The city of East Orange in northern New Jersey has pulled public funds from Wells Fargo & Co. after lawmakers accused the bank of engaging in predatory-lending practices and exacerbating the city’s foreclosure crisis.
City officials said Wells Fargo holds 13% of the 439 mortgages currently in foreclosure in East Orange. City councilman Chris James said the bank forced people from their homes and then let the vacant properties fall into disrepair.
“We can’t have the city’s money, that’s from hard working people’s taxes, in this system,” said Mr. James, a Democrat who led the divestment push. Mr. James also pointed to Wells Fargo’s investment in the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline and last year’s revelation that bank employees had opened more than 2 million unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts to meet ambitious sales goals as additional reasons for cutting ties with the company.