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  • M20: Showdown at the Department of Justice

    Shab Bashiri on May 15, 2013

    Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Jail?

    Millions of underwater homeowners have paid the price for Wall Street's crimes. From mortgage fraud to predatory lending, it's time to put bankers in jail.

    Join Occupy Homes, dozens of underwater homeowners, and hundreds of allies from across the country as we take action and risk arrest at the Department of Justice.

    Bring Justice to Justice Rally: May 20th @ 1pm Gather: Freedom Plaza, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Ave NW – March to Department of Justice @ 1:30pm

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  • Bring Justice to Justice

    Shab Bashiri on April 25, 2013

    As a new housing bubble fueled by Wall Street speculation is forming, it's clear that the financial industry didn't learn their lesson from the last mess. It's more important than ever for us to take action to demand meaningful relief for homeowners and prosecutions for the criminals at the top.

    Occupy Our Homes, the Home Defenders League, and others are joining fed-up homeowners who are ready to demand action!

    Join us the week of May 20th! Wall Street Accountability Week of Action May 18 - 23

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  • Michigan family fights to save home from Bank of America

    Shab Bashiri on April 25, 2013

    By the time Michael Bentin, a homeowner in Portage, Michigan reached out to Occupy Our Homes for help, he had just 10 short days until his family was scheduled to be evicted from his home. 

    Michael had been trying unsuccessfully for years to obtain a loan modification from Bank of America. After getting the runaround from different representatives, his options started to run out. Last year, Bank of America sold Michaels home in a foreclosure sale, and didn't even bother to notify him that they had done so. The only notice he got was a letter from the bank's attorney letting him know his 6 month redemption period had ended. 

    Determined to keep his home, Michael started a petition on Start2.occupyourhomes.org:

    Like many in Michigan, we were hit hard by the economic crisis, and have yet to pull out lives and finances out. Soon, we started to fall behind on our mortgage payments. Bank of America representatives called to try and find out why we were falling behind, and I explained our situation. I gave them all my income and expense information, and had hope as they claimed I was being reviewed for a modification. 
    


     

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  • Special delivery for Fannie Mae: a letter from Rose McGee

    Becky Dernbach on April 11, 2013

    This morning a small delegation delivered a letter from Rose McGee to Fannie Mae headquarters in Washington, D.C., demanding a fair deal with principal reduction.

    The delegation was led by Caylin Crawford, a St. Paul homeowner who recently won an unprecedented settlement with Freddie Mac over her own foreclosure. Fannie and Freddie are both administered by FHFA, a federal housing agency led by Ed DeMarco, who has consistently stood in the way of principal reduction--reducing mortgages to their market value. Occupy Homes MN has partnered with New Bottom Line and Right to the City's campaign to Dump DeMarco. Caylin was in D.C. for a court hearing over her recent arrest after interrupting DeMarco's testimony in front of Congress.

    Click through for the text of Rose's letter to Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos.

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  • VICTORY!! Atlanta woman wins home back after wrongful eviction

    Shab Bashiri on April 11, 2013

    Atlanta homeowner Sherrye Calhoun has won a major victory this week from Chase Bank! After Sherrye was wrongfully evicted from her home of 30 years last summer, neighbors and supporters helped her move her belongings back in and pledged to defend her from further actions by the bank. 

    Watch the video from Sherrye's eviction.

    More on the victory from Occupy Our Homes Atlanta: 

    Around 8:30 AM on Friday August 5th 2012 Sherrye Calhoun woke to Dekalb County Sheriff’s Deputies knocking on her door. They demanded that she leave her home immediately. Over the course of the morning Sheriff Thomas Brown’s deputies supervised her eviction. They had no dispossessory warrant or writ of possession filed with the court. She has lived in the home for 30 years.

    Within hours, Ms. Calhoun’s possessions were moved back into her house with the help of Edgewood residents and supporters. Sherrye Calhoun decided that she wouldn’t leave her home regardless of the risk.

     

     

     

     

     

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  • MN: Take action today to support residents in Eviction Free Zone

    Shab Bashiri on April 08, 2013

    Occupy Homes MN is holding a call-in campaign to Chase Bank today in support of three residents in the "Eviction Free Zone" fighting to save their homes. 

    In South Minneapolis, eight families have declared their neighborhoods an Eviction Free Zone, pledging to support neighbors facing foreclosure and eviction, and demanding that vacant properties be turned over to community control. They've already had one victory, as Gayle Lindsey recently won a modification from M&T Bank last month. Now three residents are joining forces against mega-bank Chase, to see what happens when they ask for negotiations together. 

