Action: Petition Bank of America to Save the Musni’s Home

Dear friends,

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

Download a flyer


Phone Banking: Occupy Bernal negotiates on behalf of homeowners

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:

  1. PROPERTY IDENTIFICATION: Name, address, phone number, loan number and email.
  2. FINANCIAL PACKAGE—Complete and up-do-date. Please check with OB or Ed Donaldson for completeness.
  3. 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
  • Deborah G. (415) 550-1030

Education Program Redux: Foreclosure and Monopoly

The July 3 Education Workgroup program at the BHNC was enough of a success, and of sufficient interest that a reprise will be hosted!

Foreclosure and Monopoly

The history of a game and its war on oppression
Consider this:  Monopoly was invented by a feminist economic radical named Lizzie Magee.
The game of Monopoly was invented in 1904 to teach the public about the cyclical nature of foreclosures, and to suggest a remedy!
The evening will consist of a 25 minute PBS History Detectives episode detailing the little known origins of the game of Monopoly, followed by a hands-on demonstration of how to use the game for its original purpose of showing a way of resolving crises of foreclosure!
There is seating for twenty, so invite friends, comrades, game enthusiasts!
RSVPs would be appreciated, but are not required:
Friday, July 27,
7-8:45 pm7-8:45 pm
at Notable House, 189 Ellsworth St. in Bernal Heights
This program is part of Occupy Bernal strategy to build a profound understanding of the foreclosure debacle, leading to City and State-wide policy change.
Your neighbors, our neighborhood!
Contact: David   415-948-4265
Labor donated


Occupy Bernal Foreclosure and Eviction Fighter Ross Rhodes at Sacramento Foreclosure Moratorium Rally

Mainstream media caught on camera our very own Foreclosure and Eviction Fighter Ross Rhodes speaking at a Foreclosure Moratorium Rally in Sacramento on June 25, 2012.

Several other Occupy Bernal members attended the rally and lobbying day in support of the Homeowner Bill of Rights and some facilitated a teach-in on foreclosures and activism.

Links: CBS video    Fox video

ALERT: Save Archbishop Franzo King’s Home This Thursday (June 21)

Update: Wells Fargo finally got the trustee to postpone the auction of Archbishop King’s home to July 20, 2012.

Please show up to defend the Bayview home of Archbishop Franzo King and family at 1:30pm to prepare for the auction which starts promptly at 2:00pm at City Hall sidewalk, 400 Van Ness Ave., in San Francisco.

Although a Wells Fargo representative apparently told Archbishop Franzo King the bank was postponing the auction of his home, the trustee in charge of the auction still lists the bank auction for Thursday, June 21. A recent court ruling seemed to hold that verbal agreements from bank representatives aren’t worth anything, so that means we have to defend the home of Archbishop Franzo King and his family.

Archbishop King pastors the John Coltrane Church, located in the Western Addition community of San Francisco. He is a community leader and a member of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).

Links: Profile of Archbishop King    San Francisco Bayview article (by Carol Harvey)

Minutes of General Assembly, 14 June 2012

Occupy Bernal General Assembly Minutes
7pm on Thursday, June 14, 2012

1. Introductions

Agenda approved with addition of the following items:

* June 25 Sacramento action
* Announcement from Action Council (David Solnit)
* Communications Workgroup

2. Where we stand: Geary and Josephine’s trial loan modifications from Bank of America with assistance from SF Mayor’s office.

Update on Homeowner Bill of Rights: some parts have passed, but dual tracking and single point of contact are still in process. Discussion on how to get more action alerts out on Homeowner Bill of Rights from larger organizations. Talk with Christie Hakim if you’re interested in working on it. Judy Siff recommended putting a message in our email signatures. Also discussed petitions and Occupy Bernal’s petition to the banks for a foreclosure moratorium.

Christie reported on the Monday, June 25, Foreclosure Moratorium action in Sacramento and encouraged people to attend and to lobby. Occupy Sacramento wants FEFs to speak. Kathy asked about what Tom Ammiano and Mark Leno are doing on the legislation and Judy K. replied that Leno is an author of one of the bills. Judy K. and Christie agreed to be liaisons to the organizers of the protest and coordinate Occupy Bernal’s participation.

