Occupy Bernal Education Forum

Two Cows & Foreclosures

A popular, comedic explanation of world
economic systems reveals the truth behind foreclosure debt
Join Occupy Bernal for a short film, a live performance
reenactment of the foreclosure version of the
Running of the Bulls in Pamplona,
and a serious discussion of real estate debt
 
Nate Goscko, Real Estate agent and pot-stirrer,
will guide us through a post screening/performance discussion
of the nature of real estate debt, addressing the issue of
malicious speculation
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.
Tuesday, August 7    7 – 8:15 pm
Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center
515 Cortland Avenue
Your neighbors, our neighborhood!
Contact: David   415-948-4265    OccupyBernal.org
Labor donated

Action: Stop Nationstar From Foreclosing On Our Neighbors

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!

Call/Email Today!
Nationstar Mortgage recently purchased all home loans from Aurora Loan Services, a company with a shoddy record in its dealings with homeowners. Thanks to your emails and phone calls, the company recently postponed the foreclosure auction of Mike Doyle’s home. We’d hoped that the pressure you put on Nationstar would send a message that they needed to get to the bottom of Aurora’s shady practices. Instead, Nationstar has decided to schedule foreclosure auctions this Thursday on the homes of two Bernal Heights neighbors and former Aurora Loan Services customers. We have to stop them

Sheryl Fennell-Murphy submitted loan modification paperwork to Aurora Loan Services multiple times. Each time, she was told that the paperwork had not been received. Daniel Pociernicki has made several applications for a loan modification but has been denied each time, despite evidence of predatory lending. Now that Nationstar Mortgage is in charge of Aurora loans, these are exactly the sorts of cases they should want to address.  Instead, they are plowing full speed ahead with potential sale dates. In response, Sheryl, Daniel, and other former Aurora customers Vivian Richardson, Denise Collins and Mike Doyle, have come together to organize for justice. They are asking for your support and your solidarity.

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: jay.bray@nationstarmail.com, ramie.baker@nationstarmail.com
Cc: action@occupybernal.org
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.

Sincerely,

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:

  • POSTPONED: 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).

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 BuckB@devinegong.com
  • Deborah G. (415) 550-1030 dgerson646@gmail.com

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    OccupyBernal.org
Labor donated

 

How to Talk to the Press

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

HOW #1

• 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.

WHY

• 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.

HOW #2

• 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.

May 31: Occupella Joins the Wild Old Women at their Weekly Bank of America Protest

Update: A fabulous time was had by all, except perhaps the Bank of America security guards who locked up the front door of the bank branch once the protestors arrived.

WHAT: Occupella joins the Wild Old Women at their weekly Bank of America protest

WHEN: May 31, noon.

WHERE: Bank of America Branch, 3250 Mission Street @29th Street, San Francisco

WHY: Occupy Bernal is again in the press, under headlines such as “Occupy Bernal Blocks Auction of Foreclosed Home in San Francisco” and “Occupy Bernal Succeeds in Stalling Foreclosures.” On Thursday, the hilltop neighborhood’s famously fierce senior women invite some musical friends to celebrate, protest, and make noise, as part of their notorious weekly visits to the bank. Some say the future of Occupy is in local, neighborhood-based work — on Thursday May 31, the Wild Old Women and Occupella show how it’s done.

WHO:
Occupella describes itself: “Informal public singing at Bay Area occupation sites, marches and at BART stations. We sing to promote peace, justice, and an end to corporate domination, especially in support of the Occupy movement.”

IMG_5205_1

Contact: Tita Caldwell, titacal@aol.com; 415-505-9391

Press:
“In addition to some original material, Occupella rewrites well-known songs with Occupy-relevant lyrics.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/occupella-san-francisco_n_1413626.html

“The group … hopes commuters will walk away with a song in their head, or better yet, join in and sing.”
http://missionlocal.org/2012/04/occupella-sings-in-the-mission/

The Wild Old Women describe themselves: “Our action was started in December 2011 by a group of nine women who live in affordable senior housing in Bernal Heights.  Since then we have “occupied” the sidewalk in front of the Bank of America every Thursday from 12 – 1 p.m.  We have been joined by friends and political allies, as well as strangers who have stopped and talked to us. Our object is to protest the bank’s practice of foreclosing on people’s homes, and of raising the fees of low income people. We are also acting in solidarity with the Occupy movement, and are happy to be part of Occupy Bernal.”

Press:
“It was a slow-moving Occupy Wall Street protest, but it was an effective one.”
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/01/05/wild-old-women-close-san-francisco-bank-of-america-branch/

“There’s no chanting, tents, or tear gas, and certainly no cops in riot gear. Rather, the Wild Old Women hold signs and hand out pamphlets, trying to talk to people and convince them to move their money out of the big banks.”
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2012/01/wild_old_women_tita_caldwell.php

Photos:
http://occupybernal.org/wordpress/?attachment_id=212

http://occupybernal.org/wordpress/?p=238

http://occupybernal.org/wordpress/?p=190

Occupy Bernal is a neighborhood-based Occupy currently focusing on preventing the banks from throwing our neighbors out of their homes. Web: http://www.occupybernal.org

To sign up for the Occupy Bernal press list and/or obtain photos and video of the event, see http://www.occupybernal.org/press

A family-friendly street party and the Good Neighbor Awards

Video of the Occupy Bernal Fiesta by selene video

Occupy Bernal Media Advisory
For Immediate Release

Contact: Annie B., 415-483-9138, press@occupybernal.org

What: A family-friendly street party and the Good Neighbor Awards.

