Wild Old Women Force BOA to Shut the Doors

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WOW (Wild Old Women)

A group of senior citizen activists calling themselves “Wild Old Women” staged a protest at a San Francisco Bank of America branch this week and succeeded in causing the business to close its doors, albeit temporarily.

The Bank of America in Bernal Heights, a district of San Francisco, was confronted by the activists on Thursday afternoon, according to KCBS radio reporter Doug Sovern, who was on the scene.

The women were ages 69 to 82, and they stood on a sidewalk holding signs that demanded lower fees, higher taxes for the wealthy and a freeze on foreclosures. The bank locked its doors as soon as they arrived, Sovern noted.

“We’re upset about what the banks are doing, particularly in our neighborhood and neighboring areas, in evicting people and foreclosing on their homes,” one of the activists was quoted as saying. “We’re upset because the banks are raising their rates because it really affects seniors who are on a fixed income.”

The protest is just the latest in a growing number of direct actions targeting major American financial institutions, which have drawn the public’s ire for their role in the 2008 financial collapse, triggered by predatory loan practices and the widespread selling of debt-backed securities.

People who have participated in the “Occupy” movement have frequently targeted banks over their participation in widespread foreclosure fraud, where delinquent homeowners have been evicted with paperwork rubber-stamped by companies that essentially automated their process through a technique known as “robosigning.

Protesters around the country have taken to occupying homes ahead of planned foreclosures, setting up very public stand-offs with bank representatives and civil authorities in an effort to protect some from becoming homeless.

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18 Responses

  1. • Treasury emails outline Countrywide’s mortgage crisis
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jan. 10, 2012 – As Bank of America Corp. finalized plans to buy the ailing Countrywide Financial Corp., government officials traded emails about the mortgage lender’s troubles, rumors that regulators had a hand in the deal, and the housing market’s role in the looming recession.

    The newly released messages between U.S. Treasury Department officials span the turbulent months between August 2007, when Bank of America first invested in Countrywide, and January 2008, when the Charlotte bank announced plans to buy the nation’s biggest mortgage lender.

    Bank stakeholders still lament the acquisition, which led to losses and legal troubles that have continued to pummel the company.

    The nearly 40 pages of emails, obtained by the Charlotte Observer after a public-records request, provide a real-time look at the crisis unfolding a year before the financial meltdown. Subject lines warn of Countrywide bankruptcy rumors. Analysts discuss an imminent mortgage-market collapse. And the Treasury’s communications staffers scramble to deflect questions on whether government officials pressured the bank into the deal – questions that linger today among some Bank of America shareholders and analysts.

    Treasury officials contacted last week declined to comment, and a bank spokesman did not return messages.

    California-based Countrywide had seen its earnings soar during the housing boom. But by August 2007, the company was sagging under the weight of its subprime mortgages. Borrowers couldn’t pay their bills, and faltering confidence in the mortgage industry made it hard for lenders to borrow the money they needed to keep making loans.

    In an early morning email Aug. 16, 2007, Treasury official Robert Steel – who would later become chief executive of Charlotte’s Wachovia Corp. – told a colleague that then-Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Tim Geithner had just given him a dismal report about Countrywide’s future as an independent company.

    “There was a Countrywide commercial paper issue last night which was solved, but days as indep. Inc. are numbered,” Steel wrote.

    The same day, the deepening credit mess forced Countrywide to borrow $11.5 billion from a group of banks, and its stock tumbled.

    Later that month, Bank of America invested $2 billion in the company, calling the stake a potentially lucrative vote of confidence, though bank officials reiterated that they had no interest in buying Countrywide outright.

    “When we’re able to go and look at their books and see value, I think the market should take that as a sign that things are not as bad as people believe,” a bank spokesman said at the time.

    But the lender’s woes continued. In early January 2008, an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York forwarded an email to a Treasury staffer with the subject line, “Countrywide bankruptcy rumor – stock down 14 percent to $6.56.”

    The Treasury worker then asked colleagues whether the FDIC would provide insurance to any of Countrywide’s units.

    “I couldn’t get the juicy details out of them, but Countrywide does fall under FDIC’s insured umbrella,” a colleague responded.

    A few days later, news outlets started to leak reports that Bank of America planned to acquire Countrywide. Questions arose about whether regulators pushed the deal, which would protect the massive mortgage lender from collapse and eliminate a major risk to the economy.

