Coloradans Divest from Wells Fargo

Colorado Progressive Coalition members and Wells Fargo account holders will be closing their account with the lending giant

DENVER–(ENEWSPF)–October 25, 2011.  On Tuesday, members of the Colorado Progressive Coalition (CPC) will join over 300 Wells Fargo account holders and one local union in divesting their accounts from Colorado’s largest bank due to predatory lending habits, continued failure to approve substantial numbers of eligible HAMP modifications and their refusal to stop foreclosure proceedings after disclosing “robo-signing” like errors in their approval.

Following up on demands made Monday to the bank, CPC members and account holders will continue the Mile-High Showdown week by adding pressure to comply with its demands to “pay us back”  by hitting it where it hurts the bank most–in its wallet.

Account holders will demand that Wells Fargo pay back the community for the wrongs they have committed by lowering the principle and interest of mortgages to their true market values, continue to expand small business loan lending, remove for-profit jail company GEO from its mutual fund offerings and “pay their fair share” by paying the full federally mandated 35 percent tax rate the company owes the United States and its people

Part of The New Bottom Line’s national day of divestment from Wall Street banks, Colorado residents will uniformly close their accounts at one of Wells Fargo’s branch locations. In doing so, they join hundreds of others across the country who are working to move $1 billion out of large banks and into community banks and credit unions.

The action is one of many that the Colorado Progressive Coalition members are spearheading this week as they take on Wells Fargo during their week long Mile-High Showdown.

Why reduce the principle of underwater loans?

  • With an unemployment rate in Colorado still at historical highs, thousands of Colorado families simply can’t pay their mortgages. In many cases buyers were victims of predatory lending practices that caught them in a trap of a high-interest subprime mortgage, while in others they simply saw the value of their houses decrease after the housing market crashed.
  • Bringing loan principles down to the true market value of homes would not only allow individuals to escape high-interest mortgages but would also infuse the national economy with over $71 billion every year; save families an average $543 per month on their mortgage payments; and help investors come out ahead to fix the foreclosure crisis once and for all.  It would also be the right thing to do for a company that took the people’s TARP dollars while using deceptive practices to lure buyers into high-interest sub-prime loans.Wells Fargo recently settled its charge of dishonest lending practices for $85 million. Between 2004 and 2008 Wells Fargo conducted predatory lending practices that targeted minority communities and served to add to a worldwide economic crash. Though Wells Fargo received the largest fine ever levied by the Federal Reserve on a bank in a consumer lending case, the bank did not admit guilt. However, after the case was settled, Stumph said the practice was only done by a relatively small group of employees. While the fine for predatory lending was a drop in the bucket for a bank that made a record net income of $12.4 billion in 2010, according to its 2010  4th quarter earnings press release, the practice cost thousands of people their homes and helped to feed the mortgage crisis.
  • At the end of 2009, Wells Fargo modified loans for only 22% of those eligible for modifications under the government program HAMP.
  • Though other banks have changed the process by which they sign off on foreclosures, Wells Fargo has been resolute that it employs the proper procedures to ensure mortgages are handled properly. This is in spite of being forced to re-file 55,0000 loans and the testimony Xee Moua, Wells Fargo vice president, who testified that she signed as many as 500 documents in two hours without having any idea of what she signed.

The process, known as “robo-signing” has been the cause of numerous unjustified foreclosures across the country. Though Wells Fargo has admitted to making errors in its mortgage foreclosures, and promised to fix those mistakes, it has not put foreclosure on hold. The delegation wants Wells Fargo to stop those foreclosures.

Coloradoans don’t want to be on the hook for the 140,000 homes expected to go into foreclosure by the end of next year. As a result, the delegation will be asking Wells Fargo to help save tax payers at least a portion of the 2.7 billion dollars Colorado tax payers are expected to pay to clean up the bank foreclosures.      

What: Account holders will divest from Wells Fargo.

When: 12 p.m. Denver time, Tuesday, Oct. 25th

Where: Meet at the Colorado Progressive Coalition, 1029 Santa Fe Drive, Denver

Colorado Progressive Coalition is a multicultural and cross-issue coalition of individuals and organizations empowering people through grassroots community organizing to have a voice in the policy decisions that affect our lives.  Our vision is a state where everyone, not just the privileged and powerful, has the opportunity participate in our political, economic, and social democracy.