October 25, 2013

Wells Fargo rains cash on region’s ark angels

Wells Fargo Bank in Boulder believes in “rain-making” in the local nonprofit community.

With a nod to Wells Fargo’s biggest shareholder, Warren Buffett, Lane Ernest (the “Ernest” in the Caplan and Ernest LLC law firm in Boulder) had something to say about rain to local nonprofit group representatives who received dollar awards from Wells Fargo recently.

Ernest was on the selection committee for the Community Assistance Foundation awards, which were handed out at a breakfast on Oct. 15.

It’s OK to violate what Noah said about predicting rain, Ernest told the assembled group. (You remember Noah – the one who built the ark.)

But if you’re not worried about rain, you’d better be worried about building something to protect you from it, Ernest said. He thanked award recipients for building their own arks to help other people.

This year, Wells Fargo gave $20,000 in grants to nonprofit groups such as the Bridge House – Ready to Work program, which helps homeless people find jobs; the Nederland Area Seniors, which provides meals and activities to Nederland seniors; and to KidCommute Inc. in Boulder, which gives kids incentives to ride their bikes. The Bridge House program and KidCommute each received $1,500 from Wells Fargo. Nederland Area Seniors received $1,000.

Wells Fargo market president Sam Inman cracked jokes at his own expense as he handed out checks at the breakfast. Since Inman recently took over as market president in Boulder, he said he had to ask what some of the organizational acronyms were for the nonprofits who applied for awards, for example. The ones he asked about were BIPR, the Boulder Institute for Psychotherapy and Research, which received $750 from Wells Fargo at the breakfast; and BOHO, the Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, which received $1,000.

Other nonprofits in the region that received money include: Legacy of Learning, $1,000; the Ratna Foundation, $1,000; Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, $500; Voices for Children CASA, $1,500; Harvest of Hope Pantry, $750; Boulder Housing Partners Foundation, $1,000; The Grillo Health Information Center, $1,000; Saint Benedict Health and Healing Ministry, $1,000; Veterans Helping Veterans Now, $1,000; New Horizons Cooperative Preschool, $500; Coal Creek Meals on Wheels, $1,250; Boulder Emergency Squad, $1,750; Chamber Music Society, $500; and Community Action Development Corp., $1,500.

Wells Fargo in Colorado gave $4.3 million to charity activities in 2012, Inman said. Each Colorado Wells Fargo worker gets two work days per year to volunteer in the community – putting in 2,800 hours of time last year, Inman said.

Back to Ernest: He told the group that he now works as a chaplain on a cruise ship. He also was a Boulder County Business Hall of Fame inductee in 2007. His ark analogy was right on target on a rainy morning in Boulder just weeks after flooding hit the region.

Mortgage settlement update

Five national banks face new oversight rules about how they deal with homeowners trying to save their homes from foreclosure. One indication of how foreclosure affects the region: 82 homes in Boulder and Broomfield counties were sold in foreclosure sales in the second quarter of 2013, according to Colorado Division of Housing statistics.

The five national banks will follow more rules about how they work with homeowners facing potential foreclosure, according to a press statement from the Colorado Attorney General’s office. Attorneys general across the nation are monitoring the banks and came up with the new rules this summer after consumers continued to complain about the banks.

The five banks are Ally Financial Inc. (previously known as GMAC Inc., which stands for General Motors Acceptance Corp.), Bank of America Corp, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Co. and Wells Fargo and Co. The banks were involved in the National Mortgage Settlement in 2012 after consumers complained they weren’t treated fairly by the banks during foreclosure processes. In Colorado, 3,700 homeowners received $207.4 million – much of it in the form of debt forgiveness – from the national settlement, according to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

In response to the new oversight rules, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have added new review systems that are expected to be more responsive to homeowners who contact them about loan modifications, Suthers said in the press release.

Homeowners who are behind on their mortgages or facing foreclosure can contact the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline at 1-877-601-4673 to talk with a housing counselor about their options.

Beth Potter can be contacted at 303-630-1944 or bpotter@bcbr.com.

Wells Fargo Bank in Boulder believes in “rain-making” in the local nonprofit community.

With a nod to Wells Fargo’s biggest shareholder, Warren Buffett, Lane Ernest (the “Ernest” in the Caplan and Ernest LLC law firm in Boulder) had something to say about rain to local nonprofit group representatives who received dollar awards from Wells Fargo recently.

Ernest was on the selection committee for the Community Assistance Foundation awards, which were handed out at a breakfast on Oct. 15.

It’s OK to violate what Noah said about predicting rain, Ernest told the assembled group. (You remember Noah – the one who built the ark.)

But…

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