Friday, October 29, 2010

BLIGHTWATCH 20-Frayser-WELLS FARGO

Another small victory in a long long push for a blight free Memphis. this little 'gem' in the Frayser area is owned by lending giant Wells Fargo and in addition to bringing down the value and appearance of the neighborhood. Wells Fargo owed $2070 in unpaid taxes, fees and code related fines. the board up costs and grass mowing had been passed on to the people of Memphis. Thankfully our efforts to promote accountability paid off and Wells Fargo made full payment on their debts this property. We will continue to push for accountability until ALL WELLS FARGO PROPERTIES BACK TAXES AND FINES ARE PAID IN FULL AND THESE PROPERTIES ARE UP TO CODE STANDARDS!... So one down....Twenty nine to go.....


Blightwatch 19 New Chicago update-small victory

A follow up on a previous report. 1269 Capital in New Chicago was a mess, but i'm glad to say that by applying pressure to Original Resources inc, "The California based owner"all of our demands were met.
Now the grass has been cut,building secured, and maintenance company hired.
...Now we keep pushing until all back taxes and code fines are paid. a small step but progress none the less.







Take a look at what this property was like before......



BLIGHTWATCH 18-WELLS FARGO

A special edition of Blightwatch, this is a small portion of some of our conversations at our protest action at the Wells Fargo event last Tuesday OCT 19th. At this event Wells Fargo was attempting in our view to "whitewash" their reputation as a predatory lender and bad corporate neighbor by making 48k in donations and grants to local and statewide non-profit organizations. We were on hand to confront them about their policies and sub-prime lending and servicing practices as well as the large number of Wells Fargo properties that owe back taxes as well as unpaid fines and fees for mowed grass , board ups and demolitions all at the TAX PAYER'S EXPENSE.






Last Friday Oct 22nd we met with Wells Fargo representatives Candy Moore, senior vice president, and Hugh Rowden, Senior vice President in a meeting hosted by Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir. also in attendance were Terica Lamb, executive director of legislative outreach for the Trustee's office and Pat Black, Deputy Treasurer for the city of Memphis.

At this initial meeting Ms. Moore and Mr Rowden both claimed that Wells Fargo will review each of these properties and will make quick payment of owned taxes. However they also are claiming..."incorrectly in my view" that some of these properties are not their financial responsibility and they are merely serving as Trustee. They claim that the servicers of these said properties are actually responsible for paying of taxes and maintenance of the property. They provided us with the names of who was the servicer of each property and have contacted each of these companies and are urging them to make quick payment on these debts.

It is fair to say that I am skeptical of these claims and am in early consultation with attorneys on this matter who also find Wells Fargo's claims to be dubious. MSPJC seeks to avoid litigation if possible but moving forward we will remain aggressive and vigilant in ensuring that every dime owned by the tax payers is recovered and that these properties are brought up to code standards. Our next meeting with this group is next friday NOVEMBER 5th and we will keep you updated at every step.
This is only the beginning...

Demand Change

Monday, October 18, 2010

BLIGHTWATCH 17-ORANGE MOUND

Another blighted WELLS FARGO owned property, secured and mowed at the tax payers expense. In addition this property has unpaid back taxes that amount to $2498.97 this does not include the cost to the city of cutting the grass or boarding up the building......guess who pays to pick up their slack?.....here's a hint...YOU DO.

LET WELLS FARGO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL




Friday, October 15, 2010

Memphis confronts WELLS FARGO's unethical practices

WHAT: Memphis confronts WELLS FARGO's unethical practices
WHEN: TUESDAY • OCTOBER 19th
TIME: 7:30am-9:00am
WHERE: Memphis Botanical Gardens
750 Cherry Road Memphis, TN.
... (meet up 7:15am at parking, service road off Cherry north of Botanic Gardens)


Wells Fargo bank in celebration of it's acquisition of Wachovia bank is hosting a "Community Event" on TUESDAY, October 19th at 7:30am-9:00am at the Memphis Botanical Gardens at 750 Cherry Road Memphis, TN. At this event WELLS FARGO will grant $48,000 to local nonprofit organizations in a shallow attempt to buy the goodwill of the people of Memphis as well as whitewash their actions in our community.

Join us Tuesday as we come to collect the $60,000 in back taxes, and unpaid fines and fees owed by WELLS FARGO to our community. This money is owed on 45 properties that they own or have foreclosed on, leaving families on the streets, and communities plagued by blight. If WELLS FARGO wants to have the good will of the people of Memphis and Shelby county then they must earn it by responsible and ethical actions not by hiding behind the good works of local non-profits.

