August 26, 2012 in Event
Two families saved from foreclosure, a small victory to be celebrated, and thousands more to go. Join Occupy Denver and the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition in celebrating the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall St.
Monday, September 17
Dance Party! Noon—Close
Wells Fargo 17th and Broadway
Protest Wells Fargo, Support Those Going Through Foreclosure,
CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT, MOVE YOUR MONEY TO A LOCAL CREDIT UNION
Bring Drums, Noisemakers and Yer Dancin’ Shoes!
After Party & Open Discussion Forum
6PM—Park Curfew (11 PM)
Civic Center Park Broadway between 14th & Colfax
Successes, Reflections & Plans for the Future
More Dancing! Make Friends! Dinner!! Cake!!!
Since the start of the housing crisis nearly 15 million homes have been lost to foreclosure. There are currently 21,827 families being foreclosed on here in Colorado, 4,102 of which are in Denver. Our families are losing an average of 14,000 homes a year, or 160 a month. Wells Fargo takes more homes than any other bank in Colorado. Occupy Denver is escalating the resistance to fraudulent foreclosures perpetuated by Wells Fargo and other criminal banks. If Wells Fargo is foreclosing on your home contact the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition to set up an appointment on Sept 17th to prevent the theft of your home. We will be there, closing our Wells Fargo bank accounts, supporting your resistance and dancing in Solidarity. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.
Here is a statement from one of the people we were able to help:
“After many months of trying to obtain a loan modification with Wells Fargo, and many frustrating phone calls, faxes, and letters to them, our home went into foreclosure. We hired an attorney, Armin Sarabi, and enlisted the help of the Colorado Progressive Coalition and Occupy Denver. A few days before my scheduled sale date, Occupy Denver coordinated a protest with the Coalition, which took place outside the Denver headquarters of Wells Fargo. On the day of the protest, my lawyer and I were let into the Wells Fargo building, and were put in touch with a representative from the Office of Executive Complaints, as well as an underwriter from Wells Fargo. Over the next few weeks, we were able to work out a trial period plan, during which we will demonstrate that we are able to keep up with payments. The sale date was moved forward, and with each trial period payment we successfully make, the sale date will be moved further into the future. After we complete the three month trial period, my home will permanently be taken out of foreclosure. Although our payment had gone up, we are very pleased with the result of being able to stay in our home that we love. We feel strongly that the help we got from Occupy Denver was crucial to us being able to keep our home.”
If you are being foreclosed on by ANY big bank, or need to get started saving your home before or after Sep 17th do not lose hope, get prepared; contact the CFRC and start the fight today.
Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition
(through The Colorado Progressive Coalition)
1029 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
Phone: (303) 866-0908
Outside of Denver area: (866) 329-0908 (toll-free)
Fax: (303) 832-6416
Racism comes in many forms. On July 12th 2012 the U.S. Justice Department ordered Wells Fargo to pay $175 million in compensations to “resolve” accusations that it purposely discriminated against borrowers from 2004 to 2009. Their systematic racial profiling resulted in more than 34,000 Latino and African Americans in 36 states paying higher rates for no other reason than the color of their skin. Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division was quoted on CBS News,
“An African-American wholesale customer in the Chicago area in 2007 seeking a $300,000 loan paid on average $2,937 more in fees than a similarly qualified white applicant. And these fees were not based on any objective factors relating to credit risk. These fees amounted to a racial surtax. A Latino borrower in the Miami area in 2007 seeking a $300,000 loan paid on average $2,538 more than a similarly qualified white applicant. The racial surtax for African Americans in Miami in 2007 was $3,657.”
In their blatant avoidance of continued contested litigations from the DOJ, Wells Fargo also will pay $50 million in direct down payment assistance to borrowers in areas of the country where the Justice Department identified large numbers of discrimination victims. Those areas are Washington, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Oakland, San Francisco, New York City, Cleveland, Riverside, Calif., and Baltimore. Alas, Colorado is not on that list and even if it were, 50 million is not enough to compensate all the families who have been robbed and displaced by their immoral predatory lending here or anywhere. This is not the first time Wells Fargo has had discrimination lawsuits filed against them.
A Wells Fargo loan officer stated in an affidavit filed in 2009 that employees had referred to African-Americans as “mud people” and to subprime lending as “ghetto loans.” More about this here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/
Wells Fargo is the only bank that refused to put a moratorium on foreclosures after the robo-signing scandal broke. Wells Fargo is the second largest mortgage servicer in the country (servicing 11.9 million mortgages) and was one of the top subprime lenders during the housing bubble. To make matters worse, Wells Fargo is the largest player in the payday lending industry. Despite the fact that regulatory agencies have ruled against various forms of bank involvement in payday lending, Wells Fargo also functions as a pay day lender itself and provides credit to six of the largest publicly traded payday lenders.
Wells Fargo is a member of the Downtown Denver Business partnership that supported the homeless ban passed in May by Denver City Council, brought forth by councilman Albus Brooks, backed by other council members including Charlie Brown and supported by Mayor Hancock. The ban makes it a crime for anyone without permanent shelter to even cover themselves with a jacket to stay warm while sleeping outside. This measure essentially makes it illegal to be without a home. As Wells Fargo continues to force people out of their houses, it is notable that they are also supporting the base inhumanity of criminalizing the most fundamental human right of protecting ourselves against the elements.
Wells Fargo is among the largest shareholders in GEO Group, Inc. and CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), two giant private prisons that specialize in detention and deportation. Since the late 1990’s, the number of people held in immigration detention has exploded. On any given day, ICE detains over 33,000 immigrants; this is more than triple the number of people detained in 1996. In the last 5 years alone, the annual number of immigrants detained and the costs of detaining them has doubled: in 2009, 383,524 immigrants were detained, costing taxpayers $1.7 billion at an average of $122 a day per bed. Nearly 2.5 million individuals have passed through immigration detention facilities since 2003.
It should be noted that more black men are behind bars or under the watch of the criminal justice system than there were enslaved in 1850. The Colorado prison population has quadrupled in the past 20 years and it’s expected to keep growing to over 27,000 people in 2013. As incarceration increases, so do the profits for GEO and Wells Fargo. This means that not only is Wells Fargo making millions of dollars through these prisons, but they are using YOUR money to invest in the tearing apart of families and the maintenance of a broken immigration and prison system.
We are calling on everyone who banks with Wells Fargo to close their accounts in protest of their predatory, classist and racist investment practices. Move your money to a local credit union.
Wells Fargo’s criminal history is extensive and pervasive. We are outlining just a sample of the practices they cultivate to undermine the general public. Wells Fargo is a bank determined to profit off of racism and poverty. Join us in telling Wells Fargo that their crimes against our communities are neither forgotten nor forgiven.
We will dance in spite of the financial shackles Wells Fargo & their ilk place on our homes and communities, and our music and our feet will shake their walls and force them to remember the countless people they have betrayed.
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