Posts in Actions
Shab Bashiri on April 29, 2014
On the eve of Wells Fargo's annual shareholders meeting in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, home defenders, students, community groups, and activists in ten cities took peaceful action against the bank. Petitions signed by thousands of people were delivered to Wells Fargo branches and offices across the country calling on CEO John Stumpf to change the bank’s predatory practices.» More
Home Defenders Take Action Against Wells Fargo in Support of 86 Year Old Grandmother Facing Foreclosure
Shab Bashiri on February 20, 2014
On Wednesday February 19, supporters delivered petitions signed by over 2,000 people to Wells Fargo branches around the country, urging the bank not to foreclose on Lavinia Curry, an 86 year old Grandmother in Irvington, NJ.
Despite being the most profitable US bank in 2013, Wells Fargo continues to foreclose on struggling homeowners, often refusing to work with families to keep them in their homes. The latest victim, Lavinia Curry, purchased her Irvington, NJ home in 2003 with the help of her children, fulfilling her lifelong dream of homeownership. In 2010, the family missed ONE mortgage payment, but attempted to make the missed payment the very next month. Wells Fargo refused to accept the payment and began the process of foreclosure instead. A sheriff's sale of the family's home is scheduled for next month.» More
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» More
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.» More
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!
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
OccupyOurHomes on December 05, 2012
After a year-long Occupy Homes campaign for a renegotiated loan, Vietnam veteran John Vinje and his wife Lucinda Adams chose to peacefully leave their home on their October eviction date. US Bank and Freddie Mac sent 24 sheriff's deputies to make sure they didn't change their minds. John, Lucinda, and their adult children are now living in unstable, uncertain circumstances.
But this experience has only strengthened their resolve to fight back. As Lucinda says, "This is not over yet." On December 6, we will reclaim a vacant home and move in a family made homeless by the foreclosure crisis. Join us on Thursday to escalate our fight for housing justice.» More
OccupyOurHomes on November 28, 2012
Originally posted at American Friends Service Committee/Atlanta's blog:
Despite having no guarantee that the eviction process won’t move forward, classes at Parkwood Farms therapy center in Snellville resumed today.
It was truly beautiful to experience Parkwood Farms in full effect. The eyes of children light up as they stepped out of their parents cars and towards the horses they've all built important bonds with.
The horses even seemed excited, all the volunteers tell me the horses are kind of spoiled at Parkwoods.
Read more below the fold.» More
OccupyOurHomes on November 09, 2012
Marc Simon recently created a petition on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org, asking Fannie Mae and JP Morgan Chase to stop the eviction of him and his 86 year old mother Pearl from their home. Despite their efforts, Marc and Pearl are facing eviction today, November 9th. Marc has issued a plea for support and a call to action. He writes:
This is Marc Simon again in regards to the pending eviction situation of me and my mother Pearl. Chase Bank, in a postal letter, stated that it would get back to us by November 6, but instead have still not gotten back to me or my local attorney, Matt McKeever, who has repeatedly tried calling Scott Pullins at Chase, the designated contact mentioned by Chase in its letter. Fannie Mae has been highly aggressive in wanting to evict us -- instead of the normal approach of the Sheriff coming and telling the occupant(s) that they have ten days to leave their home, Fannie Mae tried to get an eviction immediately at the time the Sheriff arrived Tuesday. This is highly unusual -- local evictions are quite rarely carried out this way. (There was a humanitarian bone in the attorney for Fannie Mae [who came along with the Sheriff], who did grant us three additional days to vacate, despite Fannie Mae wanting it otherwise.)
Read Marc's full letter below the fold.
Please take action for Marc and Pearl right away by signing their petition to Chase and Fannie Mae, then please ask your friends to do the same.
