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Ex-loan officer claims Wells Fargo targeted black communities for shoddy loans

(The Washington Post) For nearly a decade, Beth Jacobson lived inside the vast machinery of subprime mortgages that shook the nation’s economy.

In sworn court testimony, she described watching loan officers comb through heavily African American areas such as Baltimore and Prince George’s County, forging relationships with churches and community groups to sell their members shoddy mortgages. She says she processed loans for homeowners with sterling credit ratings with higher interest rates than they needed to pay. And she says she pumped out millions of dollars in mortgages to people with no paperwork and low incomes, becoming Wells Fargo’s top-producing loan officer.

The machine made her rich — the questions came later. Now, she has recast herself as a crusader for consumers in a battle that has pitted her against the system she once pushed.

 Read on as Ylan Q. Mui chronicles Jacobson’s role in a groundbreaking lawsuit that the city of Baltimore is filing against Wells Fargo.

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