Wells Fargo to provide $7.5 million to end Memphis, Shelby County lawsuit

Pledges another $400 million in loans

Mortgage giant Wells Fargo will pay $7.5 million to end a lending discrimination lawsuit filed by Memphis and Shelby County, more than half the money going to down payment and home renovation assistance.

Individuals who want to buy homes in Memphis or Shelby County could qualify for grants of up to $15,000 under a Wells Fargo home ownership program set to launch this year. A total of $4.5 million in settlement funds are set aside for this use.

To qualify, prospective buyers must have a family income below 120 percent of the area median income and must complete an eight-hour homebuyer education session with an approved nonprofit organization. Prospective buyers must live in the home for five years.

The balance of the settlement cash — $3 million — will go into a city and county program aimed at reviving neighborhoods pummeled by the recession, public safety initiatives and programs increasing financial literacy.

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