I just got word from Marc that they've received a 30 day stay of eviction. He will keep fighting to get a long-term solution, but he and his mother are safe for today.» More
Desert Storm Veteran Faces Eviction, Refuses to Leave. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, Teamsters Local 728, and Atlanta Jobs with Justice Stand with Him
OccupyOurHomes on November 04, 2012
Mark Harris created a campaign to fight for his home on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org and is now working with Occupy Our Homes Atlanta to stay in his home. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta put out this statement in advance of a press conference tomorrow as they work to help him stop his eviction.
Desert Storm veteran and retired UPS worker Mark Harris purchased his home in 1996 with a VA backed home loan and refinanced it in 2004.In 2005 he started a trucking business, and then the economy crashed. His illnesses related to his service in Desert Storm became an issue, and he fell behind on his mortgage.
He’s been trying to catch up ever since; recently he applied for the HomeSafe program here in Georgia. While his application was being processed his VA benefits kicked in, which meant he could afford to make my payments. Greentree(loan servicer) and Fannie Mae(Loan owner) decided to foreclose despite Mark’s willingness and ability to pay.
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta looked over the assignment documents and discovered that some of the country’s most famous robo signers signed the mortgage assignment that was used to foreclose on Mark.
Fannie Mae is aggressively moving forward with an eviction, and it could happen as soon as November 15th. Mark Harris states, “As a veteran, I thought the toughest battles were behind me. "I never thought I’d be struggling to keep a roof over my head. I fought for this country, so I know I have a right to fight for my home!”
Read more about Mark's fight and how OOH Atlanta, Atlanta Jobs With Justice & Teamsters Local 728 are helping him.
Occupy Los Angeles Targets Deutsche Bank with Series of Actions for Fraudulently Foreclosing and Evicting American Families & Ignoring U.S. Laws
on November 02, 2012
Here's a press statement from Occupy Fights Foreclosure in advance of actions today in support of Fort Lucero and against Deutsche Bank:
Home owner protection organizations and community members will be meeting at the Lucero residence at 4748 Hammel St. in East Los Angeles at 9:30am and leaving at 10am for a series of direct actions targeting Deutsche Bank. These direct actions will expose the fraudulent business practices of this foreign bank against the citizens of Los Angeles, serve as a show of solidarity between homeowners and activists internationally. We call on law enforcement and city officials to represent their constituents, not the interests of foreign bankers.
#FortLucero is a home defense that was created to stop Deutsche Bank from fraudulently foreclosing on the Lucero's home. The Luceros hold a federal court-ordered stay through the 30th of November. Deutsche Bank promised to investigate the case, however, during negotiations their attorneys issued a second eviction. At 6am on Halloween morning, five squad cars of the Norwalk Sheriffs department arrived at #FortLucero issuing the Luceros and their children a five day notice to vacate. This bank action is a direct response to Deutsche Bank’s continued lack of ability to negotiate in good faith and respect both domestic laws and court orders.
According to U.S. Attorney Bhara: “Deutsche Bank ignored every type of red flag and breached every duty of due diligence before underwriting thousands of federally insured mortgages,” but after paying a 202 million dollars settlement to the federal government, state authorities fail to prevent Deutsche Bank from illegally possess American homes.
OccupyOurHomes on October 29, 2012
This morning, Occupy Our Homes Atlanta was able to stave of the eviction of JoSelf Freeman, who was facing eviction at the hands of Bank of America and Fannie Mae. JoSelf has a petition going on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org and has been working with Occupy Our Homes Atlanta to keep his home. Here's the update on this mornings victory from OOH ATL:
With ya'lls help we were able to put off JoSelf's eviction this morning! If it weren't for all the calls, emails, and folks in JoSelf yard there's no doubt that his belongings would be in the yard....
JoSelf has been granted an additional 17 days before another eviction date. That means we have 17 days to building JoSelf campaign and convince Fannie Mae and Bank of America to do the right thing.
For those that haven't seen it, here is JoSelf's story:
More below the fold» More
OccupyOurHomes on October 24, 2012
Ana Casas Wilson of South Gate, California has been fighting Wells Fargo and US Bank for her home. Peggy Mears of the community group ACCE reports that, "She has been struggling for months to get Wells Fargo and US Bank to accept her money and stop foreclosing on her home of forty years. She is now faced with being forcibly evicted from her home by sheriff’s deputies tomorrow (Wednesday)."
