Southgate, MI: Community Demands New Year's Resolution from Bank of America-- keep families in their homesOccupyOurHomes on January 03, 2012
Earlier today, Robert and Debbie Henry, along with 150 supporters, including family, neighbors, church members, as well as UAW Local 600 and Occupy Our Homes, marched on the Southgate Bank of America branch to demand an end to attempts to evict them from their home of 8 years. They were joined by retired Vietnam veteran Joe Astro, who is facing eviction by Bank of America from his home in Dundee.
On December 6th, the Henry family announced that they would not leave their home as an act of civil disobedience. At the time, the Henrys had been told that Fannie Mae had bought their loan from Bank of America. However, Fannie then informed the Henrys that Bank of America still "services" the loan on behalf of Fannie, and the family has to work out a deal with B of A. While Bank of America has indicated an interest in working out a modification, it has failed to give the family a concrete offer. Instead Bank of America claims that the decision to reach an accommodation is really up to Fannie Mae.
Meanwhile, the Henrys are facing imminent foreclosure, with their next court hearing scheduled for January 19th. The family is frustrated, but hasn’t given up hope. Debbie Henry said, “It’s like they forgot we’re real people. It would be nice if they looked beyond the numbers for a moment. But no matter what they decide in their wall street offices, this is our home. We don’t want a hand-out; we just want a fair deal so we can keep paying our mortgage and stay in our home.”
Community members started today’s event with a “phone bank to the bank,” phoning Fannie Mae and Bank of America, demanding a fair modification for the Henrys. Next, participants marched to the Southgate Bank of America branch, sang modified Christmas carols demanding bank accountability, and reiterated the demand for a fair deal for the Henrys and a fair economy for all Americans.
Standing in solidarity with the family, United Auto Workers Local 600 Vice President A.J. Freer said, “Michigan working families are losing their homes because no one has stood up to the Wall Street bankers. Today, that changes. We're making a New Year's resolution in 2012 to fight for an economy that works for middle class families, not just the wealthy few. Our country deserves a new year's resolution from Bank of America-- keep the Henrys in their home.”