MN & Philly Take Action at PNC for the Cruz FamilyOccupyOurHomes on June 13, 2012
Anti-Foreclosure Fight in Minnesota Comes to Philly
PNC cedes bank branch to Occupy Homes activists
Philadelphia - Today Occupy Homes MN, in coalition with Occupy Philly, Fight for Philly, community and labor organizations, sent a delegation to PNC Center to deliver a letter on behalf of a Minnesotan family wrongfully foreclosed on by the bank. This action comes at the heels of numerous previous demonstrations and follow-up calls from the bank assuring the family that PNC is working to resolve the situation.
The Cruz family home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, went into foreclosure in 2011 when PNC failed to withdraw an online mortgage payment and then demanded two months’ payment as punishment. Unable to pay more than the current month’s installment, the family home fell into foreclosure.
After their home fell into foreclosure, the Cruzes began working with a local nonprofit that was supposed to be working out a loan modification. In February, without warning an agent of the bank came to the house and told them they had 48 hours to leave the property, shocking the family and ignoring their right to a legal process.
Alejandra and David Cruz have been active community members in the Twin Cities who have tirelessly advocated for the DREAM Act and educational equity for immigrant students.
Over the past month, hundreds of neighbors and community members have mobilized to defend the Cruz family home and support a 24/7 physical occupation of the house against repeated attempts at eviction by the Minneapolis police and sheriff's department. These efforts have brought the Cruz’s struggle to the attention of national media and into the offices of PNC Banks across the country.
However, despite repeated claims from PNC Executives that they are working “to help and rectify the situation,” the bank has yet to take the necessary steps to sit down and negotiate with the family. At today's action activists urged PNC to keep its word to the Cruz family and keep communities intact. Once again PNC representatives accepted the letter and information about their error and the wrongful foreclosure of the Cruz family's home; however, unable to provide a substantive plan for resolving the situation, PNC officials ceded the branch to protestors who rallied and chanted for over an hour.