Three Atlanta-area counties have filed a lawsuit claiming that British bank HSBC engaged in predatory lending that ended up costing them hundreds of millions of dollars.
Fulton, DeKalb and Cobb counties say the bank aggressively signed minorities to housing loans that were likely to fail. The counties say that caused tremendous damage, including extra expenses and lost tax revenue.
The lawsuit says the banks violated the Fair Housing Act. That law provides protections against housing or renting policies or practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status or handicap.
A lawyer for HSBC said he couldn't comment on the lawsuit, which was filed in October. A federal judge has given the bank until Jan. 25 to file a response.