ACCE is organizing to help Ana and has asked supporters around the country to make calls to Wells and US Bank today to stop the eviction.
Can you call US Bank CEO Richard K. Davis at 877-753-0557 and Well Fargo CEO John Stumpf at 888-253-8295 and tell them to negotiate with Ana Casas Wilson of South Gate?
Read more about Ana and get a call script below the fold.
Jacqueline Barber’s Stay Struck Down By The Court, Jacqueline Vows To Resist Eviction Press Conference and Launch of Occupation
OccupyOurHomes on October 11, 2012
Today US Bank and GMAC lawyers fought to lift the stay on Jacqueline Barber’s home. Although we packed the courtroom with supporters, they were successful, which brings them one step closer to being able to evict Jacqueline and her four young grandchildren. The case failed because Jacqueline’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy (which was grounds for the stay) was filed after the home was sold on the court house steps.
It is clear that US Bank and GMAC intent to begin the eviction process immediately.
Jacqueline has made it clear that she will fight no matter what stating that, "If they come to put me out, I hope Occupy Our Homes will be carried out with me because they're going to have to have to physically remove me from the property. I refuse to roll over and play dead."
Occupy Our Homes ATL plans to dual track the bank the same way they dual tracked Jacqueline and millions of other Americans. Jacqueline was dual tracked when America's Servicing Company claimed they were working on her modification while simultaneously foreclosing on her. Occupy Our Homes ATL will dual track US Bank and GMAC by helping Jacqueline pursue legal action in state court and taking aggressive direct action to keep Jacqueline and her family in their home.
Tomorrow morning at 11am we will be launching a full scale 24/7 occupation of Jacqueline’s home. We will be joined by many of Jacqueline's former co-workers at the APD and other supporters, many of whom have committed to refuse to leave when the marshals come to evict. We invite the press for interviews at 11am.
(More details below the fold)
OccupyOurHomes on October 11, 2012
On Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 09:00am, Occupy Our Homes Atlanta will stand with Jacqueline Barber as she goes before the court in the US Northern District of Georgia; 18 Greenville St, Newnan, GA 30263.
We will be holding a press conference outside of the courthouse at 11:00AM to announce the outcome of the hearing and our next steps to escalate Jacqueline's campaign.
This past Monday active and retired APD officers joined Jacqueline Barber, her four grandchildren, and Occupy Our Homes ATL to let US Bank and GMAC know that Jacqueline will not be evicted.
While Jacqueline was getting bone marrow transplants and fighting cancer she was working towards a modification with Wells Fargo and America's Servicing Company. After being given hope for a modification, Wells Fargo then decided to foreclose with US Bank's blessing. US Bank then purchased Jacqueline's home at auction. Now, six months later with no recorded transfer of title, US Bank claims that GMAC is calling the shots and pushing for Jacqueline's eviction. In less than a year four financial institutions have claimed to be responsible for matters concerning Jacqueline's home. This is emblematic of the housing crisis. Jacqueline's home passed through the hands of so many financial institutions that no one, including the financial institutions, knows exactly who owns exactly what.
US Bank and their servicer GMAC are now demanding that the family vacate the property immediately, even refusing to sell it back to Jacqueline’s friends and family members who were more than willing to purchase the home back from them. Desperate to put off the eviction and find a way to stay in her home, Jacqueline filed for bankruptcy in August which granted her a temporary stay from the eviction. This Thursday October 11th US Bank is taking Jacqueline to court to demand the judge lift the stay, allow them to evict the family, and force Jacqueline to pay their legal fees on top of it.» More
OccupyOurHomes on October 08, 2012
Active and retired APD officers will join Jacqueline Barber, her four Grandchildren, and Occupy Our Homes ATL to send the message to US Bank that she will not be evicted.
