Two Cows & Foreclosures
At our Saturday, July 28, 2012 joint general assembly, Occupy Bernal/SF ACCE/Occupy Noe agreed to generate support for Wells Fargo Bank (WFB) foreclosure fighter Steve Boudreaux of Atlanta, GA.
He is in foreclosure, and fighting, with the support of his community, to keep his home.
Two of us are attending the first convening of the new National Home Defenders League in Minneapolis, MN on August 7-8, 2012. Our fellow organizations from around the country are all fighting foreclosures. Let’s show them that our organizations believe in solidarity. Hopefully, after that national meeting, we will have a nationwide organization capable or fighting the banks county-wide.
With the support of the Occupy Our Homes movement, hundreds of people across America have taken a stand and demanded their bank negotiate to keep them in their home.
These bold individuals and courageous families have built support in their neighborhoods, pressured their banks, raised awareness (and sometimes a ruckus), and won their homes at an inspiring rate.
Of course, not everyone who is facing foreclosure and eviction is ready to occupy their home. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t find ways to help everyone facing foreclosure and eviction keep their home.
Today I’m excited to announce a new tool for anyone in housing crisis: http://Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org.
Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org allows anyone to start a campaign in support of a solution to their housing situation. This tool empowers people in housing crisis to start organizing on their own behalf in their community, and build power that they can leverage in their efforts to keep their home.
You can use this tool to target anyone—a bank loan officer, a local elected official, executives at Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac—whoever has the power to make sure you keep your home.
It’s easy to do—all it takes is a few quick steps: identify who you are petitioning, tell your neighbors and supporters around the world what you want them to do, then say why it’s important. You can start a campaign in support of keeping your home in a matter of minutes.
Once you start a campaign, we’ll be here to help answer questions and do our best to see you succeed.
The banks are more powerful than they should be—we all know this—but the Occupy Our Homes movement is proving that when homeowners fight back and organize within their communities, we have the power to beat the banks.
Take a stand, start a campaign, and save your home. Or if you’re not in housing crisis, come to the site and take action in support of brave people around the country who are fighting to keep their homes.
I look forward to seeing how we use this tool to beat the banks and win justice for homeowners.
Matt Browner-Hamlin & the OccupyOurHomes.org team
Update: Nationstar has postponed the foreclosure auctions of Daniel Pociernicki and Sherrell Fennell-Murphy due to our action alert. Now we just have to keep the pressure up on Nationstar to provide affordable loan modifications.
STOP Nationstar Mortgage from stealing the homes of Daniel Pociernicki and Sherrell Fennell-Murphy!
Please take action with three steps to save Sheryl and Daniel’s home:
1) Send this email right now to Nationstar’s CEO Jay Bray and Vice President of Foreclosure Ramie Baker
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Postpone Auction of Sheryl Fennell-Murphy (Loan #0123509200) at 400 Alemany #5, and Daniel Pociernicki (Loan # 600060586) at 324 Bocana St.
Dear Nationstar Mortgage staff,
Please take IMMEDIATE action to postpone the auctions, of Sheryl Fennell-Murphy (Loan #0123509200) at 400 Alemany #5, and Daniel Pociernicki (Loan # 600060586) at 324 Bocana St., San Francisco.
Now that Nationstar has acquired mortgages from Aurora Loan Services, you are responsible for addressing the serious deficiencies in their dealings with homeowners.
Sheryl submitted paperwork for her loan modification several times, yet Aurora staff repeatedly told her the paperwork had not been submitted. Meanwhile, Aurora rejected Daniel’s applications several times despite evidence of predatory lending.
These are exactly the types of problems we would hope Nationstar would want to address. Instead, we are outraged that you would plow full speed ahead to auction off homes without the proper review.
Again, I urge you to act to postpone the auction of Sheryl and Daniel’s homes. Once you have done so, please offer them, along with former Aurora Loan Services customers Vivian Richardson, Denise Collins and Mike Doyle, a fair deal for a loan modification on terms that are sustainable.This is an URGENT request, as the auctions are scheduled for Thursday, July 19, so please respond right away to postpone the auction.
your name here
2) Call these Nationstar Mortgage staff members with the message below.
