Bay Area residents in DC protest against banks

May 20, 2013 5:41:19 PM PDT
Protesters from San Francisco risked arrest in Washington D.C. Monday -- they want bankers jailed over what happened with the foreclosure crisis.

The protest in D.C. was pretty large consisting of 400-500 people. The one in San Francisco was much smaller. Still, both had the same message that banks shouldn't be too big to fail and that bankers shouldn't be too big to jail.

Bayview resident Vivian Richardson was on the streets of D.C. protesting outside Attorney General Eric Holder's office Monday. The 500 or so protestors marched to the Justice Department headquarters, angry over what Holder said in a Senate hearing a little over two months ago.

Holder told the Judiciary Committee he is concerned that some banks are too big. "If you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy," he said March 6, 2013.

Holder said that has an inhibiting influence on his department and he's concerned about it, and he thinks Congress should be as well. But during Monday's protests, Holder's statement got boiled down to the phrase "too big to jail."

In the nation's capital, Richardson said bankers should be jailed. "Well, they created this. They created the crash of the homeowners," she said.

In 2011, ABC7 News met with Richardson in her Bayview home. She thought she was about to be tossed out. Behind in her payments, the mortgage company filed for foreclosure, but they did not foreclose. Richardson was offered a loan modification and in the end, still has the house today.

In San Francisco Monday afternoon, Ross Rhodes took a vocal part in the protest. "And our justice system is saying hey they're too big to go to jail. Corporations are too big to fail," he told a crowd. But he too escaped foreclosure. His lender, Wells Fargo, agreed to drop his interest from 7.5 percent down to 2 percent over 40 years.

On Monday, Wells Fargo sent a statement saying the bank has helped more than 8 million homeowners get new low-rate loans either to purchase or refinance their existing mortgages since 2009.

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