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Borrower Advocacy Groups Present Resolution at Wells Fargo Shareholder Meeting

Bob Nelson

Homeowner advocates are calling on John Stumpf, the CEO of Wells Fargo Bank and bank shareholders to review the mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices of the bank. The bank’s annual shareholder meeting is in Salt Lake City Tuesday. The group Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project joined other advocate groups at the meeting to present a joint resolution. Josh Zinner is NEDAP's co-director. He says Wells Fargo is not meeting the requirements of the $175 million dollar settlement with the Department of Justice over questionable lending practices with homeowners.

“They’re required to do these loan modifications in a non-discriminatory manner but we believe that these modifications are not reaching communities of color and low income communities,” Zinner says.

He says the resolution also calls into question the payday lending practices of Wells Fargo’s product known as Direct Deposit Advance which is available in Utah but is not legal in New York.

Credit Bob Nelson
Protest groups from Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and Salt Lake City-based Peaceful Uprising gather in front of the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, site of the Wells Fargo Shareholders meeting.

“So it doesn’t actually help people, it harms people." "Instead," Zinner says, "Wells Fargo should provide an affordable, underwritten, small-dollar credit product to adequately serve communities. They’re not doing this.”

Wells Fargo's Assistant Vice-President of Corporate Communications, Julie Campbell issued a written statement to KUER in response to the planned protest. She says, "we will always respect the rights of Americans to peacefully assemble, and we welcome open and collaborative dialog with our stakeholders." 

Campbell did not respond directly to the main concerns by protestors about the Direct Deposit Advance product of Wells Fargo.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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