Hiya offered some typewriters for personalized letters, which legislators treat with more weight than electronic ones.

Mayors’ Pause Letter: calls for pause on foreclosures until Attorney General settlement in place, but has a sentence that excludes those who can’t make payments on their mortgages, so is not very helpful.

Action on individual cases

What end of Alberto’s auction postponement means

3. Assessment of Alberto auction protest: 50 people came out to the auction. David Solnit made awesome mirrors. Alberto filed for bankruptcy so his house wasn’t sold. Kat mentioned how cool the mirrors are, the way they show peoples’ faces in the reflection. Fred found the action super-inspiring and felt the auctioneers and investors were very frustrated. Jose said we stopped some other auctions from happening. Tita felt uncomfortable with the intensity of how the protestors were talking to the people and felt the protestors were verbally violent. Incident where we mistakenly yelled at someone who was a supporter. Tita wants people to come and feel safe at our demonstrations… she saw several people distancing themselves from the action. Perhaps we should have a nonviolence training. Kathy felt horrible at Alberto’s grief when he announced that his family had to file bankruptcy. Julien mentioned that deciding about violence can involve tactical questions, for example, if we get physically violent at an action, then we would invite police repression. Bruce reported that an auctioneer was calling people telling them that there was a huge demonstration. He mentioned that even after discussing the issue of violence for over 50 years, but still haven’t come to any agreement. Alice brought up an incident where an investor pushed her and we had a discussion on how to deal with the situation. Fred suggested a discussion about the pushing scenario and how to respond and felt that we don’t have an agreement in the room about what nonviolence is. Stardust suggested a nonviolence training at 12:00 noon on Saturday after the action planning meeting at ACCE, but some people said they couldn’t come. Bruce suggested creating a card that lists the nonviolence guidelines for the protest… great idea! Kathy L. suggested to Alice and Fred determining what it would take to file a complaint. Elaine suggested an immediate response pertinent to the auction actions, as well as a longer-term Occupy Bernal discussion on violence. Hiya suggested that people meet with Stardust who want to figure out what should go on an action agreement card for the auction action. Fred suggested meeting before an action for an orientation. Those interested will discuss with Stardust immediately after the meeting. Stardust volunteered to draft a card for the auction action and send it to the group for comments. Kat volunteered to prepare a proposal on a nonviolence discussion for the next GA and invited others to participate with her. Elaine feels the discussion is necessary prior to the training. Consensed on the proposal for the auction action card and preparing a nonviolence discussion for the group.

4. Foreclosure and eviction fighter deadlines report

Stardust reviewed the cases and when our foreclosure and eviction fighters are up for auction. Maria talked a bit about her situation.

5. Suggested action calender from ACCE meetings, next coalition meeting

David Solnit reported back from Action Council. David let the Action Council and the Direct Action Workgroup know that things are coming to a head with the housing actions. They want to help Occupy Bernal. They would prefer to have 2-6 weeks notice and prioritize actions.

Christie thinks planning our actions with more notice would be good so that other groups can join in and be effective.

Stardust reported on the action planning meetings co-held with ACCE. He described the actions on the calendar handout.

Kat said she felt the Homeless Shelter action should have a day of its own. Stardust said he feels we really need to escalate our response. Julien said he felt there were too many actions on the list and they should be spread out over more time. Bruce talked about how to indicate which actions should be prioritized, especially for people who can only take limited time off from work. Fred likes how there are actions after the auction actions, especially in the case where auctions get canceled or postponed. Fred suggested sending an email saying “this is the week” and asking people to pick at least one day they can come this week to help their neighbors. David mentioned that to outreach to folks with a short message works better than a complex message. David said to put off the Stumpf action and to advertise the auction actions. Christie would like to focus on getting people to the auctions, along with the email alerts that go along with that.

In summary, the group seemed to think it would be a good idea to delay the Stumpf action and to downplay announcing the actions after the auction actions (and perhaps to restrict it to actions that are simple, such as the Points of Light action).

6. Outreach

Diane will call for an outreach workgroup meeting and coordinate some tabling activities. The education and outreach workgroup meetings typically take place at 10:00am on Sundays at Progressive Grounds.

