25 Cameo Way: Home Protected by Occupy

The home of Larry Faulks at 25 Cameo Way in San Francisco is protected by Occupy.

Prospective buyers and realtors should be aware that Wells Fargo sold the property illegally at a foreclosure auction to DMG Asset Management, which then illegally evicted Larry from the home.

Realtors should provide buyers with full disclosure about the illegal foreclosure and eviction before showing the property to any potential buyer.

There are currently three federal agencies investigating the case, since Larry never received notice of the foreclosure sale from the trustee and only heard about it when an auction investor visited his home less than an hour before the foreclosure auction.

Minutes of Legal Strategy Meeting to Halt Foreclosures

Legal Strategy Meeting to Halt Foreclosures and Related Auctions and Evictions

May 16, 2012, at MEDA office in San Francisco

Link: PDF for printing

Duration: 2 hours, 11am – 1pm


  • C.J. Holmes
  • Colin Davis
  • Dave Crow
  • Deepa Varma
  • Jose Luis Rodriguez
  • Selwyn Whitehead
  • Sheila
  • Stardust (facilitator)


  1. Introductions (5 minutes)
  2. Overview of Current Housing Crisis (5 minutes)
    Comments from CJ Holmes and Jose Luis Rodriguez
    California is a non-judicial (for almost all foreclosures currently) and judicial state
    Idea of affidavit of authority
    Deed of trust with power of sales clauses: consumers give away rights to judicial process
    Lenders don’t currently offer loans without power of sale clause
  3. Overview of Current Foreclosure and Related Law (20 minutes)
    • U.S. Law
      Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act
      Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
      Truth in Lending Act (applies when new buyer)
      U.S. Bankruptcy Code (stops all foreclosure and other actions once in bankruptcy, lenders misappropriating trustee funds, trustee represents unsecured creditors, trustee works for Department of Justice)
      (Attorney General settlement)
    • California Law
      California Civil Code 2924: foreclosure
      2932, 2936: substitution of trustees, assignments
      (Nevada changed law for filing false documents with person signing getting felony penalty)
      California Code of Civil Procedure 1161 for tenants
      California Code of Civil Procedure 1161A for homeowners
      California gives very few rights on unlawful detainers
      California 1812.601-609: auctioneers
      California 827: 60-day notice law for tenants if in possession over a year
      California 2936: right to the security
      Discussion of loan modifications and bankruptcies
      Constitution 4th amendment: protection from seizure without oath or affidavit (people may sign away rights to real property)
    • San Francisco Law
      Article 12 and 12-C
      San Francisco Rent Ordinance
  4. Pending Legislation (10 minutes)
    • U.S. Congress
      Boxer Bill: Homeowner Refinance Act
      Feinstein Bill
    • California
      Homeowner Bill of Rights:
      AB 1602 / SB 1470: affidavit law
      AB 2425 / SB 1471: due process
      AB 2314 / SB 1472: blight prevention
      AB 2610 / SB 1473: tenant protection
      AB 1950
      AB 1763 / SB 1474: AG grand jury
    • San Francisco
      Avalos proposal to treat foreclosed homeowners as renters
      Avalos ballot measure to close foreclosure tax loophole
  5. Litigation Theories (20 minutes)
    If homeowner wants to sue, burden of proof is on them. Judges have for years imposed burden of a bond to get into court, for example monthly amount similar to mortgage payment into escrow.

    Cause of auction in federal court may not require bond.

    Breach of civil code or assignment is fraudulent or didn’t give notice of default or dispute of default or dispute over modification or noticing procedures all require bond.

    California Appellate court (email Colin for info) might not have to post bond.

    Those who can post a bond and get competent counsel.

