Wells Fargo Bank is caught in the crosshairs of a proposed class action lawsuit filed by a man who claims the bank unlawfully refuses to approve auto loans for non-U.S. citizens who hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.
Wells Fargo Bank is caught in the crosshairs of a proposed class action lawsuit filed by a man who claims the bank unlawfully refuses to approve auto loans for non-U.S. citizens who hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. According to the lawsuit, Wells Fargo categorically denies loans for DACA applicants regardless of their creditworthiness or ability to meet the bank’s other criteria for auto loan approval.
The plaintiff, who the suit says was born in Mexico and obtained DACA status in 2012, attempted to apply for an auto loan with Wells Fargo in November 2018, according to the lawsuit. After reviewing his Social Security card and work authorization, a Wells Fargo representative allegedly informed the man that he was ineligible for the loan because his DACA status would expire during the loan period. The plaintiff says he explained that his status would be renewed and that his work authorization would last for two years, yet the representative apparently insisted that he could not be approved.
The lawsuit argues that the defendant’s categorical denial of loans to DACA status individuals is not based in law and instead violates the Civil Rights Act of 1866.
“There is no federal or state law or regulation that restricts banks from providing financial products to customers because the customer is an alien,” the complaint states. “Under federal law, alienage is merely one factor among many used to verify enough information to confirm the true identity of the customer.”
The plaintiff alleges that Wells Fargo failed to assess whether he met the bank’s other criteria for taking out a loan and instead denied him merely because he is not a U.S. citizen. Further, the man claims the bank violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act by refusing to send him a written explanation of his auto loan denial.
According to the plaintiff, the bank’s alleged discrimination is not limited to auto loans. The man claims he is similarly—and unlawfully—ineligible for student loans, an unsecured credit card, a personal loan, and a small business loan at Wells Fargo due to his status under DACA.