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