Julien talked about how we do outreach to foreclosure and eviction fighters. Doorknocking happens at 10:30am each Sunday at Progressive Grounds. Julien brought up the idea of hosting house parties with foreclosure and eviction fighters.

7. Communications

Diane would like to prepare some literature for Occupy Bernal. Diane would like Occupy Bernal to include a broader message with our literature. Christie will work with Diane on the materials, since she has already prepared some. Jose suggested wording of “Do you know someone who is facing foreclosure…?” rather than “Are you facing foreclosure…?”

8. Announcements

* Kathy L. announced that Supervisor Wiener proposing a nasty measure to enable condo conversions and remove rent control protections.

* Elaine announced an event with Boots Riley scheduled for 6pm on Saturday, June 16, at the Redstone Building.

* Diane announced availability of Occupy Bernal buttons available for $3-5.

* David announced events related to solidarity with the student movement in Quebec including:

– Movie screening at 8:30pm on Thursday, June 28, 555 California St.
– Solidarity march at 11:30am on Friday, June 29, 580 California St.

* Fred announced that Occupy SF Housing is planning a campaign around Ellis Act conversions.

Excelsior ACCE Action Urges End to Foreclosures, Divestment from Banks in San Francisco’s Mission Neighborhood

On June 6, 2012, the Association of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Excelsior chapter protested three bank branches in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. Bank of America closed their doors and locked patrons inside for about 20 minutes. Protestors also visited Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase, urged banks to stop foreclosures and evictions, and urged bank customers to divest from banks and switch to credit unions. Occupy Bernal and Occupy SF organizers joined ACCE for the protest.

ALERT: Stop the Auction of Alberto Del Rio’s Home!

Update: A large number of folks turned out to stop the auction of the home of Bernal neighbor Alberto del Rio and his family. Fortunately, his family managed to file bankruptcy in time to postpone the auction of his home until July 6, 2012. For more details, see the video below and a further description and photos here

Link: PDF (for printing)


ON FRIDAY, June 1, 1:45pm at CITY HALL (Van Ness side)

 Together we can stop predatory banks and help our neighbors!

In the past few months we’ve stalled/stopped dozens of home auctions.

 Alberto Del Rio is a Bernal Heights resident who grew up in his family home. He lives there with his wife and 3 kids. To help his mother have a decent retirement, the Del Rio family took equity out of the home and refinanced. But their loan from World Savings was a Pick-a-Payment loan. Lawsuits have found these sorts of loans to be predatory. World Savings sold the loan to Wachovia, which was then acquired by Wells Fargo. “Wells took advantage of me. Like they did so many other people. They promised us the moon,” says Alberto, who has been trying to get a loan modification since 2000. The bank has continually lost his paperwork, and refused to negotiate in good faith. The bank even advised him to stop making payments in order to qualify for a loan modification, which triggered the foreclosure process. Now, Wells Fargo is scheduled to auction his home on June 1. But we won’t let them.

YOU CAN ALSO HELP BY CALLING WELLS FARGO’s CEO and STAFF right away in protest: Just say: “Postpone the auction of Alberto Del Rio’s home at 565 Banks St., San Francisco. Loan # 47339080.” Then tell them the above story. CallCEO John Stumpf (866-878-5865), director Alfredo Pedroza (415-396-0829), communications Ruben Pulido (415-852-1279), bank managers Eric Tang (415-977-9357) and Jason O’Hara (415-554-8820).

For more info or call 415-483-9138.

Occupy Bernal and ACCE Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters Join Forces

Occupy Bernal and ACCE Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters and supporters joined forces at a meeting on May 31, 2012, to plan strategies and tactics for stopping predatory foreclosures and related auctions and evictions.

Bernal Block Party Foreclosure Fighter Fiesta: Connecting Neighbors to Keep Our Homes

Thanks so much to Beth and Annie for facilitating an amazing Bernal Block Party Foreclosure Fighter Fiesta today. The event brought together the neighborhood and the community supporting the Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters (FEFs) to enjoy each other’s company and join the campaign to save our homes from bank foreclosures and evictions, along with some great food and music. Beth and Annie presented Good Neighbor Awards to the FEFs. The list of people to thank is so long… everyone who helped out deserves a tremendous thank you!

Link: Video (thanks to Selene Naxou!)