Moral Monday Exposes Fraud by Wells Fargo
(APN) ATLANTA — Moral Monday Georgia and Occupy Our Homes Atlanta (OOHA) are exposing Wells Fargo’s crimes against their customers, including by having held a march to a Wells Fargo downtown Atlanta branch at 240 Peachtree Street on Monday, April 28, 2014.
Wells Fargo has a well-documented history of abusing customers seeking mortgage modifications, racial discrimination, robo-signing, predatory lending practices, and selling faulty mortgages that led to the financial crisis.
“Wells Fargo was made whole by taxpayers. Today they are doing better than before the financial crash that they played a role in causing. Regular everyday Americans are not whole, they are being left behind in this recovery that Wells Fargo is benefiting from,” Tim Franzen with OOHA told Atlanta Progressive News.
In 2013, Wells Fargo made 21.9 billion dollars, making them the country’s most profitable bank.
Linda Tirelli, a bankruptcy lawyer in New York, found a 150-page manual instructing Wells Fargo lawyers how to foreclose on homeowners when the endorsement document was missing. The endorsement document is a document to prove ownership of a mortgage.
The Wells Fargo Foreclosure Manual also tells how to obtain missing documents and lost affidavits and other paperwork the bank should have before foreclosing on homeowners.
“This is a blueprint for fraud. The idea that this bank [Wells Fargo] is instructing people how to produce these documents is appalling,” Tirelli told the Washington Post.
“Housing Justice Organizers have known all along it was a point of policy for Wells Fargo to commit fraud and now there’s proof. This is one of the greatest crimes ever committed on a large scale and has cost our country much money. Today we stand here, years later, and not one bank official has gone to jail and millions have lost their homes,” Franzen told APN.
“We have other charges against them…this crowd has laundered drug money. They are financial terrorists, shame on them for what they have done to this country,” State Senator Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) said in front of a downtown Wells Fargo bank branch.
Wells Fargo bought Wachovia Corporation in 2008, after receiving 25 billion dollars from taxpayers in the government bailout program for those “too big to fail.”
They also received a tax break from then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, which some reports say was worth billions more.
A few years later, it became known that Wachovia was laundering money for drug cartels in Mexico, in fact, over 378 billion dollars.
Wells Fargo, after acquiring Wachovia, admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers, including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine, reported Bloomberg.com.
The role of big banks like Wachovia, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America in the international drug trade has gone under-reported in the corporate media. These big banks and their Wall Street partners are not only too big to fail, they are also–apparently, according to our government–too big to indict and too big to jail.
Wells Fargo is also a major investor in the GEO Group, the second-largest private prison company in the United States.
Prison is for the “little people” that do the drugs, not the “big people” who bring the drugs into the country and launder the drug money.
Activist Rob Call told a personal story of how his family was foreclosed on due to dual tracking. Dual tracking is when a bank has you to fill out modification paperwork and send them your bank statements, proof of residency, tax returns, payroll stubs, and other paperwork over and over, while they are processing your foreclosure at the same time.
“My family got dual tracked. They said we are going to work with you to lower your payments but before we do that, you need to miss a payment and when that happened they put my family in foreclosure in 90 days,” Call said.
“They took forever sending documents back and forth and claiming they lost documents. This happens to families across the United States. Wells Fargo has foreclosed on more families in Georgia than any other bank,” Call said.
Franzen and others successfully got the Wells Fargo branch to unlock their door long enough for someone to receive thousands of petition signatures from homeowners asking Wells Fargo to change their predatory practices.
“At the Wells Fargo shareholders meeting there will be a lot of homeowners coming in from around the country to confront John Stumpf, Wells Fargo Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and introduce a resolution to provide principal reduction,” Franzen told APN.
The Wall Street Journal reported homeowners lobbied Stumpf at the stockholders meeting in San Antonio, Texas, to reduce the principal amounts on loans or make the loan-modification process easier. The complaints included lost documents and paperwork that resulted in modifications falling through, and the length of the loan-modification process.
Investors voted to approve Stumpf’s compensation packages of 19.3 million dollars. His complete pay package with bonus, stock, and other perks came to 22.9 million dollars.
But they did not approve a motion for Wells Fargo to even review its mortgage and foreclosure practices.