Jacqueline Barber is a retired Atlanta Police Department detective who was injured on the job and forced into early retirement. After purchasing a home big enough for her, her daughter, and four children tragedy struck.
Jacqueline was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer. While undergoing aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, her son helped start the long process of applying for a loan modification with Wells Fargo. After almost a year of treatment, including a bone marrow transplant, Jacqueline’s disease went into remission.
Like millions of American’s Jacqueline had a bad loan. Her payments shot up by $1,500 a month as her property value plummeted.
Over the next two years Jacqueline sent in document after document to the bank, attended countless seminars with housing counseling agencies, and tried everything she could to obtain a loan modification, all while still in a wheelchair from the pain she was suffering. Her family even fell victim to so called “foreclosure rescue” groups, paying them over $3000 for modification assistance. Finally in early 2012, Jacqueline received a letter from the executive VP of Wells Fargo assuring her that they were working on her case. I felt a sense of hope at the prospect of finally getting some relief.
Much to her surprise, Jacqueline received a letter a few weeks later from US Bank, claiming they had purchased her home at auction, and demanding that she vacate the property. Despite their assurances that they were working on her case, it seems Wells Fargo had moved forward with the foreclosure.
US Bank is now demanding that the family vacate the property immediately, even refusing to sell it back to Jacqueline’s friends and family members who were more than willing to purchase the home back from them. Desperate to put off the eviction and find a way to stay in her home, Jaqueline filed for bankruptcy in August which granted her a temporary stay from the eviction. The stress has caused Jacqueline’s cancer to come out of remission, and she now has to resume aggressive treatment to fight it. Now US Bank is taking Jacqueline to court to demand the judge lift the stay, allow them to evict the family, and force Jacqueline to pay their legal fees on top of it.
Take action below the fold.
OccupyOurHomes on October 01, 2012
On October 16th Metro Justice will march to City Hall in a “Housing is a Human Right March”. We hope that you will join us in co-sponsoring this march!
With hundreds of people homeless every night, in a city that has enough vacant properties to house them all, we know that our communities are in crisis! When thousands of homes have been foreclosed upon by massive banks in our city, we know that housing must be a human right.
Adequate access to housing is the cornerstone on which we build a thriving and vibrant community. At Metro Justice, we’ve taken that seriously and our Housing is a Human Right Campaign is growing. Our campaign makes two requests of the city that we intend to make very clear at our march on October 16th:
1. As a consequence of their awful foreclosure record across New York State and nationally, the City of Rochester should divest all public funds from JP Morgan Chase.
2. Due to the widespread fraud in mortgage foreclosures by big banks, the City of Rochester should halt police participation in evictions by those banks for one year.
(Read more below the fold)
OccupyOurHomes on September 28, 2012
Yesterday homeowners and housing justice activists from around the country to target Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHFA chief Ed DeMarco around a set of demands that would keep people in their homes and return power to local communities. Groups from around the country, including numerous local Occupy Our Homes groups, convened in Washington, DC to take back the peoples' bank.
The American Friends Service Committee/Atlanta blog has a great write-up on the day and the role Occupy Our Homes Atlanta activists played as part of it.
After pulling off actions at every regional Fannie/Freddie office in early September, several cities decided to send delegations to Washington DC to confront Freddie and Fannie at their national offices.
With little time to organize, we were able to pull eleven folks from Atlanta to make the trip.
Micheline Meusa, Renika Wheeler and their two children were among our Atlanta delegation. Both have lost jobs in the last six months and as a result of having a very limited safety net they ended up on the street. Renika and Micheline have bounced from shelter to shelter and have been unable to obtain work, despite looking for work almost every day.
Renika and Micheline represent a segment of the population that has, up to this point, often been left out of the housing crisis conversation.
One thing that was exciting about today's action was having the story's of homeowners, renters, and homeless elevated to the some importance.
The sad fact is that Atlanta has six empty homes for every homeless person, and Atlanta is full of homeless people now more then ever.
