Wells Fargo offering free home loan workshops


More than 1,100 people have already signed up to speak with Wells Fargo counselors, but with walk-ins included there are considerably more. Attendees include people having trouble making their mortgage payments, people who anticipate having trouble making their mortgage payments because their adjustable-rate mortgages are going up, and people experiencing income problems.

The counselors are primarily offering advice, but say that if the people bring the correct paperwork like W-2s, tax returns and bills, they can and will write modifications on the spot or offer other options on a case-by-case basis.

Critics say Wells Fargo could be doing more, but the bank says they have written more than 500,000 modifications since 2009. The critics say they could be doing more and making the process easier.

"Well, the mortgage has escalated from the beginning," homeowner Bessie Scott told ABC7. "The payment was around $1,200 and now it has escalated to over $2,400. And so, it has caused quite a bit of stress."

"If we look at the numbers that come from the Treasury Department that show that less than eight percent of all the folks that are eligible for medications from Wells Fargo have a permanent modification, those numbers are just unacceptable," said Kevin Stein with the California Reinvestment Coalition.

"Just in 2009 and the first part of this year, we've extended over half-a-million different modification options to our customers, of which over 140,000 of those are under the federal government program," said Wells Fargo Vice President Joe Ohayon. "So, there are options. By all means, pick up the phone. If you can't make it out, call us directly. Or, if you're in the Oakland area please come out and see us over the next couple days."

Over 300 Wells Fargo employees are participating in the event which will continue for two more days. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred.

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