    The acquisition was viewed at the time as risky – Bank of America would absorb Countrywide’s bad loans and possible lawsuits, and some analysts argued it had problems of its own to deal with – but the bank had a reputation of buying distressed companies with profitable results.

    None of the emails provide any indication that Treasury officials were pushing the Countrywide deal. In the emails, Treasury officials speak of squelching such speculation.

    “FYI,” then-public affairs director Jennifer Zuccarelli wrote in an email to fellow Treasury officials Jan. 10, “(The Wall Street Journal) is getting ready to write that BofA is going to acquire Countrywide and that there are reports that Fed and Treasury encouraged them to do so.”

    She added, “I am going to kill the idea that we were out there encouraging it. Of course we were aware, but that doesn’t mean we’re picking up the phone asking for bids.” That evening, Zuccarelli emailed the group to say she had received another inquiry about the reports.

    “Someone is ginning this story up,” she wrote. “I’m trying to kill it while staying off the record and saying I’m not aware of any final deal being made.”

    Bank of America’s then-CEO, Ken Lewis, had long said he wasn’t eager to buy mortgage companies. But the agreement Jan. 11 to buy Countrywide in an all-stock transaction worth about $4 billion made the bank the nation’s largest mortgage lender and loan servicer, allowing a company that had grown by gobbling up rivals to reach even more customers.

    “Countrywide presents a rare opportunity for Bank of America to add what we believe is the best domestic mortgage platform at an attractive price,” Lewis said in a statement then. “… Homeownership is a fundamental pillar of the U.S. economy, and over time it will be a key area of growth for Bank of America.”

    Today, troubles related to the purchase still plague CEO Brian Moynihan, who took over at the start of 2010 after Lewis retired. Bank of America’s stock price fell nearly 60 percent in 2011 as potential losses and litigation continued to rattle investors. This month, Bank of America lost a ruling in a court fight against MBIA Inc. that will help the bond insurer as it tries to recover losses on home loans made by Countrywide.

    And in December, the bank agreed to pay $335 million to settle civil allegations that Countrywide discriminated against minority homebuyers before Bank of America acquired it, the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history.

    The Treasury emails don’t hint at the potential problems stemming from the acquisition. But they show that in the months before the recession began, Treasury officials had an idea of how bad things could get.

    “The entire mortgage market is now contracting and fighting for its very existence,” a top investment researcher wrote to a Treasury official in November 2007. “Credit will get even tighter still and the credit crunch – which of course is already spreading beyond housing – will get that much worse.

    “I think the odds of a recession next year are now well over 50/50.”

    The Treasury staffer forwarded the prediction to a colleague, who wrote back dryly: “So you’re saying he’s not optimistic.”

    Copyright © 2012 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.), Kirsten Valle Pittman. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune News Service.

  2. [...] Filed under: bubble, CDO, CORRUPTION, currency, Eviction, foreclosure, GTC | Honor, Investor, Mortgage, securities fraud Tagged: bankruptcy, borrower, countrywide, disclosure, foreclosure, foreclosure defense, foreclosure offense, foreclosures, fraud, LOAN MODIFICATION, modification, quiet title, rescission, RESPA, securitization, TILA audit, trustee, WEISBAND Livinglies’s Weblog [...]

  3. Bravo! ladies, keep it up….You gotta be quick and stealth to get inside a bank!

    09 JANUARY 2012

    Judge Juan B. Colas, Anchor Bank and Office of Thrift under fire by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin foreclosure fraud case.

    http://mortgagemovies.blogspot.com/2012/01/judge-juan-b-colas-anchor-bank-and.html

    Sooooo…. if you haven’t sold off the note can I see it?
    I’ll come back to your office tomorrow, okay?
    Query, what if someone starts putting up certified checks and demanding that banks like Anchor Bank produce the original Note and Mortgage or start paying liquidated damages for the lost profits owed to the unwitting mortgagor, who basically signed what is best recognized as an adhesion contract?
    ***************
    There was a complete no-show on the hearing scheduled today but no one told the Counter-Plaintiff. The Bailiff/Clerk or Session 8 told us on video that they tried to reach him but that’s completely unbelievable because his name and full contact information is of course on file with the Court. He alleges that the same thing happened when Anchor Bank was granted receivership, now I believe him given what I witnessed today. Frankly the U.S. Justice Department should step in because this is ridiculous. I had a brief chat with Judge Colas and another chat Anchor Bank President and COO Mark Timmerman pictured, above (not certain if he still holds that position, see the graph at bottom) at the Executive Office of Anchor Bank. As I walked in with the mighty Canon 60D cranking I saw that my Notice of Media Coverage was the top document on their counter. Watch the video……[snip]

  4. @ Enraged, I’m right there with you 100%! I’ll see your REVOL and raise you an UTION!

