The Oaklandside - California homeowners took out hefty loans. They say contractors fled with the money

OAKLAND, CA - Dozens of Los Angeles residents tumbled out of buses in downtown Oakland on Monday afternoon. Clad in yellow shirts, some wore drums around their necks and others had signs taped to their chests with large dollar amounts—$50,000, $86,000.

They’d driven up from Southern California to protest at the Oakland headquarters of a controversial solar and home-improvement lender. The homeowners and their family members, over 100 people total, are accusing the lender, Solar Mosaic, of teaming up with contractors to take advantage of them.

The protesters allege that Mosaic is issuing payments directly to these companies for work left partially completed or never even started. The homeowners end up in debt with their home in shambles. They’ve organized with the Los Angeles “Home Defenders” chapter of ACCE, a statewide housing advocacy group that’s active in Oakland as well.

Marching inside 601 12th St., a new downtown highrise, the protesters formed a long line inside the lobby. Solar Mosaic has an office inside the building, though its executives appear to be based in Glendale.

The protesters snaked around the room. They chanted, yelled, shook noisemakers, and banged drums. Security guards and front desk staff glanced at each other and got on the phone. They blocked off entry to the rest of the building, but ultimately allowed the protest to continue for over an hour.

“The bank wants to take our house, the house I grew up in,” yelled a young woman into a microphone. “That’s not fair, right?”

“No!” shouted the crowd.

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