After demonstrating outside Fannie Mae this morning, five people impacted by Fannie's practices decided to commit an act of civil disobedience that landed them in jail, Renika was one of them. She's out now!
After leaving Fannie we made a quick trip to Freddie Macs headquarters, then we decided to do something special.
All of us went to Edward Demarco's to not only give him a piece of our mind and deliver a pink slip, we also had a pizza party on his lawn.
Read more about the fight against Fannie and Freddie below the fold.» More
Occupy LA Anniversary Goes to Foreclosure Mill Responsible for Looting and Pillaging of American Homeowners
OccupyOurHomes on September 27, 2012
On the weekend of the Occupy LA anniversary, Occupy Fights Foreclosures, a subcommittee of Occupy LA, shines light on the business model of fraud used by the financial industry that devastated the economy and the lives of millions of Californians who are now struggling to keep their homes. Homeowners and activists gather to illustrate the timeline of frauds that start before a homeowner signs on the dotted line and continue through the lockouts and evictions following fraudulent foreclosures.
Almost all foreclosures have been found to have suspicious documentation or legal violations according to February's audit by the San Francisco County Assessor-Recorders office. The newly-signed California Homeowners Bill of Rights does give homeowners a fighting chance against the fraudulent practices. But right now, homeowners are without those protections. In LA County alone, there are almost 8,000 active foreclosures with over 32,000 expected by the end of the year when the law goes into effect. If nothing is done, in less than 100 days, over 32,000 families in LA County will lose a house that they would keep starting January 1 — that's about 65 families every business hour.
"How does it make any sense that any homeowner would lose their home today, when they wouldn't on January 1st?," says Carlos Marroquin, homeowner advocate with Occupy Fights Foreclosures. "On top of all the fraud that came to light at the beginning of this crisis, new companies have appeared precisely to take advantage of the disaster created by the banks. It's an entire cycle of looting and pillaging."
Details for Friday's Occupy LA anniversary action are below the fold.
OccupyOurHomes on September 25, 2012
Actions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to win principal reduction, a halt to all evictions and slum conditions, right to rent, and transfer of vacant properties to communities not investors.
Go below the fold for details.» More
OccupyOurHomes on September 21, 2012
Update (original post below the fold):
Home Defenders Win Temporary Stay on Eviction
With Public Pressure High, Sheriff Drops Eviction for the Day
St. Louis citizens succeeded today in temporarily halting the eviction of homeowner Angelia Williams after a year of negotiating, going to the Attorney General's office and doing a petition. With neighbors and solidarity activists prepared to defend the home, the eviction has been cancelled for Friday, September 21st.
"I am happy for the victory today and for the support from my community. We need to continue these efforts because today clearly shows that when we stand up to the banks, we win. I owned this house before the bank ever did," said homeowner Angelia Williams, with fierce determination.
Angelia's victory, however, is temporary, as she is still under threat of foreclosure. Angelia, and many other homeowners throughout St. Louis, could avoid foreclosure if an automatic foreclosure mediation bill is passed in the city. Automatic mediation, which recently passed in St. Louis County, requires the bank and the homeowner to sit down with an independent mediator to negotiate the case before the bank can foreclose. Currently, in St. Louis City, banks can foreclose on a homeowner without any oversight from a neutral mediator, putting homeowners at an enormous disadvantage when it comes to gaining a fair process for keeping their homes. Foreclosure mediation legislation would help keep many city residents facing foreclosure in their homes.
Although Angelia's eviction was stopped today, Wells Fargo and FHA still have not agreed to give her a fair loan modification. Angelia, her neighbors, and community activists will continue to pressure Wells Fargo so Angelia can stay in her home and demand that the sheriff's office stands with people, not with banks.
More information below the fold
OccupyOurHomes on September 11, 2012
Yesterday Occupy Our Homes Atlanta and people from all over the Southeast marched on Fannie Mae's regional headquarters in the heart of Atlanta’s most affluent real estate; Buckhead.
