Wells Fargo foreclosure fighters: They’re baaaack!

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Bernetta Adolf is locked in a battle against Wells Fargo over the foreclosure of her home. (Screen shot from ACCE video)

See an update at the end of this article.

 A group of activists focused on organizing against Bay Area foreclosures will return to Wells Fargo’s San Francisco headquarters today for a protest timed to coincide with the banking giant’s shareholders’ meeting – even though the meeting was moved to Salt Lake City, Utah this year. (Perhaps the change of scenery had something to do with what happened last year, or the year before?)

Unfazed, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment has sent some homeowners who are facing bank foreclosure on a road trip to Utah to bring their message to CEO John Stumpf in person, according to ACCE organizer Erin Franey.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, activists focused on fighting foreclosure will congregate outside the bank’s Mongtomery Street headquarters. “Wells is foreclosing on more homeowners in California than any other bank,” says Franey, adding that there are currently 11,000 California homes in the foreclosure pipeline.

In attendance at this afternoon’s San Francisco rally will be Bernetta Adolf, a cancer survivor in her late 60s who has also struggled with blindness, a particularly challenging disability that forced her to retire from her city job as a Muni driver.

Adolf is locked in a battle with Wells Fargo over the foreclosure of her home in San Francisco’s Oceanview-Merced-Ingleside neighborhood. The trouble started when she borrowed against the home she’s lived in 20 years, to fund her son’s college education.

“It turns out the loan to provide for my son’s future was designed to ruin my own,” Adolf wrote in an online statement. “It was predatory, calculated to strip my equity and set me up for failure. When I tried to work with Wells to fix the loan, they offered a modification so small it didn’t make any difference. Then they started trying to take my house. The stress hastened my blindness and continues to aggravate my health problems.”

UPDATE: Wells Fargo spokesperson Ruben Pulido contacted us in response to this article and requested that we post a statement in response:

"Our foreclosure rate in 2012 fourth quarter was just 1.04 percent in California—less than half our national rate (2.1 percent) during that period.

Over the past four years, Wells Fargo has helped more than 850,000 customers nationwide with loan modifications, and has helped customers through $6.6 billion in principal forgiveness; the majority of that principal forgiveness has gone to borrowers in California.

When customers with financial challenges choose to work with us, we help 7 of 10 avoid foreclosure. Over the last 6 months, customers who completed a foreclosure were, on average, 19 months past due on their payments."

Comments

defaulted on their loan agreement and mortgage payments.

Not one.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2013 @ 10:33 am

WELLS FARGO tried to foreclose on the property I inherited while i was going through probate without notice, funny thing is they had sold the loan they were trying to foreclose on! CROOKS! I have been in a lawsuit for over a year and have found out they never had REVERSE MORTGAGE loan counseling docs, forged my moms signature, inflated loan amount to value. Did I mention they cashed the fire insurance check made out to my dead mom without my signature as administrator! Their attorney REBECCA SAELAO omg! How can live with themselves! THEY ARE GOING TO PAY ME!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

You'll get no sympathy here.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 24, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

Let me guess...you are a paid shill for Wells Fargo....you'd have to be, no one stating what you have could be so stupid to state such a thing in the first place!
People, when ever you run across others(know as shill...aKa...dumb asses) ( & there will be many post from them on subjects such as this) sticking up for low life bankers & the such...they are being paid, look up paid shills!
Ignore them!! If you reply to even one of their silly comment post, they are winning!
Look it up!!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

What about when you try to pay them and they won't take your money?????
Who's fault is it then?? And why did they get sued or better yet why did the President of the United States have to step in????

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2013 @ 8:00 am

Why would Wells want to strip the equity? Seriously, generally speaking, foreclosures are a loser for banks- they don't get the interest that is due to them, they pay significant costs associated with getting the foreclosure done, and then they often end up losing money on the resale.

Bernetta might do herself some good by giving us a few more details on how exactly this loan was unfair or unethical.

Posted by Whackamole on Apr. 23, 2013 @ 10:48 am

Of course, it's always someone else's fault. Bernetta chose to take a loan against her equity, now she can be accountable for her mistake. She's not a victim of anything other than her own stupidity.

You can shove your petition up your backside, Ms. Adolf

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2013 @ 11:09 am

"The trouble started when she borrowed against the home she’s lived in 20 years, to fund her son’s college education."

Just because you use your house as an ATM is no reason to foreclose on you!

