After a year-long journey fighting her wrongful foreclosure, Rose McGee has won a settlement with CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae to stay in her home.
“We are working on final details for a settlement resolution, and I will be staying in my home,” said Rose.
70 community members gathered to support Rose in a prayer vigil circling the Government Center water fountain Tuesday afternoon before she went into settlement court, where she finally reached a deal with CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae.
The national foreclosure crisis was encapsulated in a warm, windowless room serving this week as the venue of the San Francisco Employees' Retirement System's board meeting, where Wells Fargo's lending and foreclosure record was the focus of debate.
During almost three hours of public comment and board-member discussion, the board considered whether to use their holdings in Wells Fargo and other big banks to influence the banking industry's behavior.
A group of about 50 to 60 protestors interrupted a speech by Wells Fargo (WFC) Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf on Thursday at a banking conference, taking over the stage with chants and complaints about home foreclosures.
The protestors were affiliated with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a group that in the past few months has accused Wells of failing to offer principal reductions to delinquent borrowers, as required under the national mortgage settlement.
Twelve protestors arrested in November 2011 for occupying a Center City Wells Fargo branch have been found not guilty by a Philadelphia jury. Defendants claimed they were staging a “Citizens’ Foreclosure” on the bank for engaging in discriminatory lending and sapping millions of dollars from the School District of Philadelphia. After viewing video of the protest and hearing defendants’ testimony, a jury found all 12 defendants not guilty on charges of conspiracy and trespassing.
“This verdict shows that the people of this country stand on the side of justice and not the reckless profit-driven motives of big banks,” said defendant and Occupy Sandy organizer Larry Swetman. “I hope this decision will give the United States government the courage to start taking these banks—the real criminals—to trial and to hold them accountable to the people, instead of letting them hide behind back-room settlements.”
There's a very unorthodox renovation project underway in south Minneapolis, at a home that was built 113 years ago.
The people doing the work, as well as the woman who lives in the house, are all uninvited guests of Wells Fargo Bank. They are squatters.
They're trying to make a point about homelessness and the impact of vacant homes on the city's neighborhoods with high foreclosure rates. They've found a novel -- and most likely illegal -- method to push a broader political agenda.
"This is more than just me and my family quite frankly," Jessica English told KARE.
Despite the fact that the rain was pouring down, spirits were high and the excitement was visible on many faces. They were there to help Mildred -- a neighbor, community member, and friend -- move into her home.
There were no leases signed or keys obtained from a landlord though. Instead, the group was reclaiming the home back from the bank.
Mildred Garrison-Obi, or Obi as many of her friends call her, was evicted from her home by force last November. After the eviction, Mildred was left with nowhere to go, sleeping on friends couches, or renting a room at the local extended stay hotel. She began attending weekly meetings held by Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, and after helping to move a young homeless family into a bank owned home in December, Mildred was inspired to keep fighting and take her own home back from the bank.
The protest was organized by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), which also staged demonstrations at branches in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego.
The protests launched what ACCE calls a "campaign calling on Wells Fargo to enact a broad principal reduction program, reduce short sales and release data on borrowers helped by income and race."
Bank officials in Richmond temporarily closed the doors at the 4300 Macdonald Ave. branch as the protesters marched in a circle and chanted, "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out." Customers still used automated teller machines nearby.
After a public pressure campaign through Occupy Homes MN’s Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone, Gayle Lindsey, a nursing assistant and grandmother in South Minneapolis who was facing imminent eviction, has won a modification of her mortgage from M&T Bank. Gayle’s victory came marks the seventh for Occupy Homes MN and the first in the Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone, a project that brings neighbors in the Central and Powderhorn neighborhoods together to refuse to leave their homes without a fair negotiation.
Gayle, whose renegotiation came a month after her redemption period ended, is the first victory in “the Zone.” With the help of Occupy Homes MN, she organized a series of actions, community potlucks, and press appearances. Gayle got a call sitting at her kitchen table from an executive at M&T Bank, who offered to write Gayle a new affordable mortgage. “It shows that Occupy Homes MN works,” says Gayle. “I want to move on to more victories for the community.”