Yesterday's Southeastern action launched a national campaign aimed at highlighting and addressing the inhumane practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. People from Athens, Chattanooga, Miami, Orlando and Nashville joined Occupy Our Homes ATL organizers in holding Fannie and Freddie accountable for their abuse of our system and demand change.
Many underwater homeowners who Freddie and Fannie refuse to work with were present and demanded a meeting with Catherine Lasher of Fannie Mae. Robert Anderson, whose home is underwater, said he has tried to modify with Freddie Mac but with no luck."I want the investors to step down and talk to us," Anderson. "I've been going through anxiety."
Currently Georgia is near the top of the list of most devastated states in this foreclosure crisis and as a region, the Southeast is the hardest hit per capita. Homeowners, renters and the homeless have been devastated by unjust practices that include refusal to reduce principal, bulk sale of homes to investors at 10-20% of market value, and holding properties hostage in communities hit hardest by the crisis. In Atlanta there are six vacant homes for each homeless person. This is not acceptable. Speaking on behalf of thousands in Atlanta’s growing homeless population was Michelene Meusa, mother of two who became homeless after going from under employed to unemployed. While addressing the crowd Michelene stated,“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stop holding these unoccupied, vacant, boarded up properties hostage! The hostage situation is over! People always talk about “Oh, well you know, homeless people are bums.” The biggest bums are right up there (Fannie and Freddie)”.
(More below the fold)
Han Shan on September 09, 2012
Today kicks off two days of protests—today in Atlanta and Chicago, and in Los Angeles and New York City on Wednesday—to demand an end to the abusive practices of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. Today, community organizations, Occupy Homes groups, and foreclosure fighters are converging from around the southeast at Fannie Mae headquarters in Atlanta.
In Chicago, foreclosure fighters and their allies will be raising a ruckus outside of both the Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac regional headquarters. Occupy Homes MN kicked off a caravan to Chicago from the Cruz family home—still sealed and patrolled by security working for PNC bank with support from Freddie Mac. They are re-igniting their campaign in support of the Cruz family today.
Here's a quick excerpt from the event listing from Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac control over 60% of the mortgages in the US. After gambling with people's money, and buying up subprime mortgages during the housing bubble, they were placed under conservatorship of the US government in 2008, receiving billions of taxpayers dollars. Now, 4 years later, they continue to put people out of their homes, and are the biggest obstacle to fixing the housing crisis. It's time to put a stop to this, and to demand the wealth that was stolen from our communities be restored.
Our demands include:
-Principal Reduction for all underwater homeowners to real market value
-and end to Fannie and Freddie Evictions, and the right to rent after foreclosure
-the sale of foreclosed properties to occupants and non-profits at the same discounted rate they are offering to shady investors
-that they turn over vacant and abandoned properties to community controlled entities to provide long term affordable housing
The Right to the City Alliance, a key force behind this week's actions, has been collecting stories from families who are fighting foreclosure by Fannie & freddie, demanding principle reduction, and organizing for housing as a human right. Check out the tumblr site RTTC has published, We Are The Fannie Freddie 99, with many compelling, heartbreaking, and inspiring stories, including photos and video testimonials.» More
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta to Host Town Hall Meeting at Historic Wheat Street Baptist Church to Address Historic Housing Crisis and Misuse of “Hardest Hit Funds”
OccupyOurHomes on August 23, 2012
Georgia continues to be battered by the foreclosure crisis. It is consistently rated as one of the most affected states. Despite this fact, there seems to be little to no relief for the people who are struggling the most. From Governor Nathan Deal's remarks that responsible homeowners don't need assistance, to Edward DeMarco's recent statement against principle reduction to prevent intentional default, it is clear that our politicians are out of touch and unwilling to do what it takes to help solve the problem.
In 2010, the federal government designated billions of dollars to be used in “Hardest Hit Funds” to help homeowners in states like Georgia. To date, that money is not being used to help those who need it most. It's time we stop waiting for this help to come around, and start coming together to demand it. At the Town Hall event on Saturday, we'll figure out ways to do just that.
