Supe buys gay
man time in eviction
by David-Elijah Nahmod
A San Francisco supervisor has intervened in the plight of a gay African American man facing eviction, helping him remain in his home a little longer.
Last week, gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener wrote a letter to Wells Fargo on behalf of Larry Faulks, 59, a gay, disabled African American man facing eviction from his Diamond Heights home.
Wiener wrote to Joe Ohayon, community and client relations representative at Wells Fargo, asking that the bank and DMG Asset Management, which purchased the home from Wells Fargo, find a solution by which Faulks could remain in his home, which has been in his family for the last 50 years.
The letter resulted in a temporary reprieve, as Faulks received a stay on his November 7 eviction for one week.
"I am writing to request that Wells Fargo and DMG work to find a solution by which Mr. Faulks is able to continue residing in his home," Wiener's letter stated in part. "By copy of this letter, I am also requesting that the Sheriff's Department stay the eviction until further notice."
Faulks said that he has guaranteed income. Both he and his brother, who lives with him, collect monthly disability checks. He has additional income from rent he receives from a long-term tenant/roommate. In spite of his best efforts to provide this information to the bank, Wells Fargo and DMG continue to move forward with the eviction.
"The bank promised five times in writing that they would not sell the house while a modification was being processed," Faulks said in a follow-up interview. "If they had just said 'you can't afford the house' and would have let me sell it on my own, I could use the equity to buy another house. The way the bank handled things I'm almost broke."
The stress of this situation has further impacted Faulks's health. "I'm spending more and more time seeing doctors," he said.
The Bay Area Reporter asked Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido if Faulks's guaranteed income could be used to persuade the bank to buy the home back from DMG and work out monthly payments with Faulks.
"Unfortunately, despite repeated comprehensive reviews of Mr. Faulks's information we were not successful in finding an option that would allow him to retain the home," Pulido stated in an email. "The efforts that began in August 2010 and continued through this year have included an offer of financial relocation assistance, which we are still willing to provide to help transition Mr. Faulks and his brother to a new residence."
DMG did not respond to a phone message seeking comment.
Housing activist Tommi Avicolli Mecca alleged that most foreclosures in San Francisco include a legal violation.
"According to an independent audit commissioned by Assessor Phil Ting's office, 84 percent of foreclosures in San Francisco contain a legal violation and 66 percent contained multiple violations. That means a lot of people are losing their homes when they shouldn't be," he said.
Housing activists have protested Faulks's eviction and have angrily denounced the bank.
"Wells Fargo has been preying on vulnerable people for decades," said Will Doherty, a.k.a. Stardust. "They've persuaded unsuspecting seniors, the disabled, those with life threatening illnesses, people of color, the poor, and the LGBT community to take out loans Wells should never have offered them."
On November 13, Faulks informed the B.A.R. that he's received no further extensions on his pending eviction.