    Foreclosing banks are almost always assignees, like trustees for a securitized trust

    Tactic 1: Break apart the assignment

    If assignment of deed of trust is fraudulent, judge will ask for a cause of action for quiet title (clearing all issues with title) or declaratory relief. People have been litigating on fraudulent assignments for several years, but Appellate court now says that requirement for assignment only applies to mortgage not to deeds of trust. The assignment could be filed and be fraudulent, but since it is no longer required for a trustee sale, it is not a legal cause for action. MERS challenges are not easy in this situation.

    Tactic 2: Break apart substitution of trustee

    If substitution is false, then could not foreclose. Have to prove everything alleged without being a party of MERS, so discovery process is difficult. Some appellate case law on segregating the note from the deed of trust in non-MERS cases.

    Tactic 3: Predatory lending

    Examples: cheated on application, stated income, said could refinance, elderly and/or on fixed pensions, didn’t disclose balloon payment, variable interest rates, etc. Broker breach of fiduciary duty. Signing of documents in a non-native language. Generally fails, except in some cases with language issues. Remedies: damages, foreclosed loan modification, RESPA (if within 3 days to 3 years after origination if breach of code). Possibility of down payment refund as a remedy? HERA has had some success on “statute of repose” argument, “equitable tolling”. Bankruptcy courts can tear up contracts. Bankruptcy judges have a 14-year appointment, so conscious about pushing the law.

    Tactic 4: Bankruptcies

    Gateway to litigation while keeping homeowner in house. Incentive for banks to do modifications and shows judges that homeowners can dependably make payments at 31% of gross income. Building up a war chest of funds for litigation. Violations of rules during bankruptcies: paying property taxes, etc. Even if litigation fails, they pay “rent” to stay in home and discharge other debts.

    Tactic 5: MERS Challenges

    All failed. No disclosures about who sponsors, etc. are, so they are off record and invented MERS system. Original lender is MERS agent and everyone in banking is a MERS agent. When note passes from one MERS agent to the next, it is an in-house transfer. “Milestones” are supposed to show chain of transfer, but records are incomplete since there is no enforcement to enter “milestones”. Several years ago, some successes in other states since MERS was doing foreclosures in their own name. MERS stopped doing foreclosures in their own name in California or elsewhere. Now a fictitious assignee does it, so tried to challenge it, but no law to produce the note. In some states, MERS can no longer assign either.

    Tactic 6: Class Actions?

    Beals v B of A

    Depends on stage at which case is being fought: pre-foreclosure or during foreclosure or eviction. Also requires deep pockets, so discriminates against low-income folks. Bankruptcies helpful in getting a reasonable loan modification to make it possible to have cash to litigate.

  6. Strategy Brainstorming (30 minutes)

    Need multiple strategies on many levels.

    Law students can do research.

    Make banks spend lots of money whenever possible.

    a. Notices of Sale Must be Unconditional Notices to Pay? Not negotiable instruments under law. Loophole may or may not work in litigation.

    b. Get homes back at auction? Gag order.

    c. Go after trustee companies and robo-signers.

    d. Go after attorneys filing fraudulent documents: Bar Association complaints.

    e. Lawsuits for malicious prosecutions.

    f. California auction bond requirement

    g. Civil Code: cancellation of instruments. Any interested party can go to court to cancel an instrument (and possibly subsequent instruments based on it) if it’s fraudulent. Have to show that language is untrue, since has to be “duly acknowledged”. Simple, cheap complaint.

  7. Legal Support for Foreclosure/Auction/Eviction Activists (10 minutes)
    Didn’t make it to this agenda item.
  8. Followup Tasks (20 minutes)

Legal Strategies to Halt Foreclosures Meeting

Occupy SF Housing, ACCE, MEDA, and Occupy Bernal are working together to invite attorneys for a legal strategy session on how to halt foreclosures and related evictions. We’ve begun discussions with the National Lawyer’s Guild about their participation as well.


Once the invitation below is finalized, we plan to encourage participation at the Legal Strategies to Halt Foreclosure meeting by sending it out to the list of attorney invitees as well as to attorney email lists.
From: legalstrategy@occupysfhousing.org
To: {attorney email addresses}
Subject: Legal Strategies to Halt Foreclosures and Related Auctions and Evictions

Are you an attorney concerned about the housing crisis and the predatory bank loans that have thrown millions out of their homes?

