A national effort to reclaim vacant properties has one of the country’s largest lenders scrambling.
The financial website Zero Hedge has allegedly obtained a memo from Bank of America’s field services operation warning, “We need to make sure we are all prepared.”
Vocal New York organizer Sean Barry told Raw Story Tuesday that an action known as “Occupy Our Homes” would place foreclosed and homeless families in otherwise-vacant homes. That effort began Tuesday with over 40 events in more than 20 cities.
“On Tuesday December 6th there is a potential nationwide protest planned that could impact our industry,” BofA employee Leonard Pavlov reportedly wrote to BAC Field Services. “We believe the protests will likely take place tomorrow at auction sites, homes that are being foreclosed, homes in the eviction stage and vacant homes.”
Among other things, the memo claims Pavlov called on field services not to engage with protesters, but to ensure that BofA properties are “secured.”
But it will probably take more than a few vigilant bank employees to deter the 99 percent movement.
“When it comes to Wall Street’s control over our economy, our democracy and our lives, there’s few better examples than the housing crisis,” Barry said Tuesday. “Occupy Wall Street is going to continue to support this national Occupy Our Homes campaign, and both defend homeowners who are being threatened with eviction due to foreclosure, and to move families that need homes into vacant buildings that banks are just sitting on.”
Bank of America had not responded to a request for comment by the time of publication.
Update: Bank of America has confirmed the authenticity of the memo.
“As a matter of normal course of business, when we are alerted to activities that may affect our real estate owned properties, we inform our third party contractors,” spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens told Raw Story. “This is standard operating procedure. The safety of our associates and third party contractors is our first priority. It is the bank’s policy to protect and secure our properties for the investors who own them. Bank of America is committed to helping our customers with home retention solutions and other foreclosure avoidance programs. Foreclosure is always our last resort.”
Photo: Vocal New York
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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