On Thursday, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $175 million to settle claims that its mortgage brokers had discriminated against thousands of blacks, Latinos, and other minority borrowers from 2004 to 2009. The Justice Department had accused the bank, the country's largest originator of home loans, of steering minority borrowers to subprime loans with higher interest rates and fees, while white borrowers with the exact same credit rating were issued normal loans. Government prosecutors described the practice as a "racial surtax," and said part of the settlement would go toward compensating individual borrowers who had been affected.
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