letters and counting!
Dear soulless pig, I understand most parasites are not equipped with a conscience, so I'm not writing to appeal to yours. I just thought I'd register my case among the millions so your crimes can be fairly counted when you and your ilk are someday brought to justice. My mother was a teacher. She was a homeowner and a single mother of two. That was before the crash. Even then, she struggled to make ends meet, and was delighted when someone at her friendly, local Wells Fargo office offered to refinance her mortgage. When the money she'd borrowed against the suffocatingly small townhome she raised me in failed to cover her rising mortgage payments, medical bills, and the costs of raising her family, you foreclosed on her. She was able to sell before the foreclosure was finalized, and moved into a small apartment. She filed for bankruptcy and though she felt ashamed, she hoped the terms of the bankruptcy and managed repayment of the debt she still owed on her mortgage would spare her at least the barrage of threatening phone calls she received from your company. Amazingly, your calls continued unabated for months. One evening around 9 PM, my mother's new neighbor, a woman in her 80s who relied on an oxygen tank, struggled to my mother's door, wheeling her tank behind her. Someone named Kelly from Wells Fargo had been calling the neighbor and insisted she let my mother know they wanted to speak to her. When my mom told me this story, I wasn't sure I believed it. Surely that sort of harassment had to be illegal. But we've since learned this was indeed a common practice of the thugs in your employ. In the years since the crash, the austerity and union-busting politicians in you pocket have undertaken to make sure people like my mother are the ones to pay for your crisis have hit my mother hard. She was laid off from her last teaching job along with hundreds of colleagues, but as she was a year from retirement and holds a master degree, she was considered too expensive to rehire by any district. In a matter of months, she was evicted from her apartment and spent the next fifteen months homeless. The daily struggle to secure medications and food, which had become familiar through years of living with bankruptcy payments and the ever-sky-rocketing costs of treating her chronic health conditions, intensified a thousandfold. In every public aid office she's visited in the last year and half, she's been met with skepticism. The burden is always to prove she is worthy of food stamps, or rental assistance, or job training, or any other scrap of support. This burden amplifies her feelings of shame and embarrassment. And it's completely backward. My mother has nothing to apologize for. She's been the victim of organized crime—your crime. Since mid-September, millions of people like mother have had a chance to see in the encampments from Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Oakland that they are not alone. That they are not to blame. That, as Steinbeck wrote in Grapes of Wrath, they are the result, not the cause. The result, not the cause. The result of your unbridled greed and power, not the cause of the crisis they endure.