Occupy Chattanooga rallies to support homeowner facing foreclosure

Members of Occupy Chattanooga held a “Foreclosure Free Cookout” yesterday at the home of Filson Manley, a local homeowner who is now facing foreclosure. Supporters had been reaching out to neighbors for weeks, preparing for the cookout, which despite rain was a huge success! 

Fil’s home fell into foreclosure earlier this year. After suffering a loss of income after the 2008 economic crash, Fil applied for a loan modification through the HAMP program with his then servicer IndyMac. He was making his trial payments when his servicer was changed from IndyMac to One West. It’s all went downhill from there, with Fil going back and forth with One West attempting to restart the modification process. 

 

Judge stops eviction of homeowner with disabilities

From Moratorium Now:

 

Detroit — S. Baxter Jones appeared before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Walter Shapero on April 4 in a desperate attempt to stop his eviction from his home. Shapero, in a move that stunned many attorneys, gave Jones a 30-day adjournment, thus keeping the homeowner with disabilities from becoming another victim of Wells Fargo Bank and the federal government’s Fannie Mae agency.

The courtroom was filled with supporters, who sat in hushed silence straining to hear Jones’ remarks. Activists in wheelchairs and with service dogs representing Warriors on Wheels; members of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs; It Takes A Village Y’all; and the Detroit Eviction Defense had rallied to an appeal to “pack the court” that had gone out over social media.

Jones had been severely injured in an accident in 2005. He was well known in Detroit as a school teacher who coached students in track and field. After his injuries, Jones fell behind on the mortgage for his Jackson, Mich., home while waiting for Social Security payments to begin. His appeal for a forbearance from his bank was callously ignored and foreclosure followed.

Jones addressed the judge with clear but labored speech. He explained the circumstances that had brought him to this point and appealed for the chance to keep his home. A written statement that Jones had prepared, appealing for justice that doesn’t benefit greed but rather those in need, was read to the court by a supporter.

Judge Shapero overruled the objections of the attorney for Fannie Mae, who listed all the “proper” legal steps taken by her client to put Jones out of his home. The judge agreed that the law was clear, but stated that “the law isn’t everything.” He ordered the 30-day adjournment until the court could appoint an attorney to assist Jones on a pro bono basis.

 

Atlanta: Parkwood Farms Resumes In Defiance of HSBC/Everyhomes

Originally posted at American Friends Service Committee/Atlanta’s blog:

Despite having no guarantee that the eviction process won’t move forward, classes at Parkwood Farms therapy center in Snellville resumed today.

It was truly beautiful to experience Parkwood Farms in full effect. The eyes of children light up as they stepped out of their parents cars and towards the horses they’ve all built important bonds with.

The horses even seemed excited, all the volunteers tell me the horses are kind of spoiled at Parkwoods.

Read more below the fold.

Make a Call to Fifth Third Bank: Keep Mary Bonelli & Lionel Torres In Their Homes!

Take 5 minutes to support Lionel & Mary’s fight for their homes by joining their call-in campaign to Fifth Third Bank.

Mary Bonelli and Lionel Torres, two homeowners on Chicago’s west side, are joining together in their fight to save their homes from Fifth Third Bank. Mary’s family has been in their home for three generations, and they have paying banks for the home the entire time. But in 2011, Mary fell into foreclosure because of an error in the automatic payment system used by Fifth Third Bank. Her home has now been sold to Fannie Mae and Mary, 76, faces eviction within the next two months. Though Mary suffers from lymphedema and can barely walk, she is standing up for her home and the community she’s lived in all her life.

Georgia Community Rallies to Stop Eviction Of Therapeutic Equestrian Center for Children with Disabilities

East of Atlanta, in Snellville, GA., a beloved therapeutic horse riding center for children with disabilities is facing imminent eviction.

Dr. Marilyn Peterson, who owns the property and helps run the center, Parkwood Farms, has issued a plea for support to help save this community asset. The Sheriff’s department arrived last week to carry out the evicting, although Dr. Peterson and the center had received no notice of eviction. After seeing the children and horses, the officer reportedly decided to reschedule.

Dr. Peterson has decided to stay and fight to keep her land, and the community has responded with support. On Monday, Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, American Friends Service Committee, the Mayor of Snellville, and the entire Snellville City Council held a press conference and rally in support of Parkwood. The message was clear; the community can’t afford to lose Parkwood to HSBC Bank.

Urgent: Help stop Marc & Pearl Simon’s eviction by Chase & Fannie Mae

(Update below)

Marc Simon recently created a petition on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org, asking Fannie Mae and JP Morgan Chase to stop the eviction of him and his 86 year old mother Pearl from their home. Despite their efforts, Marc and Pearl are facing eviction today, November 9th. Marc has issued a plea for support and a call to action. He writes:

 

This is Marc Simon again in regards to the pending eviction situation of me and my mother Pearl. Chase Bank, in a postal letter, stated that it would get back to us by November 6, but instead have still not gotten back to me or my local attorney, Matt McKeever, who has repeatedly tried calling Scott Pullins at Chase, the designated contact mentioned by Chase in its letter. Fannie Mae has been highly aggressive in wanting to evict us — instead of the normal approach of the Sheriff coming and telling the occupant(s) that they have ten days to leave their home, Fannie Mae tried to get an eviction immediately at the time the Sheriff arrived Tuesday. This is highly unusual — local evictions are quite rarely carried out this way. (There was a humanitarian bone in the attorney for Fannie Mae [who came along with the Sheriff], who did grant us three additional days to vacate, despite Fannie Mae wanting it otherwise.)

 

Read Marc’s full letter below the fold.