You already know that over the past ten months the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center has been hard at work in researching the root causes and connections between social ills such as homelessness, blight, fires, home foreclosure and how these problems intersect and manifest in our communities. In this process we have observed how the predatory behavior of banks and lending institution like WELLS FARGO does not end with the distribution of sub-prime loans in African American neighborhoods, nor does it end with families put out on the streets via home foreclosure. These unethical actions extend further as vacant properties owned by banks are being left as open sores in all our neighborhoods. In addition all over our country there is a massive tide of cases with errors, forgeries, bogus documents to outright fraud in the foreclosure process. As of today Attorney General's offices from all 50 states have launched probes into these foreclosure irregularities and many banks and states have enacted a moratorium on foreclosures. WELLS FARGO has refused to halt foreclosures for this review.

Here in Memphis many bank owned properties in low income areas are unmaintained, unsecured and uncared for and become magnets for vermin, trash, fires and crime. To make matters worse many of these bank owned properties have years of unpaid back taxes and unpaid code fines. So not only are the the people of Memphis victimized by predatory lending and high rates of home foreclosure, but adding insult to injury WE ALL PAY for the results of predatory lending and lax management of bank owned property and pay higher taxes from increased fires, grass mowing, demolition costs and homeless services costs to cover for their lack of responsible action.

View a BlightWatch video of how Wells Fargo takes care of their properties here.
video

WHAT: Memphis confronts WELLS FARGO's unethical practices
WHEN: TUESDAY • OCTOBER 19th
TIME: 7:30am-9:00am
WHERE: Memphis Botanical Gardens
750 Cherry Road Memphis, TN.
(meet up 7:15am at parking, service road off Cherry north of Botanic Gardens)

*Any questions or if you'd like to volunteer to join us please contact us at 901-725-4990 or at brad@midsouthpeace.orgSee More

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

BLIGHTWATCH 16-FRAYSER

This property at 3318 Dawn is owned by our old friends at lending "sweetheart" Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo seems to have a special love for screwing the residents of Memphis and Shelby County. As you may have heard...Memphis and Shelby County governments have launched a joint lawsuit against Wells Fargo for discriminatory and predatory lending practices in Black neighborhoods.....but that's not all....Oh no.

In fact Wells Fargo in a bit of insult to injury currently owns a large number of properties within Memphis and Shelby County that they refuse to maintain, thus leaving those costs to the People of Memphis as well.....and i'm just talking about the properties that they actually ADMIT to owning...to say nothing of the scores of properties currently in foreclosure limbo.

However...next Tuesday October 19th at 7:30am-9am Wells Fargo is having a "community" event at the Memphis Botanical Gardens where they will celebrate the acquisition of fellow lending 'sweetheart' Wachovia bank. At this event WF will give out $1000 to eight local nonprofit agencies in a sad and shallow attempt to buy the goodwill of the people of Memphis as well as whitewash their detestable actions in our community. Join us as we not only tell them that we cannot be bought, but also join us as Mid-South Peace and Justice Center members and friends will come to collect the back taxes, and fines and fees owed by Wells Fargo to our community. Watch this space for a more detailed statement tomorrow.

WELLS FARGO DONATIONS at Tuesday's event-$8000
WELLS FARGO OWED BACK TAXES ON 3318 DAWN-$6467.68

Monday, October 04, 2010

BLIGHTWATCH 15-WAVERLY UPDATE

Another small victory as yet another Blightwatch property is receiving some attention from the city of Memphis. This is the Fourth Blightwatch property to be cut in the past two weeks.Sadly there are still three other properties in need of attention on this street, but there is a noticable improvement at 3014 Waverly.
To see what this place looked like before check back a few topics to
BLIGHTWATCH 3


Saturday, October 02, 2010

BLIGHTWATCH 14-NEW CHICAGO-UPDATE

Another small step of progress as we returned out to Decatur street in the New Chicago neighborhood in North Memphis to find that the City of Memphis Div of Community Enhancement has responded by coming out and cutting the grass and excess vegetation on the property. This is a real improvement but is a small passing thing if we cannot ultimately hold the property owner JP MORGAN CHASE accountable. Still we owe a thank you to Community Enhancement for their prompt attention to this matter as this property was cleaned within two weeks after our video launched. To see what the place looked like before check back to our earlier edition to see Blightwatch 5


Link to Blightwatch 14