If so, you’re invited to a meeting on legal strategies to halt foreclosures and related auctions and evictions.


Legal Strategies Session to Halt Foreclosures and Related Auctions and Evictions


11:00am to 1:00pm on Wednesday, May 16

Where (unless we find a downtown law office willing to host the event):

Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
2301 Mission Street, Suite 301
San Francisco, CA 94110

Proposed agenda at http://occupysfhousing.org/wordpress/?p=51#legalstrategiesagenda

Attorneys invited listed at http://occupysfhousing.org/wordpress/?p=51#legalstrategiesinvitees

The movement to keep people in their homes needs effective legal strategies and support to succeed. Please consider joining us for this important meeting.

Please RSVP for the meeting by sending an email to legalstrategy@occupysfhousing.org.

If you have materials on relevant law and legislation to cite in a packet for meeting participants, please send along with your RSVP.

Please feel free to forward this invitation on to other attorneys who may be interested in attending.

In solidarity,

Occupy SF Housing, ACCE, MEDA, Occupy Bernal

Banks have created a housing crisis by offering predatory loans and, despite receiving billions in taxpayer bailouts, have refused in many cases to provide a fair deal to their mortgage loan customers, pressuring or evicting millions of neighbors from their homes and resulting in the largest land grab since the Great Depression.

Occupy and established housing rights organizations have tried to shift the tide and have gained the attention of elected officials in San Francisco, Sacramento, and elsewhere. State Attorney Kamala Harris has called for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosure activity until fair settlements are in place and the Board of Supervisors and Mayor of San Francisco have called for a moratorium or pause on foreclosures until the state legislature passes the Homeowner Bill of Rights. But so far, our elected officials have been powerless to stop the banks from continuing foreclosures and related auctions and evictions.

In San Francisco, the Occupy the Auctions and Evictions campaign has stopped many foreclosure auctions since April 27, 2012, by direct action methods, postponing the auctions of dozens of homes, but it is unknown how long this will be successful.
Organizations and Campaigns:

Occupy SF Housing is a coalition which includes OccupySF, SF Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee of SF, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Eviction Defense Collaborative, ACCE, Homes Not Jails, Occupy Bernal, and other community groups and individuals. The coalition came together to stop banks from evicting tenants and homeowners through foreclosures or through their partnerships with real estate speculators. Web: http://www.occupysfhousing.org

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) is raising up the voices of low income, immigrant and working families across California. Web: http://www.calorganize.org

Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) is a community-based, local economic development corporation located in the Mission District of San Francisco. For over 38 years MEDA has worked to improve economic and social conditions in the neighborhood by stimulating investment, enhancing the business environment, and creating jobs for area residents. MEDA is committed to maintaining the cultural identity and resources of the Mission District. Web: http://medasf.org

Occupy Bernal is a neighborhood-based Occupy currently focusing on preventing the banks from throwing our neighbors out of their homes. Web: http://www.occupybernal.org

Occupy the Auctions/Evictions is a campaign to halt for-profit and predatory evictions, foreclosures, and foreclosure auctions in San Francisco and beyond. Web: http://www.occupytheauctions.org and http://www.occupyevictions.org

Meeting Agenda (Proposed)

If you have suggestions for the meeting agenda, please let us know at legalstrategy@occupysfhousing.org.

