“Sold out! Sold out! Took money from Wall Street!” came shouts from the crowd when Senate candidate Kamala Harris took the stage at the California Democratic Party convention. As California Attorney General, Kamala Harris protected the banks from criminal prosecution for their crimes by orchestrating a sweetheart deal of a settlement. “Task Force? Task Fail! Criminal Bankers Should Be In Jail!”
ANAHEIM, CA—Homeowners frustrated at being denied a meeting with California Attorney General Kamala Harris for over four years attended this weekend’s California Democrats State Convention at the Anaheim Convention Center. Harris, who is running for the Senate seat that will be vacated upon Barbara Boxer’s retirement at the end of 2016, was scheduled to deliver a stump speech to the LA County Young Democrats in the Grand Plaza on Saturday afternoon.
Some of the foreclosure victims at Saturday’s protest were present for the much-heralded May 2011 launch of the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force. At that press conference, after identifying themselves as homeowner stakeholders, the foreclosure fighters were directed to a side room that Harris never addressed.
Thus began a years-long pattern of homeowner advocates requesting, but being denied, a meeting with California’s top law enforcement official. In May 2013, Occupy Fights Foreclosures wrote an open letter to AG Harris inquiring why no banks have been taken to trial in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Homeowners who traveled to her office were denied entry to the building. Not only has Kamala Harris repeatedly refused to meet with homeowner victims of fraudclosure, she has refused to delegate a member of her staff to do so.
At Saturday’s convention, advocates unfurled banners bearing the messages “$18 Billion Settlement Is Not Justice” and “Kamala Harris $ Sold Out Homeowners $ Protected Wall Street $.” Dozens of curious Democrats approached to ask for more information about the messages on the signs.
Attorney General Harris takes credit for fighting for homeowners to obtain the $26 billion dollar National Mortgage Settlement of 2012, which let the banksters at Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo off the hook for their crimes for pennies on the dollar. The foreclosure crisis cost California at least $650 billion, offset by a mere $18 billion of relief to struggling state homeowners via the National Mortgage Settlement.
Short sales comprise over half the $18 billion settlement. Short sales are still a devastating loss to individual families, who lose their home and often their entire life savings, which were invested as equity in their home. As for the 200,000 Californians who had been foreclosed on at the time of the settlement, they were entitled to $1,400 cash payments under the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement, as compensation for having their homes and life savings stolen by financial criminals.
A cardboard sign at the convention summarized the situation: “$650 Billion Stolen; Only 18 Billion ‘Repaid.’ Who Says Crime Doesn't Pay? Bankers Have It Made!”
Occupy Fights Foreclosures founding member Carlos Marroquin waved colorful placards with the messages “Harris Failed Families” and “Zero Bank Prosecution Kamala” as he walked among the convention crowd
When former Speaker of the California State Assembly John Pérez appeared in the Grand Plaza of the Anaheim Convention Center, Marroquin approached him to inquire, “What do you think about Kamala Harris and the ongoing foreclosure crisis?
“It's been over,” retorted Pérez as he disappeared back into the convention center, flanked by security guards in sunglasses.
Contrary to the statements of politicians, the foreclosure crisis is on-going, and banks continue to take people’s home by fraud. Kamala Harris protected the banks from criminal prosecution for their crimes by orchestrating a sweetheart deal of a settlement. Her Mortgage Fraud Strike Force was branded the “Strike Force That Never Struck” when a May 2014 East Bay Express investigation revealed that three years of prosecutorial inaction have allowed an industry of mortgage fraud to flourish in California. A bright orange poster at the convention decried her farce of a task force: “Task Force? Task Fail! Criminal Bankers Should Be In Jail!”
When Kamala took the stage Saturday afternoon, a chant immediately began: “Sold out! Sold out! Sold out the homeowners! Sold out the homeowners! Took money from Wall Street!”
One convention attendee attempted to physically move the protestor, but security intervened to allow the free speech to continue unabated.
“People are losing their homes! People are still losing their home, Kamala!” the protestor chided, before asking, “What happened to the money? What happened to the money, Kamala?”
One more conventioneer appeared from the audience to authoritatively request, “Can you let her speak?”
“No!” came the reply. Another voice joined in, “We want our homes! We lost our homes!”
“They took our homes! We’re losing our homes!”
“She does not care about the people! She’s not here for the people! Kamala Harris sold out: Eighteen billion dollars is not justice!”
“You don’t want to talk to homeowners!”
“Kamala Harris sold out! Mortgage settlements are not justice!”