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has been successfully defending families and Churches from eviction and foreclosure, but we realize that we need a movement on a scale that brings relief to not just a few people, but to everyone.
At the Town Hall home owners in distress and community leaders hope to launch a campaign against what have emerged as the two greatest obstacles to mass principle reduction and more community control over the neighborhoods we live in, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
More details below the fold.» More
OccupyOurHomes on August 20, 2012
The people of New York State are fed up.
After a complete financial melt down and massive bailout of taxpayer money, the major banks are still not playing fair with out lives. JP Morgan Chase, in particular, has made it a practice of foreclosing on homeowners without even the most standard processes that would give people a chance to stay in their home. Only 6% of people with Chase mortgages looking for help were able to get permanent loan modifications, and 80% of people who asked for one did not receive an offer. With the understanding that this is the best way to work out an agreement between the homeowner and bank so that a person can stay in their home, it is easy to say that Chase is one of the worst banks to work with in New York State.
Beyond this they have a poor performance under the federal Home Affordable Modifications Program and even the modifications they do give homeowners have not provided the type of help they are intended for.
To add insult to injury, a large sum of the City of Rochester’s finances are held in JP Morgan Chase. This is public money held in a bank that is refusing to help working families in our community, which contributes to this climate of mass foreclosure and displacement. In an effort to finally tell Chase that we are not going to participate in their assault on our communities, we are asking the City of Rochester to divest from Chase Banks because of their unfair mortgage practices.
Join us in front of the city’s central Chase Bank for a protest and press conference to deliver the message that we are always cleaning up after Chase, and now we want them out!
This event is co-sponsored by the Metro Justice Housing Committee, Take Back the Land Rochester, Band of Rebels, Rochester Red and Black, and others!
WHAT: Rally to Ask for the City of Rochester’s Divestment from JP Morgan Chase
WHEN: Monday, August 27th, 12pm
WHERE: Downtown Chase Bank, at 1 Chase Square
OccupyOurHomes on August 06, 2012
Around 8:30 AM on Friday August 5th Sherrye Calhoun woke up 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 disposessory 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. She is currently still residing in that house, determined to resist eviction should it again be attempted.
That evening, Edgewood residents formed a group, Eviction Free Edgewood (EFE), determined to resist eviction of Edgewood residents. On Sunday, EFE, with Ms. Calhoun, hosted a barbeque to build community resistance. About 100 people were in attendance throughout the day.
Join us at 11:00AM on Monday August 6th at Sherrye’s home, 39 Aberdeen Street Atlanta, GA 30307 to hear Sherrye tell her story alongside neighbors and community members enraged by this eviction in their community.
OccupyOurHomes on July 31, 2012
Occupy Fights Foreclosures announces an action to help stop an illegal eviction in Ontario, California.
Barbara Bratton and family are joined Tuesday by faith leaders, church congregation members, and Occupy Fights Foreclosures as they face eviction from the Ontario home the family has lived in for almost 40 years. Neighbors and members of the Bratton's family church will participate in prayer, and call for justice for homeowners being thrown out of their homes due to practices such as dual-tracking now made illegal following the signing by Governor Jerry Brown of the California Homeowners Bill of Rights.
The Brattons allege the refinance loan they obtained from Countrywide was fraudulent — it imposed an adjustable rate loan after the Brattons signed a fixed rate loan. The Brattons' immediate complaint about the switch was just the beginning of a saga that has been a seven-year nightmare for the Bratton family, one that has resulted in a federal law suit and FBI case.
The family was strung along on a loan modification track by a series of new loan servicers who, at the same time, proceeded to foreclose — the common practice known as dual tracking, now illegal. The loan servicer proceeded to sell the home, order an eviction, then mysteriously cancelled the sale, then somehow reoriginated the loan.
A string of zig-zagging title transfers followed. The long list of companies with blandly ambiguous names that claim to have authority over the property make it almost impossible to determine which, if any, company has legal right for any action. The Brattons faced foreclosure again after the family's payments were rejected. The foreclosing agent — Select Portfolio — claims to represent US Bank. Yet US Bank specifically confirmed to the Brattons that it is not the trustee on their loan, has no claim to the property and cannot foreclose.