Agenda for Legal Strategy Meeting on Foreclosures

Target duration: 2 hours

I. Introductions (5 minutes)

II. Overview of Current Housing Crisis (5 minutes)

III. Overview of Current Foreclosure and Related Law (20 minutes)

A. U.S. Law
B. California Law
C. San Francisco Law

IV. Pending Legislation (10 minutes)

A. U.S. Congress
B. California (Homeowner Bill of Rights)
C. San Francisco

V. Litigation Theories (20 minutes)

VI. Strategy Brainstorming (30 minutes)

VII. Legal Support for Foreclosure/Auction/Eviction Activists (10 minutes)

VIII. Followup Tasks (20 minutes)

A. Workgroup(s)
B. Email List(s)
C. Next Meeting(s)

Invitee List

Here is a proposed list of attorneys to invite to a legal strategy meeting focused on halting foreclosures and related auctions and evictions.

We are planning to have other organizers who are not attorneys attend to provide perspectives on current activism, legislation, and other topics, but the focus of the meeting will be on participation of the attorneys who attend.

If you know other attorneys who should receive an invitation, please let us know at legalstrategy@occupysfhousing.org.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Unanimously Passes Foreclosure Moratorium Resolution

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on April 10 voted unanimously to pass a resolution calling for “support for state and federal measures to protect homeowners and suspension of foreclosure activities in San Francisco”. The resolution supports the Homeowner Bill of Rights legislation before the state legislature and urges city and county officials and departments to protect homeowners from unlawful foreclosures. The resolution also urges all mortgage and banking institutions to suspend foreclosure activities and related auctions and evictions until state and federal measures to protect homeowners from unfair and unlawful practices, as well as provisions for principal reductions, are in place.

Link: More info and photos

Last Chance Sale for Kathryn Galves

9:00am – 6:00pm on
Saturday, April 7
1164 Church St @24th

On March 28, Wells Fargo Bank evicted our neighbor Kathryn Galves from the Noe Valley home where she lived for forty years, along with her sister Renita and their dog Betty.

Come discover some amazing bargains and help Kathryn raise rent and moving expenses (furniture, housewares, antiques, collectibles).

Link: Flyer (Please print, distribute, and post widely!)

Are you facing foreclosure or eviction? Or want to help others? Predatory foreclosures and evictions have no place in San Francisco. Check out www.occupyevictions.org.

Occupy Wells Fargo Noe Valley Action to Protest Kathryn Galves Eviction

Please join us from 9:00am to 6:00pm tomorrow, Saturday, March 24, at the Wells Fargo Noe Valley branch at 4045 24th Street between Castro & Noe Streets.

We will be protesting Wells Fargo Bank’s pending eviction of Kathryn Galves, her sister, and their dog, scheduled for this Wednesday, March 28.

To call/email Wells Fargo to get them to the bargaining table, please go to the action alert accompanying this action.

This action brought to you by Occupy SF Housing Coalition and Occupy Bernal.

Background Information

Kathryn Galves purchased her lovely home at 1164 Church Street in 1972 and the home increased in value considerably over the years. She is a military widow who banked on the increased value of her property to invest in an out-of-state property with a Section 8 (affordable public housing) tenant. The investment did not go well and she lost more to book sales customers who didn’t pay for their orders. Kathryn lives on a fixed annuity income and her live-in sister earns a meager living as a caretaker. When her financial situation went sour, Kathryn filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but Wells Fargo Bank successfully challenged the bankruptcy, then foreclosed on her home and it went to foreclosure auction.

No one bid for the property at auction, so it became “bank-owned”, that is, owned by Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo has filed for the San Francisco Sheriff to evict Kathryn, her sister, and their dog from her home of 40 years. Kathryn has found a long-term neighbor who is willing to purchase her home and let her, her sister, and their dog remain in the home. Despite many requests by Kathryn and the prospective buyer, Wells Fargo has refused to come to the bargaining table regarding selling the home.

Foreclosure Fighter Forum

Please join us for this presentation and training for renters and homeowners facing eviction, foreclosure, or foreclosure auction. Anyone in support of the Occupy movement is welcome to attend.

When: March 31, 2012 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Where: Sports Basement, Grotto Room 1590 Bryant St San Francisco CA, 94103 USA

Contact: Becca Gourevitch becca@sftu.org

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