Many clergy members and community activists in San Francisco have been rallying together to protest megabanks for what they say is rampant foreclosure abuse. The liberal blog Think Progress reports that "The New Bottom Line," a coalition of faith groups, pledged to encourage consumers to move $1 billion this year to credit unions and community banks, and before Thanksgiving, churches moved $55 million away from Wall Street banks with pledges to remove as much as $100 million more.
ABC San Francisco reported that dozens of clergy members and community activists demonstrated Wednesday outside the headquarters of Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco in protest of what they say is rampant foreclosure abuse. ABC notes that the action comes after the release last week of a report by the city's assessor-recorder's office that found that 84 percent of foreclosures studied in an audit of 382 San Francisco homes from the past three years violated at least one state foreclosure law.
"About 45 clergy members and another 45 community members gathered outside the bank's headquarters at 464 California St. this morning to speak about how foreclosures have affected the city and plans to move their money out of Wells Fargo accounts, Nelson-Blake said.
The group also sprinkled ashes in front of the bank as part of an Ash Wednesday ritual symbolizing a call for the bank to repent."
Zombie of PJ Media reports that Occupiers protested Saturday outside of the home of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, with demonstrators holding up oversize cutouts of Stumpf and notices of default "foreclosing" on the "Robber Banker" CEO himself.
The blogger videotaped an “archbishop” from the John Coltrane African Orthodox Church at the demonstration, demanding that Stumpf stop “stumpfing on the poor.”
Think Progress reports that Wells Fargo issued a statement in regards to the Wednesday protest, saying, “We make every effort to avoid foreclosure.”
Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido told ABC that less than 2 percent of homeowner-occupied loans in its portfolio have resulted in foreclosures in the past year.
Pulido said, "We understand that some of our customers are going through difficult times during this economic recovery" and encouraged customers to work with bank employees to determine which options are available to them.
"The unfortunate reality is that some customers are in homes they cannot afford, even with substantially reduced payments," Pulido told ABC.