“Occupy Bernal” Takes Fight to Wells Fargo

bernal will fight

Occupy Bernal has taken their fight beyond Bernal Heights by carrying their protest against home foreclosures directly to executives at Wells Fargo. The SF Bay Guardian catches us up:

Yesterday, three top Wells Fargo executives flew to San Francisco to meet with Alberto Del Rio, a Bernal Heights resident facing foreclosure.

Del Rio’s parents purchased their home in 1973. The home was refinanced multiple times, he says “for a better life” for his family. The most recent refinance, in 2007, was a result of lenders convincing Del Rio’s mother that refinancing would be an easy to pay for some of her retirement.

“It sounded really great because my mother had no monies for retirement. The loan officers told her pull out some cash and reinvest it so she could have a better retirement. They told her, ‘after two years, you’ll be able to refinance out of this,’” said Del Rio.

The loan she got was a pick-a-pay loan, one of the most notoriously predatory loans that banks offered in the years leading up to the 2008 crash.

After continued requests from Bernal resident Alberto Del Rio and support from that neighborhood’s foreclosure-focused branch of the Occupy movement, Del Rio was finally given the time of day- by top executives in the Wells Fargo home preservation department.

The executives, including Sharon Zuniga and Shawn Woods, who flew in from Wells Fargo’s headquarters in Texas, met with Del Rio Feb. 22 at the San Francisco offices of Consumer Credit Counseling Services for about an hour and a half.

Del Rio says they gave him three options: to move out of his home and convert it into rental units, allow a short sale on the house and accept $3,000 to move, or let foreclosure proceedings continue as planned.

“They flew a guy here all the way from Houston to try to bully him into giving up,” said Buck Bagot, an organizer with Occupy Bernal.

But the fact that they took the time to do that was a result of continued pressure from Del Rio and his supporters.

“It was a good thing,” said Del Rio.

PHOTO: Lily Rothrock

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7 thoughts on ““Occupy Bernal” Takes Fight to Wells Fargo

  1. Give us a break. Ridiculous.

    A house up the street from me was foreclosed because the long time owners never had the income to consistently afford their monthly payments, much less upkeep. After 20 years of scraping by their house was falling apart and they were foreclosed. Now, thankfully, their eyesore is being gutted and corrected so that someone who can afford to live there can own it.

    I’ve heard of several foreclosed properties that were originally inherited, then borrowed against with no hope of making the payments. Ever notice the most run down properties tend to be those that were inherited? A sad legacy of proposition 13. When your folks die and leave you a property fully payed for, your property tax should be re-assessed to current values. After all, you’re not making house payments. The least you can do is contribute a fair tax rate to the city you’ve chosen to live in.

  2. Occupy bernal had a very well attended educational forum where people concerned about neighbors concerned about foreclosures and people threatened by foreclosure came together to learn more about what is happening.
    We will continue to meet to support those that need our help to stay in their homes. The big banks must be held accountable for their illegal and immoral predatory loans. Neighbors are coming together to support each other and the pressure is making the banks listen.
    Check out the Occupy Bernal website and become involved.

    • And the borrowers don’t need to be held accountable?

      The problem with the “Occupy” residences movement is that it assumes the borrowers were taken advantage of. I’ve seen too many situations right here in Bernal where people borrowed against a paid house to buy expensive toys, then they couldn’t keep up with the payments. Such situations deserve little if any sympathy.

  3. So the family borrowed and spent all their equity. And the bank has pointed out they can still make their payments (and keep their home) by getting a tenet that will actually pay market rates. Which in Bernal is very plausible. This is a desirable area to live in. So what else should the bank do? If the family rents it out they can keep the house. Seems like they want someone to give them an “extra” house. I want one too.

  4. “pick-a-pay loan”

    That’s a pick-a-payment loan. They borrowed money and figured they could make low payments and never have to worry about paying it back. Without a suitable income to pay back the loan they took, they blame the bank for giving them the loan they wanted.

    Look, they had a cash cow — a paid home. They didn’t know how to manage their money and they made mistakes, repeatedly. Are they going to accept any of the responsibility or is it all the fault of the big, bad bank?

    I feel sorry for them, but they made their bed…

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