“It turns out the loan to provide for my son’s future was designed to ruin my own,”

I had no idea I'd actually have to pay the money back! Fascists!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Apr. 23, 2013 @ 11:17 am

Really! Ms. Adolf didn't think she would have to pay the Heloc back!!!! Stupidity

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 5:29 am

that the anti-everything crowd can muster then Wells Fargo can relax and carry on foreclosing. It should be considered just retribution for stupidity.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 6:30 am

Yeah, if these "foreclosure fighters" wanted truly sympathetic figures, they should go to Stockton or Manteca, where people who bought at the top of the market are well and truly screwed by the collapse of the housing market.

But, since they don't care about people in Stockton or Manteca, so they trot out a San Francisco homeowner, whose house has tripled in value since she bought it, because she says she still can't pay her HELOC loans back.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 6:47 am

One of the "fight foreclosure" websites listed Bernetta Adolph's address.

According to Zillow, the house was last sold in February, 1994 for $160,000.

Zillow now thinks the house is worth $536,914, and thinks it will sell at foreclosure for $483,222.

So, the house has appreciated more than $300,000 since Adolph bought it, and yet she still can't pay the loan back.

Sounds like she borrowed a bit more money from the house than was necessary to "fund her son’s college education".

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Apr. 23, 2013 @ 11:35 am

In the last round of protests, it was soon disclosed that the two poster children on display for losing their homes had refinanced their loans twice, using their equity as an ATM machine.

You would hope that the 'Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment' would have vetted Bernetta better this time. But no:

"The trouble started when she borrowed against the home she’s lived in 20 years, to fund her son’s college education. “It turns out the loan to provide for my son’s future was designed to ruin my own,”

It wasn't designed to do any such thing. You took the loan, you signed on the dotted line, and then you couldn't make the payments. Would you have preferred, Bernetta, that no bank lend you any money at all?

The bank is not at fault here. You borrowed money as interest rates were falling, no doubt by using equity on your home as collateral. You were thinking like everybody else during the real estate bubble: Prices will keep rising forever.

You should have kept making the house payments, and had your son take out his own loans for college. HUD was readily handing out loans to students.

Posted by Troll The XIV on Apr. 23, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

to fund an education. Sounds like Bernetta took out a home equity loan to finance some rip-off for-profit school vs. using the resources the federal government already allocates for this sort of thing. In other words - she made poor financial choices and now wants to escape the consequences of those choices.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Apr. 23, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

And rightly so. She used her home as an ATM and now wants to be bailed out of her stupidity.

Screw her.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 23, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

What most of these comments fail to take into consideration is the history and role of redlining in the current mortgage crisis. This history started in the 1930's with the federal government and the Federal Home Loan Corporation.

In the wake of the Great Depression the FHLC was created to stabilize communities but, of the over one million loans given out not ONE went to a person of color. This practice of redlining was later adopted by ALL the major banks.

As a result not too long ago communities of color could't even get a loan but, with the advent of securitization banks found a way to sale the perceived risk associated with lending in these community. This coupled with the pent-up demand for quality loan products, that are often made in "other" communities, rendered many elders and others susceptible to the predatory loan products that were made in black and hispanic communities.

If I was a bank I too would target the communities with the highest rate of homeownership and equity to "market" my predatory products. In particular, if I knew I had the "protection" of the federal government since my bank was too big to fail and I had an ill informed group of advocate that were on my payroll.

With that there is enough blame to go around but, the banks possess the sophistication level that suggest they knew what they were doing, while many elders did not. Therefore, the question remains "are their enough decent people that can think for themselves that are willing to come to the table to begin finding real answers to this mortgage mess?"

This is the question that will define our generations....Did we do the right thing when no one was watching?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 7:15 am

not by itself a reason to let anyone off their debts now, decades later.

This lady continually sucked money out of her home as it's value went up, rather than do what a prudent person would do and pay it down over a working life, mindful that her job could vanish at any point.

There would be significant moral hazard in giving a pass to people like her. If we think we can use a home like an ATM and then "protest" our way out of a foreclosure in this way, then why would anyone ever make payments on their mortgage?

Meanwhile, you can hardly blame banks for looking at foreclosure rates by zipcode and deciding to do more business where they have less problems.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 7:35 am

So, you're suggesting that if you were a bank then you would make loans to people who you knew at some point wouldn't have the ability to pay? If so, then you're admitting to being a crook!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 8:01 am

will be repaid. Standards slipped during the mid-2000's but the blame for that sits squarely on everyone involved and not just the banks.