     

     

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  • Judge stops eviction of homeowner with disabilities

    on April 07, 2013

    From Moratorium Now:

     

    Detroit — S. Baxter Jones appeared before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Walter Shapero on April 4 in a desperate attempt to stop his eviction from his home. Shapero, in a move that stunned many attorneys, gave Jones a 30-day adjournment, thus keeping the homeowner with disabilities from becoming another victim of Wells Fargo Bank and the federal government’s Fannie Mae agency.

    The courtroom was filled with supporters, who sat in hushed silence straining to hear Jones’ remarks. Activists in wheelchairs and with service dogs representing Warriors on Wheels; members of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs; It Takes A Village Y’all; and the Detroit Eviction Defense had rallied to an appeal to “pack the court” that had gone out over social media.

    Jones had been severely injured in an accident in 2005. He was well known in Detroit as a school teacher who coached students in track and field. After his injuries, Jones fell behind on the mortgage for his Jackson, Mich., home while waiting for Social Security payments to begin. His appeal for a forbearance from his bank was callously ignored and foreclosure followed.

    Jones addressed the judge with clear but labored speech. He explained the circumstances that had brought him to this point and appealed for the chance to keep his home. A written statement that Jones had prepared, appealing for justice that doesn’t benefit greed but rather those in need, was read to the court by a supporter.

    Judge Shapero overruled the objections of the attorney for Fannie Mae, who listed all the “proper” legal steps taken by her client to put Jones out of his home. The judge agreed that the law was clear, but stated that “the law isn’t everything.” He ordered the 30-day adjournment until the court could appoint an attorney to assist Jones on a pro bono basis.

     

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  • Judge orders mediation as Rep. Ellison and community rally to stop Rose McGee's eviction

    Becky Dernbach on April 04, 2013

    50 community members, holding red roses in solidarity, rallied in support of Rose McGee Tuesday as she faced off against Fannie Mae in settlement court alleging wrongful foreclosure. When Fannie Mae still refused to offer a fair deal, the judge ordered for them to return for further court mediation May 14.

    "The outcome of the court process today was very disappointing," said Rose McGee. "The offer that Fannie has made is unreasonable. If they made a reasonable offer, I would gladly accept it. I think now that I’m being used as a scapegoat because they’re faced with so many cases like mine that they don’t want to set a precedent of losing this one."

    Rose, who has been fighting her foreclosure for over a year, fell victim last May to a process called "dual tracking": as CitiMortgage told her they were modifying her loan, they sold the home to Fannie Mae at a sheriff sale. In January, Rose met with Fannie Mae executives in D.C. who promised they were working on a loan modification--but she was dual tracked again when they continued pushing forward with the eviction at the same time.

    Tuesday's rally came as part of New Bottom Line's national Dump DeMarco campaign, calling on the Obama administration to fire Ed DeMarco, the federal administrator overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and replace him with a permanent director who will implement national principal reduction--resetting mortgages to fair market value.

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  • Wall Street Accountability Week of Action!

    Shab Bashiri on April 04, 2013

    Over the last few years, homeowners and residents around the country have taken a stand against the banks and fought foreclosures and evictions. The growing network of Occupy Our Homes supporters have signed petitions, made phone calls, and showed up to events to help families stay in their homes. Dozens of homeowners around the country have won their fights, but the crisis is far from over.

    Communities have been destroyed as millions of families have already lost their homes to foreclosure, while millions more are still underwater on their mortgages. The big banks are bigger and more powerful than ever. To date, no high level Wall Street executives have been prosecuted for their crimes, such as mortgage fraud and predatory lending. US attorney general, Eric Holder even admitted recently that in the administration's eyes, the banks are not only ‘too big to fail,’ they're now ‘too big to jail.’ 

    As a new housing bubble fueled by Wall Street speculation is forming, it's clear that the financial industry didn't learn their lesson from the last mess. It's more important than ever for us to take action to demand meaningful relief for homeowners and prosecutions for the criminals at the top. 
    Only through the power of thousands of organized homeowners taking action in the streets can we make the Attorney General and the President listen. 
    Occupy Our Homes, the Home Defenders League, and others are joining fed-up homeowners who are ready to demand action-- join us the week of May 20th!

     

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  • 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.”

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