Contact: Jay Bray, CEO and President, 469-549-3337
Ramie Baker, Vice President of Foreclosure 469-549-2272
Tell them (or leave a message):
“Please take IMMEDIATE action to postpone the auctions, of Sheryl Fennell-Murphy (Loan #0123509200) at 400 Alemany #5, and Daniel Pociernicki (Loan # 600060586) at 324 Bocana St., San Francisco. Now that Nationstar has acquired mortgages from Aurora Loan Services, you are responsible for addressing the serious deficiencies in their dealings with homeowners.
Sheryl submitted paperwork for her loan modification several times, yet Aurora staff repeatedly told her the paperwork had not been submitted. Meanwhile, Aurora rejected Daniel’s applications several times despite evidence of predatory lending. These are exactly the types of problems we would hope Nationstar would want to address. Instead, we are outraged that you would plow full speed ahead to auction off homes without the proper review.
Again, I urge you to act to postpone the auction of Sheryl and Daniel’s homes. Once you have done so, please offer them, along with former Aurora Loan Services customers Vivian Richardson, Denise Collins and Mike Doyle, a fair deal for a loan modification on terms that are sustainable.
This is an URGENT request, as the auctions are scheduled for Thursday, July 19, so please respond right away to postpone the auction.”
3) If there is no resolution to Sheryl and Daniel’s cases, join us to protest:
Occupy the Auction Action, 1:45 PM, Thursday, July 19, San Francisco City Hall steps (Van Ness side)Please bring a whistle or other noisemaker and earplugs if you have them.
Stop Banks From Evicting the 99%!
Wells Fargo plans to auction Sheryl Fennell-Murphy and Daniel Pociernicki’s homes on July 19 despite:
- San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ unanimous vote for a moratorium on foreclosures until the state legislature enacts a Homeowner Bill of Rights
- The Mayor’s request for a “pause” until the state legislature enacts a Homeowner Bill of Rights
- California State Attorney General Kamala Harris’ request for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosure activity
- The California legislature passing the Homeowner Bill of Rights, now awaiting the Governor’s signature or veto
- The report from San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting that shows that 84% of a sample of San Francisco foreclosures contain at least one legal violation
This action alert brought to you by Occupy Bernal (www.occupybernal.org), ACCE ( www.calorganize.org), and other supportive organizations coordinated within the Occupy the Auctions and Evictions campaign ( www.occupytheauctions.org).
The Musni family is in foreclosure with Bank of America after 40 years in their house on Randall Street.
The foreclosure date is scheduled in two weeks -July 25. We must put pressure on BofA and need your assistance.
We’ll have a petition drive at the bank on Wednesday, July 18, and Saturday, July 21.
See below for times & location.
Please join the Musni Family and others:
Wed July 18, 4 to 7pm
Sat July 21, 9am-3pm
Noe Valley Branch of Bank of America
4098 24th Street at Castro
We are phone banking on Wednesday. July 18, from 6-9 p.m. at ACCE, 1717 17th Street in order to identify more homeowners who have loans with Wells Fargo who would like to participate in the negotiations Wells Fargo is having with Occupy Bernal, Occupy Noe and ACCE.
Please come and help out. There will be a limited amount of Pizza and salad.
Please let Deborah G. know if you’ll come. (415) 550 1030
Below is the letter we are using to reach homeowners with Wells Fargo loans.
If you are a homeowner with a Wells Fargo loan and want to be part of the negotiations, please read the letter below for the qualifying information you’ll need to have, then contact us to see if it will be possible to be included in this round of negotiations. Please see the letter below for the appropriate contact information.
July 2012 WELLS FARGO will negotiate with homeowners
Dear Neighbor and Homeowner,
After more than six months of struggle: emails, phone calls, requests for modifications, protests at the auction of our neighbors’ homes, a unanimous resolutions from the San Francisco Board of supervisors and most recently, the passage of the HOME OWNERS BILL OF RIGHTS by the California Legislature, WELLS FARGO has entered a negotiation process with representatives of Occupy Bernal, ACCE and Occupy Noe.
We now have the opportunity to represent more Wells Fargo loan holders. This process allows Occupy Bernal and ACCE negotiators to advocate for your home, and makes a fair settlement of your situation more likely. Please join your neighbors in waging a unified and well planned struggle to achieve homeowner justice.
To be part of these negotiations—and any potential settlement– Wells Fargo demands and Occupy Bernal and/or ACCE agrees to deliver:
- PROPERTY IDENTIFICATION: Name, address, phone number, loan number and email.
