VICTORY! South Minneapolis Grandmother Wins Loan Modification Through Support of "Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone"
Becky Dernbach on March 20, 2013
After a public pressure campaign through Occupy Homes MN’s Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone, Gayle Lindsey, a nursing assistant and grandmother in South Minneapolis who was facing imminent eviction, has won a modification of her mortgage from M&T Bank. Gayle’s victory marks the seventh for Occupy Homes MN and the first in the Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone, a project that brings neighbors in the Central and Powderhorn neighborhoods together to refuse to leave their homes without a fair negotiation.
Gayle, whose renegotiation came a month after her redemption period ended, is the first victory in “the Zone.” With the help of Occupy Homes MN, she organized a series of actions, community potlucks, and press appearances. Gayle got a call sitting at her kitchen table from an executive at M&T Bank, who offered to write Gayle a new affordable mortgage. “It shows that Occupy Homes MN works,” says Gayle. “I want to move on to more victories for the community.”» More
Shab Bashiri on March 19, 2013
Yesterday, Occupy Our Homes Atlanta help move Mildred Obi-Garrison, a disabled senior citizen, back into her home after she was evicted last November.
Organizers wrote a first hand account of the action, originally published on Alternet.org:
Twenty miles east of Atlanta, about 35 people gathered in a church parking lot in Stone Mountain, Ga on Monday. Despite the fact that the rain was pouring down, spirits were high and the excitement was visible on many faces. They were there to help Mildred -- a neighbor, community member, and friend -- move into her home.
There were no leases signed or keys obtained from a landlord though. Instead, the group was reclaiming the home back from the bank.
Shab Bashiri on March 19, 2013
Occupy Fights Foreclosure (OFF) in LA is helping Ms. Harolyn Rhue, a disabled woman suffering from head trauma who is being wrongfully evicted by Wells Fargo.
OFF has created a Facebook page for supporters of Ms. Rhue and put out this urgent call to action:
Wells Fargo is wrongfully evicting Ms. Harolyn Rhue, a disabled, elderly woman, who suffers from substantial head trauma.
On January 4th 2013, Ms. Rhue filed a formal complaint with H.U.D. for discriminatory housing practices by her lender Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
During our initial investigation we have noticed some very serious violations of the foreclosure process and documentation.
Ms. Rhue needs your help! Please, tell Wells Fargo that an eviction would cause further damange to her already serious health condition that has been altered by the wrongful foreclosure of her home.
Shab Bashiri on March 15, 2013
Detroit Eviction Defense and the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs are asking for support to help S. Baxter Jones, a disabled former school teacher avoid eviction from his Detroit Home.
S. Baxter Jones was a Detroit school teacher for over 20 years. He suffered traumatic brain injury in 2005 and is severely disabled. Jones fell behind on his mortgage while waiting for Social Security and his pension to be processed. He wrote to Wells Fargo explaining his situation and had a phone conference with them to discuss a loan modification.
Shab Bashiri on March 09, 2013
Last week, Occupy Our Homes members from Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Minneapolis joined Terry Horn in Dunlap, Tennessee to deliver a petition to Citizen's Tri-County Bank's Chairman and CEO, Glenn Barker.
Terry and his sister Sherrie have been fighting to save their 86 year old mother Helen's home from the bank. The mortgage on the family's Bridgeport, Alabama home was paid off over 40 years ago, but Citizen's Tri-County is attempting to place on lein on the home to satisfy a debt they claim Helen owes. A few months ago, Terry reached out to Occupy Our Homes for help. He created a campaign on Start2.occupyourhomes.org that has generated thousands of signatures so far.
Shab Bashiri on March 09, 2013
Cassandra Lewis, known in her community as simply 'Miss Cassandra', is fighting to save her family's home of 20 years from foreclosure. After falling behind on their mortgage payments, Cassandra and her family fell victim to a scam, giving tens of thousands of dollars to a company called 'Keep My Homes Solutions' who promised to help them do just that. Instead, Keep My Home solutions took their money, leaving them under the threat of foreclosure by HSBC bank. Cassandra created a campaign on Start2.occupyourhomes.org to build support nationally in her fight to save her home.
Her petition tells her story:
My name is Cassandra Lewis, but everyone calls me Miss Cassandra. My family is about to lose our home of 20 years due to a scam and we need your support!
Becky Dernbach on February 28, 2013
Thirteen people were peacefully arrested in Minneapolis Wednesday afternoon as they marched on Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, demanding turnover of vacant homes to community control and fair banking practices.
The march, organized by Occupy Homes MN, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, and allies from faith and labor communities, began at the home of Gayle Lindsey, fighting her foreclosure with Occupy Homes and her neighbors in the Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone. It proceeded to Jessica English’s reclaimed vacant home, which had been abandoned by Wells Fargo and turned into a drug house. Jessica, a single mom of four experiencing homelessness, has rehabilitated the house with Occupy Homes as a place to raise her children.
“As a homeless mom, it’s sickening to see all the vacant homes Wells Fargo owns that attract crime in Minneapolis,” Jessica told the crowd. “Wells Fargo abandoned this home, letting it turn into a drug house that brought blight on the community. Now the community has come together to welcome my family home and demand that Wells Fargo turn over vacant homes to community control for affordable housing. We are restoring what Wells Fargo destroyed.”» More
Shab Bashiri on February 06, 2013
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta began working with Jacqueline Barber, a retired police detective who is battling cancer, to defend her home from eviction at the hands of US Bank and GMAC late last year. As Jacqueline continues to struggle with her health, OOHA is asking supporters to call and text bank representatives to put pressure on them to speed up the process.
Becky Dernbach on February 06, 2013On Monday February 4, a Ramsey County jury found Anthony Newby, Occupy Homes MN organizer and executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, not guilty on assault charges. An employee of a law firm representing Freddie Mac, a primary target of the housing justice movement, pressed charges after a peaceful protest March 1, 2012.
Anthony was charged after attempting to help the law firm employee, who fell as dozens of supporters demanded justice for Minneapolis homeowner Monique White. Monique was then facing imminent eviction at the hands of Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage giant known for its enormous taxpayer bailout and consistent refusal to negotiate with struggling homeowners. After a national public pressure campaign, Monique ultimately won a negotiation and was able to stay in her home.
Becky Dernbach on January 24, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, MA - Close to 50 Springfield residents braved negative five (-5) degree wind chills Wednesday to link arms and hold a sit-in in front of the home of Jeffery Solivan at 32 Edgemont St. Fannie Mae, a taxpayer owned mortgage giant, had scheduled an eviction for 9:00 AM. Rousing speeches by foreclosed homeowners, neighbors and Mr. Solivan fired up the crowd, and loud chants and picketing kept the crowd warm. At 9:15 AM, the Hampden County Sheriff's office informed the group via telephone that Fannie Mae had instructed its lawyers to cancel the eviction. No date has been given for a new eviction as of this release.
“After calling for a sit-in and making direct demands to Fannie Mae’s higher ups, the Bank Tenant Association won a major victory today in our fight against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” says Springfield Bank Tenants Association Leader Candejah Pink. “But the fight won’t stop today.”
For the second time in two weeks, members of the SBTA were prepared to resist an eviction being carried out by Fannie Mae, and for the second time in two weeks they were victorious. On January 11th, Fannie Mae called off the eviction of the Clark family facing an eviction blockade by the group.