Call it the Memphis Misery Tour.
Steve Barlow, a local attorney who focuses on social justice issues, recently gave me a driving tour of parts of the Medical Center neighborhood ravaged by blight.
He did the same thing for a National Public Radio reporter interested in the city’s lawsuit against Wells Fargo. The city and county are suing Wells because they believe the lender targeted black borrowers for predatory loans, and that the city’s high number of foreclosures is one effect of that.
A response in the piece from Wells national sales manager Brad Blackwell:
“What’s happened in Memphis and in many other municipalities, particularly big urban centers, is that many areas have been very hard hit by the economy. And some of these areas, like downtown Memphis have been harder hit, and consequently, you have higher foreclosure rates in those neighborhoods.”