- FINANCIAL PACKAGE—Complete and up-do-date. Please check with OB or Ed Donaldson for completeness.
- SIGNED 3rd PARTY AUTHORIZATION, specifically naming any SF ACCE, Occupy Bernal or Occupy Noe negotiators.
If you have a Wells Fargo loan, this is an overdue and important opportunity to get real satisfaction. And be assured: no modifications, or other payments will be finalized without your full knowledge and consent.
To join this negotiation process, call or email:
- Buck B. (415) 385-0389 BuckB@devinegong.com
- Deborah G. (415) 550-1030 firstname.lastname@example.org
Foreclosure and Monopoly
HOW TO USE THE MEDIA TO HELP YOU WIN ON YOUR ISSUE, FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FELLOW FORECLOSURE FIGHTERS
July 17, 2012
By Buck Bagot, for Occupy Bernal, SF ACCE and Occupy Noe
• You may be nervous speaking with the press, just like if you are speaking with an elected official or their staff, or a lender. Everyone is. Don’t show it if you can avoid it. Be prepared.
• You may worry that you are not smart, well informed or expert enough to speak with the press. You are. You are an expert. Lord knows you know more about your issues than any person interviewing you from the press! But don’t be over confident or cocky.
• Oh no! What happens if they ask you a question for which you don’t have the answer? Tell the truth – you don’t know the answer. Ask if you can get back to them with an answer. Not knowing the answer to a question is a gift. It permits you to show the person that you are not a glib, BSing know-it-all. And it gives you the opportunity to get back to them and continue to build a relationship.
• If you don’t want to answer a question, don’t.
• One way to answer a question you don’t like is to give the answer to a question you do like. In other words, within reason, keep making your main points no matter what they ask you.
• Both you and the media have strong self-interest in covering your story. They need to cover something – it might as well be you, your story, your organization and your issue.
• Of course, always keep your guard up – never trust the press, unless and until the reporter has earned your respect over time – like in any relationship.
• But – most reporters are at least liberal if not progressive. While remaining alert and wary, try to give them a way to cover your side of the issue. Even a negative reporter has the responsibility to at least provide both sides of the issue.
• The media can be one of your/our most powerful weapons. Any relationship with a member of the media is extremely valuable. Try to use any contact with the press to begin what may become ongoing relationships. Take them very, very seriously.
• The media is one of the most powerful weapons we have. It’s a way to way to get your story out more broadly; influence your targets – the people who have the ability to grant your demands; impress powerful allies who have the power to help you win; get your demands – what you want – out to the general public; and let other people in foreclosure know that they are not alone, and that the best things they can do to save their homes is become a foreclosure fighter ans fight back, collectively.
• Make sure to get their full contact information.
• Let a leader or organizer from your organization know about any contact with the press. Review with others how you can use the contact to help you and your fellow foreclosure fighters win.
• Decide what you want to tell the press before they speak with you. Write down an outline. Make sure you tell them what you want them to learn.
• Prepare a short rap on who you and your family are/personal; your situation; and what you need from the Bank to resolve your situation.
• You want a new loan from the Bank that both pays them back and keeps you and your family in your home, affordably.
• You take some personal responsibility for being in foreclosure, but the Bank has even more responsibility, and they won’t admit and take that responsibility.
• The Bank made promises they didn’t keep. They were and are “predatory” lenders. They preyed on people desperate for credit, most of them people of color. Give examples.
• The Bank has no concern at all for their “customers” like you who suffer catastrophe – like your injuries and surgeries.
• In your story, tell how you and your family ought back even before meeting OB/SF ACCE/ You got a nonprofit loan counselor. You contacted Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
• If it applied to you – and if it didn’t, mention the other foreclosure fighters you have met – many folks are ashamed of being in foreclosure. They never ask for help, and they lose their homes. You asked for help. You demanded a fair deal. You joined – and helped found – Occupy Noe. Now you and your families are “foreclosure fighters.” Your fighting to save your home, with other people in foreclosure and your neighbors. And your helping other people in foreclosure come out of the shadows, fight back, and save your homes.
• When you convince B of A to give you a fair, affordable deal, it will help not only you and your family, but thousands of other families in the same fix.
• You have learned a lot. You’ve met scores of other foreclosure fighters, and neighbors. You’ve helped lead negotiations with your and other lenders; worked with the Mayor’s office, the Board of Supervisors, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. You’ve even learned to be a press spokesperson (pause for the to chuckler!).
