U.S. Metro Areas

National Fair Housing Alliance and 19 Civil Rights Groups File Federal Lawsuit Over Neglected Foreclosures in Communities of Color

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today (2/1/2018), the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and 19 fair housing organizations from across the country filed a housing discrimination lawsuit in federal district court in Chicago, IL against Deutsche Bank; Deutsche Bank National Trust; Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas; Ocwen Financial Corp.; and Altisource Portfolio Solutions, Inc. Ocwen and Altisource are the servicer and property management company responsible for maintaining and marketing a large number of Deutsche Bank’s properties.

NFHA is filing this lawsuit on the first day of Black History Month to highlight how neglected bank-owned homes hurt African American communities. The lawsuit alleges that Deutsche Bank purposely failed to maintain its foreclosed bank-owned homes (also known as real estate owned or “REO” properties) in middle- and working- class African American and Latino neighborhoods in 30 metropolitan areas, while it consistently maintained similar bank-owned homes in white neighborhoods. The data presented in the federal lawsuit, which is supported by substantial photographic evidence, shows a stark pattern of discriminatory conduct by Deutsche Bank/Ocwen/Altisource in the maintenance of foreclosed homes…

The full press release and power point presentations can be found for both the Chicago & Gary Metropolitan areas below:

Full Press Release

Read the full press release by NFHA

Gary, Indiana

Power Point Presentation of the Evidence

Metro-Chicago

Power Point Presentation of the Evidence

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National Fair Housing Alliance Contact: Jessica Aiwuyor 202-898-1661 jaiwuyor@nationalfairhousing.org

South Suburban Housing Center Contact: John Petruszak (708) 957-4674 ext. 22  southsuburban@prodigy.net

 



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Mortgage Giant Fannie Mae Accused of Racial Discrimination in 38 U.S. Metro Areas Including Chicago

 National Fair Housing Alliance, South Suburban Housing Center and 20 Other Civil Rights Groups File Federal Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Over Neglected Foreclosures

 CHICAGO — Today [12/5/16], the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Homewood, Illinois, based South Suburban Housing Center (SSHC), and twenty other fair housing organizations across the country, including HOPE Fair Housing Center in Wheaton, and OPEN Communities in Winnetka, filed a housing discrimination lawsuit against Fannie Mae in Federal District Court in San Francisco, California.  The lawsuit alleges that Fannie Mae purposely fails to maintain its foreclosures (also known as real estate owned or “REO” properties) in middle- and working-class African American and Latino neighborhoods to the same level of quality it does for foreclosures it owns in white middle- and working-class neighborhoods. The data supporting the federal lawsuit, which includes substantial photographic evidence, shows a stark pattern of discriminatory conduct by Fannie Mae in the maintenance of its foreclosures.

The lawsuit is the result of a multi-year investigation. During the past several years, NFHA notified Fannie Mae many times of its failure to maintain and market its foreclosed homes in communities of color to the same standard to which it was maintaining and marketing the foreclosed homes it owned in similar, predominantly white neighborhoods. In spite of numerous meetings between NFHA and Fannie Mae to address these disparities in maintenance and marketing, Fannie Mae persisted in its willful neglect of its properties in African American and Latino neighborhoods.

 

Gary, Indiana

Press Release

Power Point Presentation of the Evidence

Metro-Chicago

Press Release

Power Point Presentation of the Evidence

National

Press Release

Power Point Presentation of the Evidence

Other Cities Nationwide 

View The Power Point Presentation for Each of the 39 Metropolitan Areas 

Additional Resources

Read the Complaint

 

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South Suburban Housing Center Contact: John Petruszak (708) 957-4674 ext. 22  southsuburban@prodigy.net

National Fair Housing Alliance Contact: Pamela Bond (202) 898-1661  pbond@nationalfairhousing.org



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Bank of America Accused of Racial Discrimination in 30 Metropolitan Areas and 201 Cities

 Ten Civil Rights Groups Announce Filing of Discrimination Complaint

Over Neglected Foreclosures in African American and Latino Neighborhoods

On Wednesday, August 31, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), in conjunction with nine local fair housing organizations, will hold a webinar news conference in Washington, DC, to announce the filing of an amended discrimination complaint against Bank of America (BoA).  The complaint alleges illegal discrimination by BoA in African American and Latino neighborhoods in six additional cities.  This new evidence of discriminatory treatment by BoA will be added to the federal Fair Housing Act complaint on file with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Furthermore, NFHA and the nine fair housing organizations will add new evidence to their existing claims.

The civil rights groups allege that Bank of America continues to fail to perform basic maintenance and marketing tasks for its foreclosed properties in African American and Latino neighborhoods, while it consistently maintains its foreclosed properties in White neighborhoods, a practice that violates the federal Fair Housing Act.  The nationwide investigation examined BoA’s foreclosures in middle- and working-class neighborhoods.  BoA is paid to perform this routine maintenance for all of its foreclosures.  Nevertheless, evidence gathered between 2011 and 2016 in 201 cities located in 30 metropolitan regions documents an ongoing pattern and practice by BoA of different maintenance based on the racial or ethnic composition of a neighborhood.

 

See below for local, regional, and national presentations of the evidence or to view the press release.

 

Gary, Indiana

Press Release

Power Point Presentation of the Evidence

 

Metro-Chicago

Power Point Presentation of the Evidence

 

National

Press Release

Power Point Presentation of the Evidence (Coming soon)

 

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South Suburban Housing Center Contact: John Petruszak (708) 957-4674 ext. 22  southsuburban@prodigy.net

National Fair Housing Alliance Contact: Pamela Bond (202) 898-1661  pbond@nationalfairhousing.org