Send a Signal to Wall Street

23 Oct

Ana Wilson is a courageous 50-year old woman confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy and stage-four breast cancer, who is fighting Wells Fargo and US Bank’s efforts to foreclosure and evict her from her home. As I’ve written in an article on Monday for Huffington Post, Wilson has told Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca that she will refuse to leave her home if his deputies try to evict her.   (The Sheriff’s five-day “notice to vacate” expires on Tuesday).  Ironically, this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Is Sheriff Baca aware that he may be evicting a woman with stage-four breast cancer?

You can help save Ana’s home — and also help put the nation’s foreclosure epidemic and “underwater” housing crisis on the public agenda. 

Along with her supporters from the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and other organizations, Wilson has informed Sheriff Baca that she is willing to risk arrest to stop an eviction.  They will hold a press conference at 11 am Tuesday at her South Gate home, then will caravan to Baca’s Monterey Park headquarters. Tuesday night they will attend the South Gate City Council meeting asking the City for assistance.

As I describe in my article, in 2009, Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She fell behind in her mortgage payments after she was hospitalized and had a double mastectomy. Her husband, a school custodian, had to quit his second job to take care of her and the family income fell.  Soon the family’s finances stabilized and they asked Wells Fargo (which is servicing the loan) to renegotiate the mortgage, but the bank refused to do so or accept her payments. In desperation, Wilson and her supporters resorted to a protest in April at the $5 million San Marino mansion of Tim Sloan, Wells Fargo’s senior executive VP and chief financial officer, where she simply wanted to give him a check for her mortgage. Instead, she was arrested, as I reported in a Huffington Post article two weeks ago.  Her trial is scheduled for next month. Meanwhile, she could lose her home if Wells Fargo gets its way.

Wilson is one of a growing number of Americans who are refusing to leave willingly when the bank or sheriff come knocking on their doors. Wall Street banks created this epidemic of foreclosures and they should be held responsible for fixing the problem, as I discuss in my article.

Wilson does not want to be among the 4 million Americans who have lost their homes to foreclosure in the past few years, often as a result of circumstances beyond their control, including banks’ illegal and/or predatory lending practices. Another 3.5 million homeowners are in the foreclosure process or are so behind in their mortgage payments that they soon will be confronted with losing their homes.

In the past six years, housing prices nationwide have fallen by a third. Families have lost nearly $7 trillion of home equity.  About 15 million homeowners are “under water” — they owe $700 billion more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Many economists agree that the most effective solution would be for the federal government to require banks to renegotiate mortgages for “underwater” owners to reflect the new market values of their homes. The Obama administration has created several programs to help families facing foreclosure, but has resisted the idea of requiring banks to repair the damage they caused. The bank industry lobby, including Wells Fargo, has fought to stop any legislation mandating “principal reduction.” Instead, they want any mortgage re-sets to be entirely voluntary.

If you’d like to help Ana Wilson keep her home — and by doing so send a signal to Wall Street bankers and elected officials that the banks, not the victims of the mortgage crisis, should be punished — there are three things you can do:

  • Call Sheriff Lee Baca at (323) 267-4800 to request that he not enforce the eviction order for Ana Casas Wilson, given that Ana and her family can afford modified payments and given Ana’s medical condition.
  • Call Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf at (415) 396-7018 to request that he reconsider loan modification for Wilson and her family.
  • Add your name to the more than 13,000 people who have already signed this petition on behalf of Ana Casas Wilson:http://www.thepetitionsite.com/573/877/869/tell-wells-fargo-let-woman-with-cerebal-palsy-keep-her-home/

 

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