• At the end of any contact with the media, thank them. Repeat what you want them to report on/quote. Ask them if and when the item will run. Ask them if they require any additional information. Get it to them, and fast. Track if your item appears. Send them a thank you note.
• In coordination with your organization, always contact them again in the future – personally, not just through a press release – any time your have story that you
want them to cover/that might interest them.
Occupy Bernal GA notes
7-9pm, June 28, 2012, at Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Ave
* Introductions: 34 people representing both Occupy Bernal and ACCE membership, 16 ( including 2 new) foreclosure fighters. Stories shared of ongoing struggles and some victories both small and large. 2 OB FEF’s report receiving mod. offers after sustained pressure. Dexter Cato’s home, after sustained pressure (and probable bank fear of further resistance/reoccupation/scaring off ), has been resold to him @ half initial modification offer. ACCE/Dexter will hold press conference (& apparently Bank wants too as well to spin this, as their humanitarian gesture). By contrast, Archbishop King has received mod. offer but one that’s unsustainable, w/ unacceptable 5yr balloon payment… 1 week response date (w/much of that time eaten by holiday/weekend).
I. Wells Fargo Negotiations:
Background: Had INITIAL meeting first of the year, with Diana Stauffer, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage senior vice president, and Alfredo Pedroza , Director of California Local Government Relations for WFB, brokered by Campos. Thereafter told to work w/ 800-number contacts if customers, attempting renegotiation, and Pedroza if not. Pedroza officially lobbying against any foreclosure moratorium, not supportive/communicative. No ‘ official ‘ negotiations contact until recent action-call against Pedroza, who is well-connected and may have Sacramento ambitions, for demonstration@ his home. Now receiving pressure from City Hall contacts and Pelosi staff to call this off, allegations from Pedroza re: racism and homophobia for targeting him specifically, threats of a counter-demonstration. Per OB/ACCE approached by Stauffer (specifically Buck), and Pedroza (specifically Grace) asking for a moratorium on actions in exchange for meeting, resuming negotiations. Pedroza offered to reconsider positions on current difficult WFB cases represented by ACCE/OB and willingness to postpone auctions (though job-role is only messenger and probably lacks this power), while Stauffer offered only a meeting date, if we call off current action. To be further discussed below.
II. Occupy the Auctions Actions/Alerts:
- Eric Lungren’s Home, 1:45pm, TOMORROW, June 29, City Hall, 400 Van Ness Ave.
may be postponed but as of Thurs evening still on tomorrow’s auction-list. Received postponement paperwork after end of workday today; resume negotiations first thing in the am. John and Eric can’t be there tomorrow afternoon, but endorse OB being there in case need to disrupt auction. Reassured that, even in worst case, this is not the end of possible interventions. OccupyAuctions crew will show; BB will bring banners. Celebration as auction was postponed 11:30 am Friday.
- Emma Castro’s Home, 1:45pm, July 3, City Hall, 400 Van Ness Ave. in negotiation BUT need Spanish speaker to go discuss in detail if she is requesting auction intervention. Mesha will go; BB will drive her.
- Alberto del Rio’s Home, 1:45pm, July 6, City Hall, 400 Van Ness Ave. in negotiation; bankruptcy filed but still on list.
- Thomas German’s Home, 1:45pm, July 10, City Hall, 400 Van Ness Ave. hopes that successful bankruptcy case will result in postponement and ability to renegotiate.
III. Pedroza Action discussion excerpts:
• personal opinion that Pedroza would like to make concessions (after obligatory sparring around street cred.), he responded in discussions that he hasn’t been doing everything he could & “could do better”. Advocates holding this card (home-action), as can only effectively use once (sev.others echo this). Clear he is perceived institutionally as our ‘official’ conduit to the WFB power-holders, maybe want to preserve and give him a shot, good tactically if we need to again escalate actions.
• Pedroza is a messenger. Not a player… Need to hit him to send a message further up.
• Clearly hit a sensitive-spot targeting mid-level players (not as protected/insulated as Stumpf), ‘ ‘he squealed’. We should hold this card and see what we get, in further negotiation, given reaction. Use letter as initial high bid. Proposes we still start action @WFB branch sat. AND demonstrate resolve w/ more aggressive branch action: block and/or occupy inside until cops come, non-arrest.