Please take action for Marc and Pearl right away by signing their petition to Chase and Fannie Mae, then please ask your friends to do the same.

Update (11/9/12):

I just got word from Marc that they’ve received a 30 day stay of eviction. He will keep fighting to get a long-term solution, but he and his mother are safe for today.

Occupy Homes MN: Save Rose McGee’s Home!

Rose McGee is working with Occupy Homes MN to get Citimortgage and Fannie Mae to stop her eviction. She’s created a campaign onStart2.OccupyOurHomes.org to help build support for her fight natioanally. Rose is asking “CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae [to] reverse the sale and allow me to stay in my home of nearly 20 years.” Rose has the money to make payments and wants the banks to take her money, not her home.

In her petition, she tells her story:

I am Rose McGee. Please support me in my effort to get CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae to allow me to stay in my home. I am like you; I have worked hard all of my life. I have contributed to my community. I pay my taxes. I tried to live out the American dream by buying a house. I have lived in my home and paid my mortgage for almost 20 years.

And like some of you I am middle aged and have raised my children in my home. It is the source of my fondest memories, children growing up, backyard barbecues, basketball games in the yard, graduation parties. For nearly 20 years it has been my home.

Unfortunately like many other Americans I was laid off from a job I loved. When I regained employment, CitiMortgage promised to work with me to modify my loan–but at the same time as they were reassuring me that they were going to work with me, they sold my home from under me. Citi says Fannie says they will not re-instate my mortgage. I can pay, I am working, but they don’t want my money. Instead, Citi and Fannie are putting me out of my home that I have worked so hard for.

I don’t understand why they aren’t sympathetic to my plight. After all, the government bailed them out and gave them our tax dollars when they needed help. I am not asking for a handout, just a modification. Please sign my petition asking CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae to reverse the sale and allow me to stay in my home. Thank you. Rose McGee

Support Rose by signing her petition on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org.

Desert Storm Veteran Faces Eviction, Refuses to Leave. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, Teamsters Local 728, and Atlanta Jobs with Justice Stand with Him

Mark Harris created a campaign to fight for his home on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org and is now working with Occupy Our Homes Atlanta to stay in his home. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta put out this statement in advance of a press conference tomorrow as they work to help him stop his eviction.

Desert Storm veteran and retired UPS worker Mark Harris purchased his home in 1996 with a VA backed home loan and refinanced it in 2004.

In 2005 he started a trucking business, and then the economy crashed. His illnesses related to his service in Desert Storm became an issue, and he fell behind on his mortgage.

He’s been trying to catch up ever since; recently he applied for the HomeSafe program here in Georgia. While his application was being processed his VA benefits kicked in, which meant he could afford to make my payments. Greentree(loan servicer) and Fannie Mae(Loan owner) decided to foreclose despite Mark’s willingness and ability to pay.

Occupy Our Homes Atlanta looked over the assignment documents and discovered that some of the country’s most famous robo signers signed the mortgage assignment that was used to foreclose on Mark.

Fannie Mae is aggressively moving forward with an eviction, and it could happen as soon as November 15th. Mark Harris states, “As a veteran, I thought the toughest battles were behind me. “I never thought I’d be struggling to keep a roof over my head. I fought for this country, so I know I have a right to fight for my home!”

Read more about Mark’s fight and how OOH Atlanta, Atlanta Jobs With Justice & Teamsters Local 728 are helping him.

Occupy Denver: Harrowing account of the eviction of Sahara Donahue

Occupy Denver has posted a detailed and terrifying account of the eviction this week by Idaho Springs resident Sahara Donahue. Here’s some of Sahara’s story in her fight to keep her home from US Bank:

Sahara Donahue has lived in her home for over 20 years, has been a volunteer in her community, and was a decent law abiding citizen. She suffered injuries from a near-fatal accident, including a head injury that was not properly diagnosed until over a year after the accident. She could no longer perform the duties of her job, and therefore was forced to rely on the generosity of friends to help pay her mortgage for several years. She made every attempt to communicate and work with the banks, and even retained the services of an attorney, in the hopes of finding some resolution to keep her home. However, the banks (as well as a corrupt realtor) apparently had different plans.

When it became clear that US Bank was trying to imminently take Sahara’s home, she went to Occupy Denver, who immediately began assisting her in keeping her home. After a successful eviction defense on Monday, things took a turn for the worse on Tuesday.

Yesterday a highly militarized police force arrived at the home of 63 year old Sahara Donahue to evict her from her residence of 24 years. She was petitioning US Bank for an additional 60 days to remain in her home, so she could have some time to find a new place to live, secure her belongings and leave her home with dignity. She came to the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition and Occupy Denver General Assembly to ask for our help. She knew no one in Occupy Denver prior to reaching out. We immediately started mobilizing to try to get her the assistance she needed and a group went up to her house for the first rumored eviction on Thursday 10/25. When that eviction didn’t happen, we planned an in-town action at US Bank on Monday for Sahara to try to find someone to speak with about her situation, with carpools up to her house later that day as the eviction was said to be scheduled for Tuesday 10/30. Occupiers laid barricades from fallen trees to prevent moving trucks and workers from entering the property and were able to stave off the eviction for a few hours. At 2:45pm ten or more truckloads of police in full combat gear armed with live-ammo AR-15’s, and grenade launchers arrived on the scene & forced occupiers to the ground at gun point. Police then made their way to the house, broke down the front door, threw Sahara to the ground in her own kitchen and pointed their guns at the heads of a mother and son who were in the house with Sahara along with others. They continued to break items in the house as they searched it.

Occupy Denver has a long, detailed account of their work to help Sahara and what happened this week. You can read it here