And mostly it was just homeowners wanting something for nothing and free money that created the demand.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 8:37 am

How can you say that the blame sits with the homeowner when it was the banks that had the money to do the lending? No one held a gun to their head and made them give out predatory loans. They were driven by the fees that led to record profit since they had found a way to sale off the risk using securitization.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 8:59 am

"No one held a gun to their head and made them give out predatory loans."

No one held a gun to a homeowner's head and made them take a predatory loan.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 9:21 am

Your argument lacks sound logic!

Are you suggesting that you would have made loans to people knowing that they didn't have the ability to pay? My point being that once banks knew that they could sale off the risk they didn't care about who they gave loans and begin to lower their lending standards.

This didn't have anything to do with borrowers and those folks that were historically subject to redlining, since they could previously get a loan, were susceptible to the predatory lending practices by the banks.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

they could get something for nothing.

On what planet does it make sense for a woman of low means and advancing age to take cash out of her house repeatedly?

She had the good fortune to buy a SF home decades ago. Then she squandered it. Her home deserves to go to someone more deserving.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 11:37 pm

you have to borrow ten times your annual income!

Everyone is at fault.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 9:26 am

Actually, in this case, no, I don't think "everyone" is at fault.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 11:20 am

You Sir, havent walked a day in my shoes. Ive served this great country and not for the money. I want to keep my home as much as you would like your freedom to be FREE I want WELLS FARGO to understand the economic crisis and respond accordingly. When a 300K loan was approved on a home that is appraised for 150K a few years later, Id say they want something for nothing. Hard working AMERICANS are losing everything they worked so hard for so Wells Fargo can open thousands of new Branches? It's not about FREE its about NOT ALLOWING these MONSTERS to take ADVANTAGE of people like myself. Fortunate to not lose your job or have your hours cut, Im happy for you and your family. Id ask that you point your nose a bit further down and notice the less fortunate living around you. Your biggest problem is what's for dinner tonight, Filet or Lobster? People like myself are wondering where to eat dinner tonight, dumpster dive or noodle soup?

Posted by Guest on May. 13, 2013 @ 7:05 am

It's an insult to them to let you stay in your home when you are not paying your bills.

Posted by Guest on May. 13, 2013 @ 10:13 am

Also, redlining created the pent-up demand that made the hispanic and black communities susceptible to predatory lending. Then securitization enabled banks to sale off the "perceived" risk of doing business in communities of color that have the highest level of homeownership and equity.

Do you consider it a moral hazard for banks to be bailed out for essentially creating the financial crisis? Do you think it's a moral hazard for banks to be considered too big to fail and allow to function outside the law?

Here in lies my point being that it does't help to even have this conversation regarding who's to blame since there is enough blame to go around. Banks, homeowners, rating agencies and regulators are all to blame for the mess we are in...

The question is whether there are enough people that can think for themselves and have the problem solving skills to find win/win solutions to this whole mortgage mess much like was done during the S & L crisis?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 8:55 am

The banks have been saved from failing.

Some homeowners have had to leave their homes but most have not.

Most mortgages are still being paid.

RE prices have come back, especially in SF.

It's not a perfect solution but everyone has lost something and - we survived.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 9:27 am

Currently, there are 4.1 million loans in some stage of default that represents a $5.5 trillion problem and with the current loan mod rate of roughly 25% we are a long way from the problems being solved.

San Francisco has two real estate markets: Everything north of Market Street then neighborhoods in the southeast sector which, are not out of the woods with close to a 1,000 loans that are in default. Thank God for California's Homeowners Bill of Rights which is the cause of the dramatic decrease in the number of foreclosures across the country being that California represents 40% of the total loans in default nationally.

I agree that the banks needed to be saved but, to do so with taxpayers dollars for banks that were reckless in their lending and not to throw a lifeline to borrowers has been counter productive. Especially, when 35% are seniors who clearly didn't understand the loan products they were signing up for. My point being that there's moral hazard on the part of both banks and borrowers so, why are borrowers left to suffer while it's ok to bailout the banks?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

owned by those who can meet their payments and not by those who cannot.

And these seniors would have paid off their mortgages years ago unless they were greedy and took out HELOC's and cash-out refi's.

Over 90% of mortgages are current and being paid in full. We should not punish those good people by giving a pass to those less diligent and honest.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

What most of these comments fail to take into consideration is the history and role of redlining in the current mortgage crisis. This history started in the 1930's with the federal government and the Federal Home Loan Corporation.

