Yesterday was an energizing moment in the growing Bank Tenant Movement in Springfield, Massachusetts. (See the video below of 2 days of protest with the Diaz Family, give it a few seconds to load.)
The group, despite the presence of police officers hired by the bank/auctioneer, took a powerful and bold stand against the ongoing crisis that is destroying our neighborhoods and leaving our families homeless. Picketing in front of the Diaz family home, we chanted “We Shall Not Be Moved,” “Banks Get Bailed Out, People Get Thrown Out” and “What do we do when the banks attack? STAND UP, FIGHT BACK!”
When the auctioneer, and multiple bidders arrived, we moved our protest to the edge of the driveway and made our demands clear:
- Wells Fargo should stop this foreclosure auction and give Ms. Diaz a loan modification that reduces the principal to current market value and is fair, non-predatory and affordable!
- Anyone who intended to buy Ms. Diaz home, should either: sell the home back to Ms. Diaz at real market value with an affordable loan OR agree to keep Ms. Diaz and her children in their home as responsible rent-paying tenants.
The power of our protest, and the power of the Diaz family’s determination to stay in their home and fight, made clear that we will oppose any eviction after foreclosure that would leave another home vacant and another family homeless! As the auction began our chanting grew louder. The folks who showed up to bid on the house got the message–Ms. Diaz and her family will not be moved without resistance!
Wells Fargo National Bank, the trustee for Ms. Diaz’s securitized-loan purchased the house back at the auction for nearly $80,000 less than the principal balance–yet they have refused to use principal modification to work out a solution that is in the best interest of the bank and the homeowner!
After the auction, the crowd became even more emboldened. We are determined to continue the fight–guided by the power and leadership of Ms. Diaz and of residents throughout Springfield. The crowd embraced hands and began chanting “We are family, and family sticks together!”
Now our movement turns to fighting back against a potential eviction! Ms. Diaz has made clear that she is willing to pay her mortgage if it is a fair mortgage at current market value OR willing to pay reasonable rent to stay in her home! We’re calling on Wells Fargo to accept the Diaz family’s money instead of evicting and leaving the home vacant!
We will be continuing to work with the Diaz family as well as families throughout Springfield to fight back against unjust and illegal foreclosure & evictions that put profit before people and CEO’s bonuses before family’s homes.