CRC Statement on the Occasion of Wells Fargo’s Annual Shareholders Meeting and the 99% Stakeholders Meeting

April 24, 2012– Today, as Wells Fargo holds their Annual Shareholders Meeting in San Francisco, hundreds of homeowners, foreclosure fighters, clergy, housing justice and immigrant rights advocates, unions, tenant rights groups, residents and other concerned community members are calling for changes to bank practices that damage communities. These groups have come together to hold a 99% Stakeholders Meeting and nonviolent protest that communicates the concerns of the communities and customers that Wells Fargo intends to serve.

The California Reinvestment Coalition supports demands to change Wells Fargo’s foreclosure and payday practices once and for all. CRC has been advocating with Wells Fargo for years to make responsible changes that would fix the foreclosure crisis, protect tenants living in foreclosed properties, and end predatory payday lending.

Help Fix the Foreclosure Crisis

– Wells Fargo should initiate a widespread principal and interest reduction program to address underwater mortgages and “pause” all foreclosure and eviction proceedings while the Attorney General Settlement is being rolled out. Wells Fargo should reduce principal on loans that they own, as well as those where they act as servicer to encourage other lenders and investment pools to follow suit. In CRC’s latest survey of housing counselors, released earlier this month, 84% of counselors reported that Wells Fargo “always” or “almost always” failed to include principal reduction in loan modifications.

– Wells Fargo must immediately end the “dual track” process whereby homeowners receive a foreclosure notice while they are negotiating in good faith for a modification from their bank. 70% of surveyed counselors reported that dual track was “always” or “almost always” a problem with Wells Fargo.

Provide Protections for Tenants

– There are currently thousands of tenants living in foreclosed properties across the state/country. Many of these tenants have had their rights trampled on by large banks. It is time for banks to partner with the community to end this unjust practice. Wells Fargo and its servicers, real estate firms, and contractors must immediately follow local and state tenant protection laws.

An End to Predatory Payday Lending

– Wells Fargo should immediately stop making their own predatory payday loans which they call “Direct Deposit Advances”. Wells Fargo should develop a responsible, affordable, small dollar loan product that truly meets the credit needs of working class consumers.