In the wake of the Great Depression the FHLC was created to stabilize communities but, of the over one million loans given out not ONE went to a person of color. This practice of redlining was later adopted by ALL the major banks.

As a result not too long ago communities of color could't even get a loan but, with the advent of securitization banks found a way to sale the perceived risk associated with lending in these community. This coupled with the pent-up demand for quality loan products, that are often made in "other" communities, rendered many elders and others susceptible to the predatory loan products that were made in black and hispanic communities.

If I was a bank I too would target the communities with the highest rate of homeownership and equity to "market" my predatory products. In particular, if I knew I had the "protection" of the federal government since my bank was too big to fail and I had an ill informed group of advocate that were on my payroll.

With that there is enough blame to go around but, the banks possess the sophistication level that suggest they knew what they were doing, while many elders did not. Therefore, the question remains "are their enough decent people that can think for themselves that are willing to come to the table to begin finding real answers to this mortgage mess?"

This is the question that will define our generations....Did we do the right thing when no one was watching?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 24, 2013 @ 7:11 am

After being laid off from what I thought was the job I'd retire from, I have fallen behind on my payments. Wells Fargo offers me a "loan modification" placing the past due balance on the end of the loan. My mortgage payment was reduced from 2412/month to 2387/month. Nearly the same payment. How do I continue to make these payments? So in every attempt possible on my part, I take a job that brings home half of what I was currently making, sell everything I can to help offset my bills to the best of my ability. Eventually run into a financial wall and have nothing left to sell to help pay the bills. BEG Wells Fargo on a daily basis to help me. Transferred from one person to another NEVER getting HELP or ANSWERS to the questions I have. Instead, Im asked to state my name, property address, if I reside there, and If I intend on keeping the house...OVER and OVER AGAIN....each time Im transferred. I did this for weeks...was put into VM to never have my call returned. One day I got through and was told to resubmit the paperwork for a Loan Modification... that was completed 6 months ago without response. Instead I get paperwork from an Attorney Representing Wells Fargo and these MONSTERS are moving for STRICT FORECLOSURE. I purchased my home just before the Housing Market crashed 280K. It was appraised by Wells a month ago at 165K. Nearly 115K upsidedown. WHY CAN"T THEY WORK WITH PEOPLE LIKE ME??? WHAT PROTECTS PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF from these ANIMALS? Im all for a business turning a profit but never at the expense of another losing everything they worked so hard for, just to be taken advantage of.
So yes, these Forclosures may have been 19 months past due. But!!!!!! The information they are leaving out is the stringing along, the poor communication on thier part, the Forclosure process in itself takes time.... SHAME ON YOU WELLS FARGO... open all your "new" Branches throughout the East Coast (Ive watched these multiply in my small state of CT 25-50 new branches). Rub your shameful grimy profits in the faces of Americans trying to hold on and weather this economic crisis...SHAME ON YOU!!!

Posted by Guest on May. 13, 2013 @ 6:51 am

If you did not, then you understand that you lose your home. That is very clear from the disclosures that you sign when taking out a mortgage.

You are staying in a home that you are not paying for, thereby making that home unavailable for someone else who can pay for it. Why should you be allowed to stay?

Posted by Guest on May. 13, 2013 @ 10:12 am

Walk in a day in our shoes,we have been through several hardships in the past 2 years and we haven't been able to catch up behind 12 months,due to 6 hospitalization and my husband had unexpected surgery now after being reviewed by upper management they asked for
$9,0000 and that doesn't guaranty we will get a loan modification. Has anyone else had this issue,we are not backing down!

Posted by Guest on May. 17, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

Maybe they can siphon what he's learned back out of his brain and all will be good...give the bank their money back with the money the school will give you back.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 9:24 am

Wells Fargo rip off heirs! They tried to foreclose on a house I inherited where there were no late payments while i was going through probate! The house burnt down and they are trying to keep the fire insurance allocated in the trust deed for rebuild.
I have tried to settle with them any way they want and the attorneys SEVERSON and WERSON said they will not settle no matter what. "Woe to you lawyers." Jesus Christ

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

This is really a sad situation I feel for anyone who had their home foreclosed upon. However allot of the times the banks have no choice but to foreclose on the house.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 22, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

This is really a sad situation I feel for anyone who had their home foreclosed upon. However allot of the times the banks have no choice but to foreclose on the house.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 22, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

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