    I was really glad to hear today that Daley had left the White House. I had no idea about this news….that replacement is not only unacceptable, it’s a direct slap in the face to the entire nation. It’s simply another FU from Obama…the guy has no shame.

    You’re unfortunately correct, it will take a major upheaval to fix what ails us. But I’m ready for it. When the pooches are this screwed, it’ll take something more than duct tape and WD-40 to fix. Bring it on….have heirloom seeds and weaponry….let’s fix this thing till next time.

  5. yes its a crying shame, what nation permits this to happen bank of america should not have the honor to carry america in its title!!!!a bank that has raped the american people of dignity and has waged a terrerist attack on american homeowners deserves the same fate saddam houssain suffured. stop or take the risk of in the future being charged as the nazis were!!!!!!!!!! for your crimes against families, shame shame on you!!! all your riches will not buy you forgiveness!!!!

  6. bank of america should be banned from using the name america in its title!! America stands for freedom and fairness and justice for all! bank of america has raped the american homeowners and violated americans rights, how they are not prosecuted is aq wonder to me. beware bank of america that some time in the near future you do not suffer the same fate saddam housain did!! and remember all the money in the world will not buy you forgivness on judgement day, when you must face the judge of judges!!!

  7. There will be NO change until this country as a whole decides to default on every single debt, loan payment, credit card payment, etc. There will be NO change until this country, as a whole, (99% is a hell of a lot of people!) simply decide to stop to paying taxes.

    Once government is broke, we can make our demands. Until then, nothing will happen. Status quo will remain. Revolutions happen when countries run out of money. It happened in France, it happen in Russia and I would venture to say that it probably was at the source of every revolution.

    We all have a choice to make on April 15. We can make the right one or keep throwing money at the problem. If it is what we, collectively, choose to do, we can’t complain afterwards about what our government does with it.

    Anything you stop feeding will starve. Anything! Let’s starve our government. It won’t last very long. Let’s starve the banks: they won’t last. And make no mistake: however much the 1% has, it cannot, will not make up for the loss of revenue from taxes imposed on the 99%.

    This is the only sure way to stop this insanity.

    Unfortunately, no one will go for it… yet! Things haven’t gotten bad enough for people to take that kind of a drastic stance. So, we’ll just keep on slipping slowly but surely into a third-world country status.

    I keep advocating that solution. I sincerely believe it is the only one.

  8. Don’t anyone hold their breath waiting to get their share of the money that comes out of this settlement (by the way, it’s a pay-off, not a settlement). I for one am tired of having my intelligence insulted by these governement commentators trying to shove the benefits of this settlement down my throat.

    Name me one consent decree that any bankster has entered into that has benefited even one homeowner and then try and find one that has been successfully enforced to its legal completion. Go ahead, I’ll wait…………….

    There is already talk of a tax payers bond fund that the Banks will be allowed to draw from in order to meet its obligations under the settlement agreement. hahaha Here we go again. Another end-run diversion to allow the statute of limitations to run out on most if not all of criminal actions commited by these banksters.

    At least 45 of these states attornes general need to be recalled for supporting this fraud and deception on the public. that include Mr. Suthers from the state of Colorado.

    Good luck and goodnite all.

    DLC

  9. Let’s hope AG Harris, or somebody, tells it like it is. Or it may get alot worse before it gets better. What needs to happen now, what we do now to succeed?

  10. @Niedermeyer,

    I saw that. Made me sick to my stomach…

  11. @Davies910 ,

    Might the deal have something to do with this …

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/new-chief-staff-former-hedge-fund-exec-citigroup-made-money-mortgage-defaults_616230.html

    …………….. From 2006-2008, Jack Lew was chief operating officer of Citibank’s alternative investments division. And it was his division that made billions of dollars betting “U.S. homeowners would not be able to make their mortgage payments,” as the Huffington Post reported. …………..

