Residents from southeast San Diego’s Mountain View neighborhood took matters into their own hands yesterday; cleaning up garbage accumulating at a foreclosed property owned the Bank of America, and “depositing” it outside a nearby branch office of that financial institution. The doors were locked at B of A’s 36th and National location as reporters and TV camera crews watched community members, led by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, unload furniture, appliances and litter gathered from the shuttered, but uncared for, property currently owned by the bank.
The dramatic protest was staged to call attention to the proposed Property Value Protection Ordinance, under consideration by the San Diego City Council. The law would require banks to register homes in the city upon the filing of a notice of default, with a $100-a-day fee for failure to obey the act. If lenders register a distressed home but fail to properly maintain the property (leading to blight), the bank would be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 a day. This, proponents say, would help the city cover the true cost of neglected properties.