Wells Fargo to Memphis: We didn’t break it, so we shouldn’t buy it

Memphis and Shelby County’s lawsuit against Wells Fargo over the way the lender allegedly steered blacks here into predatory loans took an interesting and little-noticed turn last week.

In a motion to dismiss the city-county complaint, attorneys for Wells Fargo gave a hint at what direction their litigation strategy is taking. The Daily News reported on the filing here.

Basically, the city-county position against Wells is: “The local foreclosure problem was worsened by the bad loans Wells Fargo made.”

But after citing almost a dozen news articles in its motion to dismiss the suit – including stories from years ago published in The Commercial Appeal and Memphis Flyer about various socio-economic woes in the city – the Wells Fargo position amounts to “Memphis was in a bad way long before we got here.”

Or, in other words, we didn’t break it, so we shouldn’t buy it.