Clergy, Homeowners, Unions to Hold Banks Accountable for Foreclosures, Recession at Shareholder Meetings Nationwide

Three large-scale events taking place across the nation at Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase shareholder meetings, details about each below

As 50 State Attorneys General move closer to a settlement agreement with the Wall Street banks that defrauded millions of homeowners, hundreds of clergy, homeowners, and workers will attend and speak out at bank shareholder meetings across the nation in May. The month-long events are part of The New Bottom Line, a national campaign focused on creating an economy that works for the many, and not the few.

Large-scale protests with visuals such as banners, puppets, and placards with scripture are planned at Wells Fargo’s shareholder meeting in San Francisco on May 3; Bank of America’s shareholder meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 11; and JPMorgan Chase’s shareholder meeting in Columbus, Ohio on May 17.

Homeowners, clergy, and American families with The New Bottom Line campaign are calling on the banks to:

  • Pay their fair share of taxes.  To help the economy recovery, banks must pay the federally mandated 35% tax rate, instead of the approximate 11% percent of their pre-tax earnings they paid in 2009 and 2010.  In addition, they should pay the $13 billion in back taxes that they owe the American people from those two years.
  • Stabilize the housing market and help revitalize the economy.  The banks should sign a settlement agreement with the 50 State Attorneys General that creates permanent loan modifications and principal reductions for defrauded homeowners.
  • Invest in American jobs.  The banks should stop shipping jobs overseas and should start making loans to small businesses to create more jobs.  For example, JPMorgan Chase has reduced small business lending by 75% in the wake of taxpayer-funded bailouts designed to spur lending.

In addition to the large-scale marches on shareholder meetings, the campaign organizers are releasing three tongue-in-cheek ads that Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase would run if they took responsibility for foreclosing on homeowners fraudulently and wrecking the economy.

“For too long, Wall Street banks have avoided paying their fair share of taxes and drove this country into a financial crisis. Not one more child should have to sacrifice her health care or education because big banks cook their books. Not one more senior should have to live in poverty because a bank shifted its profits to an overseas account,” said George Goehl, Executive Director of National People’s Action, a coalition member of The New Bottom Line.

Details about Citizen Actions at Bank Shareholder Meetings: 


What:  Rally outside of Wells Fargo shareholders meeting. Delegation of homeowners, clergy, and labor going inside the meeting to talk to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.

Visuals:  Banners, cardboard homes, other visuals

Who:  500+ homeowners, workers and clergy from The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), California State Labor Federation, California Nurses Association (CNA), Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organizing (CCISCO), Causa Justa: Just Cause, ENLACE, Jobs for Justice, National Education Association (NEA), Oakland Education Association (OEA), PICO California, PICO National Network, SEIU United Service Workers West and Local 1021, Tenants Together 

:  May 3, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. Pacific time

Where:  Justin Herman Plaza, downtown San Francisco

Why Wells Fargo?  Wells Fargo was one of the biggest subprime lenders in the United States, with a history of discriminatory lending practices. The bank is kicking thousands of CA families out of their homes by refusing to provide permanent loan modifications.  At the height of the robo-signing scandal, Wells Fargo refused to even temporarily halt foreclosures despite admitting that its faulty procedures could have resulted in tens of thousands of improper foreclosures.   

What are citizens calling for?  Wells Fargo must take action on shareholder proposals to keep families in their homes, rebuild neighborhoods, pay its fair share of taxes, and stop predatory lending.  Citizens will also call on State Attorneys General to hold firm for a strong settlement agreement with Wells Fargo and other banks and show their support for current state legislative bills that protect homeowners and make banks pay for the cost of foreclosure on communities. 

Personal stories available including:  Borrowers like Domingo Delgadillo contacted Wells Fargo for a modification but was told that since he was not behind on his payments, he could not be considered for a loan modification. He was told to skip a payment in order to apply for a modification, which forced him to ruin his credit. Nine months later, he is still without a modification. Similarly, Tanya Dennis, an Oakland school teacher, was a victim of Wachovia’s “pick a pay” loan. After Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia, Ms. Dennis discovered that it was not the holder of her note. In spite of that, Wells Fargo proceeded with foreclosure and evicted Ms. Dennis, her son and three-year-old granddaughter from their home. It was not until Ms. Dennis took action with other borrowers that Wells Fargo relented and put her loan under consideration for a modification. 


What:  50+ clergy and people of faith hold prayer action at Bank of America shareholders meeting. Delegation with proxies will speak on the floor of the meeting.

Visuals:  Clergy with clerical vestments, placards with scripture, banners.

Who:  Clergy with North Carolina United Power and Industrial Areas Foundation of the             Southeast (IAF-SE)

When:  May 11, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time

Where:  Bank of America headquarters, One Bank of America Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Why Bank of America?  Bank of America is the leading bank foreclosing on families with countless examples of disrespecting homeowners during the foreclosure and loan modification process. In an analysis by Moody’s, Bank of America ranks at the bottom of the barrel in granting permanent loan modifications. It has also left by far the most struggling homeowners hanging in limbo, without either modifying their loans or foreclosing on them.

What are citizens calling for?  Bank of America should take leadership for reaching a settlement agreement with the 50 State Attorneys General that creates permanent loan modifications and principal reductions for homeowners. Bank of America must negotiate in good faith with the homeowners it has foreclosed upon, in danger of losing their homes, or owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.   


What:  “Showdown in Ohio:” 1,000+ community, faith, and labor leaders will descend upon Columbus to deliver a message to Wall Street: it is time for big banks like JPMorgan Chase to pay their fair share of taxes, create jobs, and end the revenue crisis.

Visuals:  Banners, Wanted Posters, Large Puppets

Who:  1,000+ members of National People’s Action

When:  May 17, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time

JPMorgan Chase, 1111 Polaris Parkway, Columbus, OH

Why JPMorgan Chase?  JPMorgan Chase continues to gouge communities by collecting on predatory interest rates from cities and states, has the largest number of foreclosed homes as of 2010, and has reduced small business lending by 75 percent after a government bailout designed to spur lending.

What are citizens calling for?  JPMorgan Chase must stop dodging taxes and start paying its fair share to resolve the revenue crisis; stop foreclosing on 100,000 Ohio families each year; begin stabilizing Ohio neighborhoods and tax base by keeping middle-class and working families in their homes; and start lending to small businesses to create jobs.

In addition, labor and community groups in New York City are planning a massive day of action on Thursday, May 12, with the simple message: “Make Big Banks and Millionaires Pay.”  Thousands of New Yorkers will descend on the financial district to demand that Mayor Bloomberg tax the wealthy and end corporate welfare and giveaways to the big banks to stop the billions in devastating budget cuts the billionaire mayor has proposed.

About The New Bottom Line campaign:

The shareholder actions are part of The New Bottom Line campaign fueled by a coalition of community organizations, congregations, labor unions, and individuals working together to build a movement that challenges established big bank interests on behalf of struggling and middle-class communities. Together, we work to restructure Wall Street to help American families build wealth, close the country’s growing income inequality gap and advance a vision for how our economy can better serve the many rather than the few.

The New Bottom Line campaign includes National People’s Action (NPA), PICO National Network,  Alliance for a Just Society, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and Industrial Areas Foundation of the Southeast (IAF-SE) and dozens of state and local organizations from around the country.