As the last of the other customers left, the manager returned and said she was having trouble sending the fax (she said she did not have the fax number on file, and had been trying to send it to the phone number on our flyer!) We said we would stay until she was able to obtain the correct number and return with our receipt. In the meantime, we called the number ourselves and Zaki got on the phone with a representative to ask for the fax number.
While this was happening, police arrived and told us the bank had called them to have us removed. At this point, we had the fax number ourselves, and asked to stay until our letter could be faxed. We explained that we had legitimate business to conduct, that we had done nothing disruptive inside the branch, and that we had always intended to leave when our business was done. Despite all this, we were told not to argue and were given one minute to leave or face arrest.
We discussed together and decided to leave – we joined our group on the sidewalk outside, where we were able to have our press conference, together with our group and the ACCE members who had been to Wells Fargo and Chase Bank.
Debbie Notkin’s report on the scene outside the bank: JP and I were holding the banner out in the street, blocking one of the three lanes of very light traffic. Other folks were handing out flyers and talking with passersby, some of whom were very interested and sympathetic. The first policeman who came to evict the folks inside asked us to move out of the street, which we had privately agreed to do, so we did, but we kept the banner visible on the sidewalk. The cop had asked us not to block the sidewalk, which we kind of half-complied with.
When Zaki and our contingent left the bank, an African-American cop tried to explain to us that we had a right to be on the sidewalk (of course, unless they decide we don’t), but no right to be in the bank if they don’t want us there. He was not interested in questions about whether Zaki, as a customer of the bank, could be removed even if he had done nothing disruptive. The police got in their cars and left, to a certain amount of jeering and taunting, before the ACCE contingent arrived.
They reported success at both their banks–Wells Fargo faxed the loan modification demand letter even though the bank had been shut to let in one customer at a time, and Chase not only faxed the “end credit default swaps letter” but the person who helped them said she agreed with us!
“B of A, send the fax/
That will get us off your backs.”
The best news is, last night Zaki received a call with an offer to reconsider his modification application, and an assurance that his auction date had been moved to November 4.
* * * * * Time to keep the pressure on folks! We may announce a timed phone campaign but any time is a good time to call. Again, please call Debbie Haber, BofA Mortgage, 800-699-6650, for Zaki Alshalyan, Loan #131163177 – and let her know we will be back as necessary! * * * * *