  12. chicagotribune.com

    DoJ contacting additional banks on mortgage deal

    Rick Rothacker and Aruna Viswanatha

    Reuters

    6:52 PM CST, January 9, 2012

    advertisement

    (Reuters) – As the government nears a deal with top banks to resolve mortgage abuses, the Justice Department has begun reaching out to other banks to gauge their interest in joining the wide-ranging settlement, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    The DOJ has contacted several nationally chartered banks to determine whether they might agree to terms similar to those in the proposed deal, the person said.

    State and federal officials are nearing a settlement with the five largest mortgage servicers – Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Wells Fargo & Co, Citigroup Inc and Ally Financial Inc- to resolve allegations of misconduct in processing foreclosures and other issues.

    In exchange for between $20 billion to $25 billion in relief to distressed homeowners, the banks will put behind them potential government lawsuits about improper foreclosures and abuses in originating and servicing the loans.

    In recent weeks Justice officials have approached several other banks about joining the settlement, a move that could potentially push up the total price tag.

    The additional banks are expected to include those that entered into consent orders last year with U.S. bank regulators over similar allegations. That group includes HSBC Holdings Plc PNC Financial Services Group Inc, MetLife Inc, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bancorp , OneWest Bank, Sovereign Bank and Aurora Bank.

    A settlement that goes beyond the five largest servicers might add around $5 billion or less to a total settlement, according to estimates from Inside Mortgage Finance’s publisher Guy Cecala, but it could reach a wider pool of borrowers.

    “Clearly it was not just five lenders committing robo-signing,” he said. “It was a widespread practice.”

    Negotiators have long said they planned to go beyond the top five servicers, but the recent contact signals they are at an advanced stage in the talks.

    While the contours of the deal are set, some of the fine print, including which claims are released and who will monitor the enforcement of the settlement, is still being hashed out.

    LONG TIME IN THE MAKING

    The talks, which began more than a year ago after reports emerged that banks had robo-signed documents and rushed through paperwork to deal with a flood of foreclosures, included both regulatory and enforcement agencies aimed at striking a global settlement.

    But regulators at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve moved forward on their own last April, when 14 servicers signed consent orders, agreeing to review past foreclosures and reform their servicing practices.

    While the enforcement agencies involved in the ongoing talks expected to eventually resolve cases against all 14, they focused on the largest five initially.

    A person familiar with the matter said it was unlikely the smaller banks would sign on in time for an announcement, which could come in the next several weeks, but could join soon after.

    Representatives of the banks either declined to comment or did not respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined comment.

    In a November securities filing, HSBC said it expected that the next nine largest servicers, including HSBC Bank USA and HSBC Finance, would be approached about a settlement after the five largest servicers concluded their talks and announced an agreement.

    The bank has ongoing discussions with regulators and government agencies on mortgage servicing matters but those discussions are confidential, HSBC spokesman Neil Brazil said.

    In its most recent quarterly securities filing, PNC said regulatory inquiries related to foreclosure practices were ongoing and might result in additional “actions, penalties or other remedies.”

    The volume of the total settlement has fluctuated based on who and what is in the final deal.

    The attorney general in California pulled out of the talks in September and said the deal under consideration failed to provide enough relief to the state’s homeowners and released the banks from too many claims.

    Negotiators have moved forward on a scaled-back deal without the state.

    (Reporting By Aruna Viswanatha in Washington and Rick Rothacker in Charlotte; editing by Andre Grenon)

    Copyright © 2012, Reuters

  13. Enraged, no violence! That’s what they want. Non-violence has NEVER failed.

  14. Wild old women for president!

  15. The majority of attorneys are bought up! It is my experience these cases are very time consuming and costly, so with folks in foreclosure and broke, we cannot pay them and not many of them will go pro-bono.

  16. I want to know where are the attorneys? I do not understand why the defense atty. are not wanting to work with with us homeowners? I am a victim to a predatory loan I have all the proof to prosecute these criminals and receive damages and atty. fees, but where are the attorneys? mk

  17. I’m only 55 but I’m a woman and I’m wild… Can I come please? Can I? Can I? Please?

    Give me an R
    Give me an E
    Give me a V
    Give me an O
    Give me an L… etc… etc. What does it spell?

    So frick’in sick and tired, I am considering more and more getting a gun and going postal on the banks. The new today was not good. What, with the unhealthy banks starting the merging game again and the TBTF giving away our houses to charity. Something’s got to give!

    DCB, do you handle any criminal defense?

    And by the way, where is Cubed2k?

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