Feb 20, 2014
New Jersey homeowners marched on a Wells Fargo branch in Irvington on Wednesday, delivering a 2,000-signature petition demanding that the bank stop the sheriff's sale of a CWA member's New Jersey home.
Activists protest a Wells Fargo branch in Irvington, NJ.
Below: Paulette McQueen fights to save her home.
In 2010, Paulette McQueen, a CWA Local 1037 home child care provider and shop steward, missed one mortgage payment. The very next month she attempted to hand deliver the missed payment and the current month's payment, but Wells Fargo refused and began to foreclose on the home, where she works as a child care provider and lives with four generations of her family, including her 86-year-old-mother, Lavinia Curry. A sheriff's sale of the family home is now scheduled for March 25.
CWA has partnered with NJ Communities United, Occupy Homes and the Home Defenders League to help McQueen and her family. Activists in almost a dozen cities across the country also protested at their local Wells Fargo branches.
"We have the money to pay, but Wells Fargo refused to accept it," said McQueen. "For more than three years we've been battling to save our house so our mother can live out the rest of her years with dignity and respect in the place our family calls home. Wells Fargo needs to do right by our family."
Last year, McQueen's story hit national news when the township of Irvington announced a plan that could save her home. Using the legal doctrine of "eminent domain," the new program would acquire houses with underwater mortgages and revalue them on behalf of homeowners so they can make more affordable payments.