Southgate, MI: Debbie & Rob Henry are occupying their homeOccupyOurHomes on December 08, 2011
Michigan blogger Chris Savage has a guest post at ThinkProgress on the story of Debbie and Robert Henry of Southgate, Michigan. Debbie and Harry announced on Tuesday that they would refuse to leave their home if their bank tries to foreclose on them and evict them. Debbie and Robert reached out to OccupyOurHomes.org last week and were connected with Occupy Detroit to help support them in their fight for their home. Savage reports on the Henry's story:
The Henrys have lived in their home near where Debbie grew up for 7 years. The home is now worth less than a third of what they paid for it thanks to collapse of the housing market fueled, in part, by the very banks responsible for many of the foreclosures across the country. Their mortgage was originally through Countrywide Financial, but was eventually sold to Bank of America. After Debbie had a stroke and lost her job, she and her husband were unable to maintain their payments and attempted to obtain a mortgage loan modification. However, unbeknownst to them, Bank of America proceeded to sell their mortgage to Fannie Mae rather than working with them to stay in their home. The sale of this mortgage and thousands of others like it has the ironic effect of transferring the cost of the foreclosure process to American taxpayers. Bank of America, meanwhile, reported a $6.2 billion profit in the third quarter of 2011.
“Our home was our future, and we thought that we’d invested wisely. We were making our payments, even though now it’s worth a third of what we paid for it,” said Debbie, a former manager at a food services company. “But after I had my stroke, we just couldn’t keep up. We tried to work with the banks to get a fair deal, but they gave us the run-around for years. Now they want to throw us out. I thought they got all this taxpayer money so that families like us could have a second chance.”
What comes next for the Henrys? Savage writes:
Robert and Debbie hope their campaign leads to a loan modification from Fannie Mae instead of foreclosure, and that it brings attention to the plight of millions of American homeowners in similar situations. The family and their friends announced that they would engage in non-violent civil disobedience, up to and including their arrest, if local authorities attempted to remove them.
You can take action now by writing to Fannie Mae and asking them to stop the Henry's foreclosure and give them a loan modification.