Things That Matter

Wells Fargo Is Being Accused Of Denying Loans To Undocumented Students

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo on Monday claiming that the bank illegally denied loans to applicants who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DACA was created by an executive order signed by President Obama in 2012. It gives young immigrants who were brought here as small children and do not have legal status the opportunity to stay in the country, get Social Security numbers, obtain work permits, go to school and even apply for permission to leave and reenter the country.

DACA students are not eligible for federal financial aid.

One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit is Mitzie Perez, a third-year undergrad student at the University of California, Riverside. Perez is not a citizen or permanent resident, but she has a Social Security number and work permit, which she obtained through DACA.

Perez turned to Wells Fargo to apply for a loan in August of 2016. She filled out the student loan application on the Wells Fargo website and met their requirements for identification, but when she disclosed that she is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, she was denied the loan. She went back to see what would happen if she changed her answer to “permanent resident alien” and got information about a student loan option as well as a note that read: “Based on the citizenship status you provided, a U.S. citizen cosigner will be required for this application.”

The lawsuit is seeking class-action status so it can include anyone in the United States since 2014 that was “denied the right to contract for a loan or other financial product by Wells Fargo because they were not U.S. citizens despite satisfying Wells Fargo’s Customer Identification Program (CIP) compliance.”

As for Wells Fargo, the fourth largest bank in the nation, they said in a statement that they are “disappointed” the plaintiffs prefer to sue “rather than work with us on solutions to help people realize their goals of higher education.”

This isn’t the first time Wells Fargo has come under fire. In 2015, the bank fired over 5,000 employees after discovering they were targeting Latino immigrants to create bogus accounts to meet target sales goals. And in December 2016, the city of Seattle introduced legislation to divest from Wells Fargo due to the bank’s investment in the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline; if successful, Seattle’s divestment will cost the bank $3 billion.


Click here to find out more about the discrimination lawsuit against Wells Fargo.

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New York Attorney General Files Lawsuit To Dissolve The National Rifle Association

Things That Matter

New York Attorney General Files Lawsuit To Dissolve The National Rifle Association

Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

The New York attorney general has filed a lawsuit to completely dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA). The lawsuit is the latest in a series of events weakening the controversial organization since the Parkland shooting.

The NRA is facing a lawsuit because of its financial misdealings.

New York Attorney General Letitia James started a domino effect of lawsuits involving the NRA AG James is suing the organization because of its financial misdeeds focusing on corruption and misspending. The allegations, AG James claims, undermine the organization’s ability to claim to be a nonprofit.

AG James’ lawsuit is bringing attention to NRA’s Wayne LaPierre’s use of funds.

AG James’ lawsuit is pointing out various tax violations and is currently a civil case. However, the New York AG is not stopping there. If criminal issues are discovered, AG James will follow through.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” she said during a press conference. “If we uncover any criminal activity, we will refer it to the Manhattan district attorney. At this point in time we’re moving forward, again, with civil enforcement.”

The NRA is denouncing the charges claiming they aren’t relevant.

AG James made investigating the NRA part of her campaign in 2018 and referred to the organization as a terrorist organization.

“The foreclosure crisis is not behind us, students debt is a major issue, health care is a challenge since they repealed the individual mandate, people are having a difficult time with premiums that have increased and are often times deciding to go without medicine because of the costs, resulting in premature death and gun violence,” AG James told Ebony Magazine during her campaign. “The NRA holds [itself] out as a charitable organization, but in fact, [it] really [is] a terrorist organization.”

Shortly after AG James filed her lawsuit, Washington’s attorney general followed suit.

AG Karl Racine is going after the NRA for misusing charitable funds. Essentially, the NRA is being accused in Washington of taking money meant for educational programs and spent them on themselves. The Washington lawsuit and New York lawsuit are honing in on the NRA’s years of fraudulent use of funds. It comes at a time when the NRA is already fighting for its life after the teenagers of Parkland launched a successful campaign in slowing and reversing the organization’s growth in the political sphere.

READ: Florida Passed Their First Gun Safety Measure In More Than 20 Years And The NRA Has Already Filed A Lawsuit

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The Band Lady A Filed A Lawsuit Against Black Singer Who Used ‘Lady A’ Before Them After They Realized ‘Antebellum’ Was Racist

Entertainment

The Band Lady A Filed A Lawsuit Against Black Singer Who Used ‘Lady A’ Before Them After They Realized ‘Antebellum’ Was Racist

Terry Wyatt / Getty

In early July, the American country music group formerly known as Lady Antebellum announced that they would be dropping the name Antebellum as a response to the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement. They said the change was meant to also be a step towards bringing about inclusivity.

Now they’re being ridiculed for disrupting another Black woman’s art.

Now, as Lady A, the country music band has filed a lawsuit against a Black singer who has performed as Lady A for years.

On Wednesday, the Grammy-winning group raised the brows of many after expressing these sentiments when it was revealed that they had filed a lawsuit in federal court after negotiations with Anita White broke down. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “the band is seeking a ruling that their use of the trademark ‘Lady A’ does not infringe on White’s alleged trademark rights of the same name. The band is not seeking monetary damages.”

The group whose line up includes Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood said last month that they regretted not having taken into consideration how the word antebellum relates to slavery.

White, who has performed as Lady A, complained publicly that the band never reached out to her before making the name change. White is a singer of blues and soul music for years.

The day after the band’s announcement, White who lives in Seattle, told Rolling Stone that she felt blindsided by the news. “This is my life. Lady A is my brand, I’ve used it for over 20 years, and I’m proud of what I’ve done… They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time… It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it.”

According to the lawsuit, the band applied for trademarks for the name “Lady A” back in 2010.

The lawsuits says that the trademark, had been submitted for the use of entertainment services and for use on clothing and no oppositions were filed by any person or entity.

“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” the group said in a statement. “She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years.”

According to Billboard, the band isn’t asking for money in the suit, only a court declaration that they can lawfully use the Lady A trademark as well as that its use of the trademark does not infringe on any rights White may have under state or federal law.

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