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Wells Fargo to give Philadelphia $10M to resolve lawsuit

Wells Fargo Bank NA has agreed to contribute $10 million to the City of Philadelphia's programs that promote homeownership for low- and moderate-income residents in order to resolve the 2017 litigation over the bank's alleged violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The city claimed that Wells Fargo originated residential mortgage loans to minority borrowers in Philadelphia, "causing economic and non-economic damages to the City." The banking giant did not admit liability and denied the allegations, according to a news release.

The bulk of the funds — $8.5 million — will be used to provide grants for down payment and closing cost assistance to low- and moderate-income individuals buying homes within the city. Another $1 million will be divided among up to three nonprofit organizations that implement the city's Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program, and the remaining $500,000 will be used for the city's land care program.

In addition, the city and Wells Fargo will collaborate to conduct a program called "Understanding Philadelphia" for employees of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage working in Philadelphia. The program, which will analyze the city's housing market, will include officials from the city and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp., as well as external subject matter experts.