Where: Andover Street between Cortland and Ellert

When: May 19, 2012 from 1-4 p.m.

Occupy Bernal is proud to have helped prevent the evictions of some of our neighbors! To show appreciation for the hard work and perseverance of Bernal locals, we’re throwing a “foreclosure fighter” fiesta.

In addition to hobnobbing with our neighbors; still in their homes no thanks to the banks:

- the infamous Wild Old Women who regularly shut down the local Bank of America branch to national acclaim are expected

- hear organizer Stardust play oboe in the Occupy Bernal Band

- see Occupy Bernal instigator Beth Stephens and artist/activist Annie Sprinkle hand out the awards to neighbors whose homes are in foreclosure and who are fighting to stop predatory bank practices.

- eat barbecue cooked by foreclosure fighter Tom German

- enjoy a potluck, live music, kids activities, education, silkscreening with Families Occupy San Francisco [ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Families-Occupy-San-Francisco/236531299734365 ], and lots more

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/349658901761052

To sign up for the Occupy Bernal press list and/or obtain photos and video of the event, see http://www.occupybernal.org/press

Occupy the Auctions to Save the Home of Washington and Maria Davila

Occupy Bernal Media Advisory
For Immediate Release

Contact: Occupy Bernal, Julien Ball, 415-483-9138, press@occupybernal.org

Occupy the Auctions to Save the Home of Washington and Maria Davila

Stop Wells Fargo From Selling Our Neighbors’ Home

What: Save the Home of Washington and Maria Davila
When: Friday, May 4, 1:45 pm
Where: City Hall sidewalk, rear side (400 Van Ness Ave.)

Occupy Bernal and supporters will protest today the foreclosure auction to stop the eviction of our neighbors Washington and Maria Davila. We will also leaflet potential home buyers, calling on them not to buy the Davila’s home.

Washington and Maria Davila have been living in a house they have been renting in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood for the past seven years. Because their Las Vegas landlord Felisa Yambao — who is suffering from cancer — is in foreclosure, Wells Fargo is planning to sell their house at auction today. A new owner-occupant of the house could evict the Davilas and the Davilas would like to continue renting from Ms. Yambao.

Last January 20, Wells Fargo canceled an auction date after Occupy Bernal planned a protest. But the bank hasn’t learned its lesson.

Wells Fargo plans to auction Ms. Yambao and the Davilas’ home on May 4 despite:

  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ unanimous vote for a moratorium on foreclosures until the state legislature passes a Homeowner Bill of Rights
  • The Mayor’s request for a “pause” until the state legislature passes a Homeowner Bill of Rights
  • California State Attorney General Kamala Harris’ request for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosure activity
  • 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

To sign up for the Occupy Bernal press list and/or obtain photos and video of the actions, see http://www.occupybernal.org/press.

Organizations and Campaigns:

Occupy Bernal is a neighborhood-based Occupy currently focusing on preventing the banks from throwing our neighbors out of their homes. Web: http://www.occupybernal.org

Occupy the Auctions/Evictions is a campaign to halt for-profit and predatory evictions, foreclosures, and foreclosure auctions in San Francisco and beyond. Web: http://www.occupytheauctions.org and http://www.occupyevictions.org

SF Community Board of Trustees Condemns Wells Fargo

SF Community Board of Trustees condemns Wells Fargo’s predatory lending practices, seeks new Banking Services provider for its money

April 26, 2012

Last night, the SF Community Board of Trustees, condemning its
current provider Wells Fargo Bank, voted to seek a new Banking Services provider for its money, citing that:

  • San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting has announced a first-of-its-kind audit of county land records of homes facing foreclosure.
  • Among the most jarring findings was that 84% of the files audited included legal violations

It also credited community-based organizations like SF ACCE and
Occupy Bernal for fighting to preserve the diversity of their  neighborhoods by defending the predominantly minority homeowners at risk of losing their himes to Wells foreclosure.

Trustee Chris Jackson stated that “Predatory lenders like Wells Fargo must be taught to correct their destructive policies.”

Buck Bagot of Occupy Bernal/SF ACCE thanked the Board for ”putting its power – and the public’s money – behind my neighbors who Wells has and is hornswoggling out of their homes.”

AFT Local 2121 President Alisa Messer, whose unions represents Community College faculty, also cited Wells’ penurious student loan policies which charge college students up to 18% interest.

Both Bagot and Messer and members of their organizations participated in effort on April 24, 2012 to convince Wells Fargo shareholders to correct the Bank’s negative policies, but were denied admission to its shareholders meeting despite holding Wells Fargo shares.

The Board joined the SF Board of Supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee in
speaking out against predatory lending policies.