Protesters Gather Outside Home Of Wells Fargo CEO

A group of around 50 people gathered outside the San Francisco home of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Saturday calling for changes in the way the bank handles foreclosures.

The protestors, organized by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE, set up what they called a “Stumpfville” outside a home at Chestnut and Larkin streets.

The group, which says it has repeatedly asked Stumpf to meet with members, is calling for the bank to implement a principal reduction program to prevent foreclosures and to publicly disclose foreclosure and relief data by race, income and zip code.

“Wells Fargo is the leader in targeting African American and Latino communities with predatory loans,” organizer Grace Martinez said.

Martinez, whose mother and sister have both had their homes foreclosed on, said Wells Fargo currently has more than 11,000 homes “in the foreclosure pipeline” and has resisted offering principal reductions in loan modifications even when other banks have done so.

Manuela Alvarez said she is to stay in her home following foreclosure proceedings, and would be back in court on Monday to fight an eviction order.

“I’ve been holding out for almost four years, but its getting harder and harder,” Alvarez said.

“When I came to ACCE, I came for myself, but I found out everybody else needs help too, so it’s not just about me,” Alvarez added.

In response to the protest, a Wells Fargo spokesman said that Wells Fargo has helped more than 860,000 customers with loan modifications, and extended more than $6 billion in principal forgiveness since January 2009.

“The strengthening housing market, combined with Wells Fargo’s commitment to responsible lending and our work to help customers facing payments challenges, has resulted in a foreclosure rate of less than 1 percent of owner-occupied loans in our servicing portfolio over the past year,” company spokesman Ruben Pulido said in a statement.

Pulido said that, on average, customers who had completed a foreclosure over the past six months were 25 months past due on their payments.

Sara Gaiser, Bay City News

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