Occupy SF Housing and San Francisco Officials to Call for Foreclosure Moratorium 12:00 Noon, March 20, at City Hall

Links: Foreclosure Moratorium Resolution (as introduced)    Photos of the event

Update: Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters and Supervisors spoke together at a press conference on City Hall Steps. Supervisor John Avalos introduced the Foreclosure Moratorium Resolution at the Board of Supervisors meeting as planned.

OCCUPY BERNAL MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Occupy Bernal: Julien Ball, +1 (415) 483-9138, press@occupybernal.org

ACCE: Erin Franey, +1 (503) 816-4593, efraney@calorganize.org

Occupy SF Housing: Stardust, +1 (415) 425-3936, stardust@willdoherty.org

Occupy Bernal, ACCE, Occupy SF Housing Demand San Francisco End Evictions, Foreclosures, and Foreclosure Auctions

San Francisco Officials to Speak on Unlawful Foreclosures, Moratorium Resolution

San Francisco, March 20, 2012 – Occupy Bernal, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and the Occupy SF Housing Coalition today take their demand for an immediate moratorium on predatory bank evictions, fraudulent foreclosures, and foreclosure auctions to city officials, some of whom plan to introduce a foreclosure moratorium resolution to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Press Conference of Foreclosure/Eviction Fighters and City/County Officials:
12:00–12:30pm, Tuesday, March 20, at
City Hall Steps, 400 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco (foreclosure auction side)

Speakers at the press conference will include: San Francisco Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, and Christina Olague, Occupy Bernal Foreclosure and Eviction Fighters (FEFs) Alberto del Rio and Ernesto Viscarra, ACCE FEF Monica Kenney, who recently successfully fought a Wells Fargo eviction, and Molly Martin, an organizer from Occupy Bernal.

After the press conference, Supervisor John Avalos and co-sponsors – Supervisors Campos, Olague, and Kim, and Board President Chiu – plan to introduce a resolution for a moratorium on foreclosures and related auctions and evictions to the Board of Supervisors meeting at 2:00pm at City Hall.

Occupy organizers and supportive Supervisors have invited other officials from the City and County of San Francisco, including Mayor Ed Lee, Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, District Attorney George Gascón, and other members of the Board of Supervisors, to the press conference and to introduce legislation and policies that will prevent unlawful foreclosures and related auctions and evictions in San Francisco.

Occupy Bernal, ACCE, and other community organizations in the Occupy SF Housing Coalition are also announcing an Occupy the Auctions/Evictions direct action campaign to invite the 99% to halt the dozens of foreclosure auctions that take place on City Hall steps each weekday.

Occupy Bernal, ACCE, and the Occupy SF Housing coalition invite the press to hear from San Francisco residents as well as from officials of the City and County of San Francisco.

“I no longer want to worry about what to tell my children when I return home each night,” said Occupy Bernal Foreclosure Fighter Alberto del Rio. “We who face bank foreclosures and evictions just want a fair deal from the banks so our families can sleep soundly in our homes.”

“We are fast losing residents from our communities – seniors, families, community leaders, city workers,” said ACCE Foreclosure Fighter Archbishop Franzo King. “The city must do all in its power to pause foreclosures and cease partnering with predatory banks so we can all hold the banks accountable for their crimes.”

California Attorney General Kamala Harris on February 27, 2012, asked lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to halt foreclosures statewide and for principal reductions for those facing foreclosure.

“The banks have torn apart our communities and caused a financial and health crisis by unjustly foreclosing and evicting our neighbors from their homes,” commented Occupy Bernal organizer Molly Martin. “We support those city officials who have joined with the state Attorney General in calling for an immediate halt to predatory and for-profit foreclosures and related auctions and evictions.”

An audit commissioned by San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting on nearly 400 San Francisco foreclosures over the past three years reveals that “fully 84 percent of the foreclosure files contained at least one clear legal violation and more than 66 percent of the files contained multiple violations”. This report confirms what many have suspected and provides the evidence required for issuing a moratorium on all predatory or for-profit evictions, foreclosures, and foreclosure auctions until such time as the law violations mentioned in the report are resolved and mechanisms are put in place to prevent further bank abuses of homeowners and renters.

The recent deal between banks and the Attorneys General of 49 of 50 states is woefully inadequate and does little for the Californians hardest hit by the crisis. Foreclosures have cost the state $650 billion in lost home values, property taxes, and foreclosure-related costs, according to a report released last December by California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). The top banks – Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Ally Financial – pay only $18 billion in this sweetheart deal, which amounts to only $150 per foreclosure statewide. About 750,000 families will receive up to $2,000, a pittance compared with even the depressed value of their homes. The largest chunk – more than $12 billion – will in part go to pressure even more homeowners to sell their homes for less than what they owe, in real estate transactions called short sales that are nothing more than an easy way for banks to make money and save time evicting homeowners, while leaving more and more neighbors without homes. To summarize, the 1% are profiting off the economic distress of the 99% to finagle the largest land grab since the Depression era or earlier.

In a city that has seen 12,000 or more foreclosures in the past three years, Occupy Bernal started organizing in December 2011 to stop the evictions and foreclosures of our neighbors, joining a community of housing rights organizations who have long been fighting for tenant’s and home owners’ rights. In response to public protest in January 2012, Wells Fargo Bank postponed auctions of the Bernal homes of Washington and Maria Davila and the Alberto Del Rio family, but the bank also rescheduled the auctions. Despite meeting with six foreclosure fighters from the Bernal Heights neighborhood and another from Bayview-Hunters Point, Wells Fargo executives have refused to allow any to refinance their homes or modify their loans, and have continued plans to sell off their homes.

This press conference follows on successful protests that occupied the home of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on February 25, 2012, and shut down Wells Fargo headquarters on January 20, 2012, and Wells Fargo bank branches in the Bernal and Excelsior neighborhoods on January 5 and January 7 respectively.

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

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) is raising up the voices of low income, immigrant and working families across California. Web: http://www.calorganize.org

Occupy SF Housing is a coalition which includes OccupySF, SF Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee of SF, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Eviction Defense Collaborative, ACCE, Homes Not Jails, Occupy Bernal, and other community groups and individuals. The coalition came together to stop banks from evicting tenants and homeowners through foreclosures or through their partnerships with real estate speculators. Web: http://www.occupysfhousing.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

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