Today, the Occupy Wall Street movement is taking part in a series of actions they’ve called “Occupy Our Homes,” aimed at preventing foreclosures and protecting those still struggling to keep their homes amidst the lingering effects of the Great Recession. ThinkProgress’ Zaid Jilani explained one of the planned actions here.
At least one major mortgage lender is taking the Occupy Our Homes movement quite seriously. In an email obtained and posted by the financial website Zero Hedge, Bank of America’s field services operation warned about Occupy activities, saying “we need to be prepared” and advising bank representatives against interacting with protesters:
On Tuesday December 6th there is a potential nationwide protest planned that could impact our industry. We believe protests will likely take place tomorrow at auction sites, homes that are being foreclosed, homes in the eviction stage and vacant homes. We need to be prepared.
1. Your safety is our primary concern, so do not engage with the protesters.
2. While in neighborhoods, please take notice of vacant BAC Field Services managed homes and ensure they are secured.
See the email here. ThinkProgress contacted Bank of America, and a spokesperson confirmed that the email came from the bank. “This is standard operating procedure,” said BofA spokesperson Jumana Bauwens. “The safety of our associates and third party contractors is our first priority. It is the bank’s policy to protect and secure our properties for the investors who own them. Bank of America is committed to helping our customers with home retention solutions and other foreclosure avoidance programs. Foreclosure is always our last resort.”
But if any major mortgage lender deserves to be protested when it comes to foreclosures, it’s Bank of America. Not only has the bank dragged its feet when it comes to getting borrowers into sustainable loan modifications, but it has engaged in some truly absurd foreclosures, including foreclosing on a man whose home was destroyed by a hurricane and breaking into another borrower’s home to incorrectly repossess her pet parrot. Perhaps the banks’ failure on the foreclosure front has something to do with its CEO’s belief that foreclosures are a good thing.