“We wanted to make a deposit.”
“We wanted to make a deposit. Unfortunately they don’t want to take our deposit,” Boston resident Lisa Hines said of the ten large black trash bags residents collected from a deteriorating foreclosed home owned by Bank of America. This morning, 15 volunteers spent two hours cleaning up the Boston property and transported the trash to a local Bank of America Branch, chanting “Bank of America, bad for America” as they attempted to make their “deposit.”
Trash ranged from tree limbs to toys, an abandoned television from the yard and a gutter that was hanging from the house. Residents were frustrated at the deteriorated property, noting the blight is not only an eyesore and unsafe, but they fear it will lower their home values as buyers judge the neighborhood and assume it is rundown because of the Bank of America owned vacant property.
Bank of America says they had recently sent in workers to clean up the property, but residents say the home still has furniture, toys and trash in the home, but some leaves might have been raked.
A peaceful protest to make a point
Protesters knew that local branch might not be charged with the property and police showed up when the chanting drew out the branch manager who protesters said politely listened yet refused the “deposit.” Protestors posed for local media with the trash, loaded the bags up and left peacefully.
“It was just very energizing to feel like you’re making a difference and doing something,” Hines told the Boston Globe. She added that Malden residents will help with a similar protest in Everett next month. “Basically they need to be accountable for their property. They foreclosed on these people, they wouldn’t renegotiate their mortgage, they kicked them out, and the place is overgrown and it’s a mess. The message is: Take care of your property. If you’re going to kick people out and you’re not going to let people stay there and take care of their own property, they should take care of that.”
A Bank of America spokesperson said that they “take immediate action” when contacted at fieldservices.bankofamerica.com when any of their one million plus properties is in disrepair.