Protesters gathered last week outside the California home of Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Tim Sloan, where one homeowner was arrested while trying to deliver her mortgage payment directly to Sloan.
Ana Casas Wilson, a California homeowner who has cerebral palsy that forces her to use a motorized wheel chair, waited on Sloan’s front porch so she could hand him a payment on her foreclosed home. Casas Wilson has lived in her home for 27 years, but fell behind on her payments during a hospital stay. Wells Fargo, she said, has been unwilling to negotiate a modification, even though she is again able to make regular payments. After police allowed her to remain on Sloan’s porch for 15 minutes, she was arrested when she refused to leave, the Los Angeles Times reports:
Just before 8 p.m., about 90 minutes into the demonstration, police formed a line around the home, declared the assembly illegal and ordered the group to move 75 feet up the street.
Casas Wilson refused to go and was taken to San Marino police headquarters with the assistance of San Marino Fire Department paramedics.
Casas Wilson isn’t alone. Banks have used shady foreclosure processes throughout the housing crisis, and Wells Fargo has been one of the worst offenders. It has used fraudulent practices like robo-signing, foreclosed on homes over clerical errors, and used a process known as dual-tracking — in which it advises customers on loan modifications while also pursuing foreclosure. Wells Fargo was part of a $25 billion mortgage fraud settlement with state attorneys generals and the federal government and has had to pay multi-million-dollar settlements when homeowners took the bank to court.
The practices have hit homeowners who are struggling for various reasons, whether because of unemployment, rising health care costs, or disability. In March, Bank of America foreclosed on a homeowner who took out a loan to make her house more accessible to her disabled daughter, even after the bank offered a modification. “I’m doing this because people need to see what the banks are doing. It’s awful. It has to stop,” Casas Wilson told the Pasadena Sun. “When I was down and out in the hospital they took my house.”