• Several people discuss publically comparing WFB intransigence, insulting and non-workable offers, to other banks (eg, Dexter and BofA, others and Aurora) recent good modification offers
• Reluctant to concede demands, w/o upfront WFB concessions, “too many ‘ifs’ “. Need to escalate actions to obtain workable modifications. If sending terms-letter to Pedroza/WFB, want to add more systemic demands: sales of bank-owned properties to community non-profit, to be determined by community, not bank. Others counter w/ support for concept but insist aim of letter is to stop current foreclosures and get us in negotiation, where we can add these substantive demands as condition for anything greater than one-action postponement.
• “Let’s dual-track them.” Negotiate while still holding potential date for Pedroza home action. Be clear this is still an option if negotiations in bad faith, no progress on key moratorium issues.
• Feels, if we can achieve, moratorium until Jan. especially when Homeowners’ Bill provisions might be in effect , important to give our FEF’s some much-deserved breathing room
• Unless they accede to ALL letter’s demands let’s only postpone minutely to keep up pressure
POSSIBLE CONCERNS/ LAST STATEMENTS BEFORE CONSENSUS TEST:
• Worries about this negotiation-offer is a usual tactic of power; fear getting chumped. Need to use this break to organize broadly and assure ourselves of serious numbers in likelihood real negotiation points will break down, and we will have to go do this later
• Clarification as to when we could expect answer to letter. Clearly we have already postponed w/o concession as no WFB response likely available before Sat. Report back by list / update @ next meeting.
PROPOSAL: WE POSTPONE PEDROZA ACTION, SEND DEMANDS-LETTER BACKED UP BY PHONE CALL FIRST THING TOMORROW MORNING. NEED TO SEE FULL CONCESSIONS FOR LOCAL CASES MORATORIUM FOR ANY CANCELLATION, & MEETING DATE SET. CONTINUE W/ SATURDAY 11am MORE-AGGRESSIVE ACTION @ 22ND / MISSION WFB BRANCH.
CONSENSED, W/ ONE STAND-ASIDE: individual will participate but is worried re: efficacy of negotiation, fear of being used & losing momentum. Wants strong commitment to interim organizing
Grace and Buck and 2 FEF’s will implement contact/follow-up.
Fri eve meeting to plan Sat morning action @ 22nd St, WFB.
* Other Upcoming Actions:
IV. Homeless Shelter currently scheduled for 11am, July 11… postponed indefinitely but still on table, need make more preparations, some key-organizers will be absent and possible collaborator /stakeholder meeting (Coaltion on Homelessness) too close to date. WILL REVISIT @ NEXT GA.
- Occupy Wells CEO John Stumpf, 11am, July 18, Wells Fargo Headquarters, Montgomery@California : still on … hold
* OccuPride Recap: postponed to next meeting
V. California Homeowner Bill of Rights:
- Status of Legislation Bill out of committee today (Th 6/28) . Historic as slated for [first time in history] for same-day vote in State Assembly and Senate, this coming Monday, July 2. Retains all important points: private right of action, to sue banks for bad/fraudulent practice upto and including full value of home; no dual-tracking; single-point of contact. Come witness and lobby
- Next Sacramento Trip: Monday, July 2; leaves 8:30am 1717-17th St. back by 4:30/5pm
VI. * Announcements:
- Monopoly and Foreclosures. Educational WG eve of educational game-play. “Foreclosure and Monopoly.” 7 -8:45 pm at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. A short film and hands-on play with the game of Monopoly (bring your own so you can practice), using it to introduce others to the game originator’s anti-foreclosure purpose in inventing the game, constitutes the evening.
- Monterey Foreclosure Meeting, Saturday, July 7: invited by OccupyMonterey. Buck will drive and go for the day; contact
- Coalition on Homelessness Meeting, 12:30pm, Wednesday, July 4 (contact Stardust
- Outreach at SF Mime Troupe, 2pm, Wednesday, July 4, Dolores Park (contact Stardust)
-regular foreclosure outreach ‘ door-knocking’ this Sunday, always meeting 10:30am Progressive Grounds. Please be on time as minimal time is spent in prep; RSVP ideal for materials, address assignment: Judy Siff, Occupy Bernal doorknockers
* Next Meeting: 7-9pm Thursday, July 12, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Ave.