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.