Minneapolis: Homeowner Demands — and Gets — Meeting with CEO of Bank Foreclosing on Her HomeHan Shan on April 18, 2012
North Minneapolis resident Monique White was one of the first homeowners in the nation to reach out to the Occupy movement to stand with her in fighting back against foreclosure. And she has proved to be a formidable force, inspiring Occupy Homes Minnesota and other homeowners — in the Twin Cities area and across the country — to keep fighting even when the odds seem stacked against them
And yesterday, her tenacity paid off again.
From Occupy Minneapolis:
Minneapolis - It’s not every day you force a CEO of one of the largest banks in the country to meet with a homeowner they are foreclosing on, but that’s just what happened today as Monique White went head to head with CEO Richard Davis at the annual US Bank shareholders meeting. After more than six months of collecting signatures, public actions, marches, and call-in campaigns, White finally got her meeting with Davis after confronting him in front of 2,000 shareholders.
As White explained her situation, Davis said he “didn’t want to get into it then,” but stated he would be happy to “talk with her about it.” White responded, asking him, “When?” Davis agreed to meet with her after the meeting, when he and his staff committed to look into options to keep White and her family in their home.
Occupy Homes MN has worked with White and her family since last October, making national and international news by setting up tents in her front yard, holding rallies and marches, and coordinating phone-in and email campaigns to ask the banks to work to keep White, a single mother working two jobs, in her home.
“Monique is truly a hero of the Occupy movement, and we believe she is going to win her home,” said organizer Anthony Newby. “Monique was the first in the country to invite the Occupy movement to defend her home to demand a good faith negotiation, and now it finally seems like victory is within reach.”
“Today’s events show that when homeowners and neighbors stand together to demand a fair deal from banks there’s nothing we can’t accomplish,” said White. “I think I’m going to get to keep my house.”
Monique White bought her house in North Minneapolis in 2003, and was the first person in her family to own a home. She has been trying for years to work with U.S. Bank to save her home, but they have been unwilling to work with her. Monique has written a hardship letter, worked with attorneys, and sent document after document to US Bank, asking for a loan modification so that she can stay in her home.
She purchased her home for $127,000 in 2003 and has put an additional $30,000 into repairs and improvements. US Bank foreclosed on the home and repurchased it at a sheriff’s sale in January 2011 for $71,000. US Bank has refused to reduce the loan amount to what the house is worth now which would have lowered her mortgage payment by over $400 per month.
For a little more insight, watch this powerful video of 'Monique's Story,' made by Occupy Minneapolis filmmakers Peter Leeman and Kyle Kehrwald.