On January 8, 2021, the Court approved a class settlement worth as much as $20 million in two lawsuits alleging lending discrimination against DACA recipients. Wells Fargo also agreed to change its lending policies in connection with the settlement to make several types of loans available to DACA recipients on the same terms as the loans are available to U.S. citizens.
Outten & Golden LLP and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) filed Perez v. Wells Fargo, a nationwide civil rights class action lawsuit on behalf of six plaintiffs with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2017, alleged that Wells Fargo violated federal and California civil rights law, including 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Unruh Civil Rights Act, by refusing outright to extend student loans, small business loans, personal loans, credit cards, and mortgages to non-citizens with DACA. The plaintiffs alleged that Wells Fargo refused to extend credit even where applicants had qualified co-signers. In 2019, Outten & Golden LLP and Justice Catalyst Law filed Peña v. Wells Fargo, which brought similar claims on behalf of DACA recipients who were denied auto loans.
The cases are Perez v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 17-cv-00454 and Peña v. Wells Fargo, No. 19-cv-04065, in the U.S. District for the Northern District of California. The claims period for the settlements closed on November 24, 2020. To learn more, please visit https://www.wfdacalawsuit.com/, contact Ossai Miazad or Rachel Williams Dempsey, or call 415-638-8840.