Unable to gain any momentum in her speech, Kamala Harris concluded in two minutes. Members of Occupy Fights Foreclosures were thrilled to have finally expressed their grievances within hearing range of their elected official.
As Harris was escorted from the fenced-in Grand Plaza stage back to the safety of the Anaheim Convention Center, a clear and steady voice from the crowd observed, “Kamala Harris, people are still losing their homes.”
“People are still losing their homes, Kamala Harris. What are you doing to do about that?” he inquired. “Are you going to prosecute Wells Fargo?”
“The foreclosure crisis is going on!” interjected a female voice.
“It’s not over! There are 10,000 people right now in California losing their homes.”
“Mortgage settlements are not justice!” declared the woman, as an LA County Young Democrat in a navy blue suit held two campaign signs to block the crowd’s view of candidate Harris.
“Don’t fail the people like you have been doing!” came the final plea, as Senate candidate Kamala Harris walked away from her constituents.
Kamala Harris Speech California Democrats State Convention (5-16-2015) [2:05 video length]
Occupy Fights Foreclosures Questions Kamala Harris at CA Democrats State Convention [0:24 video length]
Why Protest Kamala Harris at CA Democrats State Convention [1:26 video length]
Kamala Harris 5/16/15 [speech is at 2:38 mark in this 4:37 minute long video]
Homeowners Occupy Kamala Harris at the Democratic Convention
“Considering Kamala Harris to Represent California Citizens” Occupy Fights Foreclosures, January 15, 2015.
[Press Release] Homeowners and Occupy Fights Foreclosures Ask Attorney General Harris, "How Many Banks Have You Brought To Trial?" Occupy Fights Foreclosures, May 23, 2013.
“The Strike Force That Never Struck.” East Bay Express, May 29, 2014.
I cannot write, I am fighting so long that I do not know how I am still surviving
I divorced in 2004. I had to support my two small children. I refinanced my house and started my own business. By the end of (December) 2008 I lost my store and had no income. I decided to go back to school and finish my MA degree. I did so. I had asked the bank Countrywide to for modification. The bank
1) The bank told me to hold on at least three payments so “they noticed me”
2) I did so
3) I got modification and was told pay for it
4) I did so
5) I was making payments but I was told modification did not go through ( the bank told me I did not send all the documents- something that I learned was not true)
6) I got new papers for a second modification – better conditions, better rate!
7) This time I made rep to stay on the line with me checking all documentation was in order ( I was such full-so naïve …)
8) I send the notarized documents and waited for the bank send it back to me so we have a binding contract
9) I called almost on dally basis for almost entire year while making payments but no contract
10) In 2010 I finally got a rep from the President’ office who spoke with me almost on daily basis to arrange modification for me –and in his words : to compensate all the problems I experienced with bank
11) We spoke almost on daily basis and he offered the best deal for me the possibly could be –with my payments to be below three thousand dollars!!! But he urged me one thing: do not speak with the lawyer (exact; Don’t you dare!)
12) 2009, 2010 and finally I had documents that bank also signed
13) I started to make payments as per contract
14) In 2011 July bank returned my cheek and put me in default
15) I retained an attorney and sue the bank during the time I was not allowed to make payments
16) Bank B of A offered settlement my attorney dismissed the case
17) My loan was sold to SPS who is a debit collector and followed with default but allowed me to make payments for few months while asking me for all documentation I possibly I have
18) I send it to them
19) After they received the documents and my payments they changed their mind and refused to take checks from me and decided to put me in default again
20) In 2012 I retained an attorney who told me foreclosures happen massively and the best defense to stop it was to file bk .13
21) I was able to make my payments again and I did so
22) The attorney did not posted my payments and my bk .did not work
23) Now I was advised by few best friend attorneys who are not my friend anymore , to file bk. 11
24) I did so but my attorney did not want to post monthly income & expenses and soon skipped the town
25) During that time I got sale date and my bk 11 was dismissed
26) I spoke with SPS and asked them for modification
27) I got the papers but they were also going with foreclosure
28) I got another attorney who told me bank cannot foreclosure while modification-it is against the LAW
29) THAKN TO HIM I WAS ABLE TO KEEP MY HOUSE
30) He collected sum of money and was very creative …
31) Lastly he gave me an excellent advice: “ do your case on your own”
32) So I did
33) I got bank’s mistakes (QWR, CPB,…) I know what the bank did not give me credit for my payments
34) I know they messed up the accounting missing up to six months in a year
35) I got a forensic accountant and it seems that the bank actually added to my account and Inver should be in foreclosure
36) I just got a phone call that my response to the bank’s accounting was received by Ms. Paden that she received my non credited by the bank cashed check