Richmond mayor set to march into Wells Fargo HQ

PRESS RELEASE: Mayor of Richmond Travels to Wells Fargo Headquarters,

Calling on Wells CEO to Drop Lawsuit and Accept Richmond’s Offers to Buy Underwater Mortgages

Surrounded by Community Leaders, Small City Mayor Stands Up to Wall Street

San Francisco, CA – On Thursday, August 15th, at 12Noon, the Mayor of Richmond, CA, Gayle McLaughlin will show up at the headquarters of Wells Fargo Bank to call on them to drop their lawsuit and cooperate with the City’s plan to fix troubled mortgages and prevent foreclosures.

On July 31st the City of Richmond announced that they are moving forward with a Local Principal Reduction program that will help homeowners refinance or modify mortgages.  This will be done by purchasing troubled loans from current servicers or trustees, like Wells Fargo, or through the City’s eminent domain authority if the current loan holders won’t cooperate.

On August 7th Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank named the City of Richmond in a lawsuit filed to attempt to block Local Principal Reduction from moving forward.

What:  Mayor of Richmond and Community Leaders, angry at Wells Fargo’s aggressive actions to prevent a local foreclosure prevention program, show up at the bank headquarters demanding that Wells Fargo back off

Where: 420 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA

When: 12Noon, Thursday, August 15th

Richmond’s Local Principal Reduction plan is designed to preserve wealth in local hands, especially in communities of color and low-income communities which have been decimated by the foreclosure crisis and see no end in sight. Wrongful foreclosures have caused a catastrophic loss of wealth.  Having been targeted by predatory lending, communities of color have been particularly hard-hit, with African Americans losing 53% of their median wealth from 2005 to 2009 and Latinos 66%.  In Richmond, 46% of all residential mortgage holders are still underwater.

Though the City of Richmond is leading the way nationwide on local principal reduction, other California cities like El Monte and La Puente are advancing this as well, as are community/labor coalitions in Newark, New Jersey; Seattle, Washington; and New York City.

Robert Rogers