Despite the pending federal lawsuit and despite the questionable authority of the foreclosing agent, the Brattons still face imminent eviction. They have been locked out of their home and are facing the "trash-out" day whereupon the real estate agent — South Hills Properties — removes all the possessions remaining in the home.
Neighbors, members of their church and other religious leaders participate Tuesday in prayer and silent vigil for justice, referring to Psalm 103: The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
"The Brattons have struggled for seven years to preserve the sanctuary of their home," says Carlos Marroquin, Occupy Fights Foreclosures activist. "They have a lawsuit pending in Federal Court against bogus foreclosure sales that had to be cancelled retroactively, phony property titles being filed and erased, and other suspicious maneuvers that have put immense stress on this family. Years of their lives have had to be devoted to fighting this fraud. And this family is a pillar of this community. Neighbors and congregation members rightfully come together to defend this family, create a foreclosure-free zone, and stand with them against this injustice."
Much more details below the fold.
OccupyOurHomes on July 26, 2012
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has put out a call to action in support of Steve Boudreaux:
Just last week, hundreds of calls were made to Wells Fargo demanding that the bank do everything in their power to keep Steve Boudreaux in his Marietta, Ga home--and they heard you! Steve received a call the very same day from Wells Fargo's "Office of Executive Escalation," and they assured Steve that they would put in a request to rescind the foreclosure on his home. Almost a week has gone by and Wells Fargo has stopped returning Steve's calls. This is unacceptable. A dispossessory warrant was served just a few days ago, so there is no time to lose.» More
We need you to call Wells Fargo representative Adam Lawman TODAY at 1-800-853-8516 (ext. 45564) and Home Mortgage President Mike Heid at 515-213-6117 and ask "When will Edmond Steve Boudreaux's (Loan # 0006391834) foreclosure be rescinded? Wells Fargo said they would take action, but we have yet to see results. Please take action to keep Steve in his home." Please also sign the petition to keep Steve in his home here.
Please call now and report your results here.
Occupy Our Homes ATL
OccupyOurHomes on July 24, 2012
There's important information coming from Moratorium Now! and Detroit Eviction Defense:
We have reliable information that the dumpster truck is very likely to arrive on Tuesday at Jennifer Britt's house in Detroit's Rosedale Park. We need maximum turnout tomorrow at 15701 Warwick St. at Midland, just south of Grand River, to oppose the placement of the dumpster in front of Jennifer's home and to also prevent her eviction.
Please join this peaceful and determined opposition to another unjust eviction in whatever capacity you are comfortable with-- as witness, supporter, resister. We will oppose the placing of the dumpster in front of the home in a nonviolent manner, making a statement with our numbers.
Supporters are welcome at any time, but it helps if we know how many will be there thru the day. If possible, contact us at DetroitEvictionDefense@gmail.com and let us know the hour(s) you can join us, from dawn onwards. The early morning is an important time, but who knows when the truck will arrive with the dumpster. At 4pm we will have a barbecue, so join us whenever you can -- or make a day of it!
More information below the fold.» More
OccupyOurHomes on July 12, 2012
Bank of America created the mortgage crisis and economic recession by betting on our homes like poker chips. As millions of homeowners became victim to foreclosure and bankruptcy, Bank of America received $45 billion dollars in government bailouts and used it to reward each of their 172 executives with $1 million bonuses. It is time that American homeowners receive their bailout.
Frank Clark, Kristina Darrington, Ruby Brown, Gerrardo Cajmarcas, and Paul Lelii are five homeowners facing foreclosure with Bank of America who have taken the pledge to fight with Occupy Homes MN. They are the "Minnesota 5." Stand with us during the Bank of America Week of Action from July 15-22 and help keep them in their homes!» More
OccupyOurHomes on July 11, 2012
On Wednesday, 10:00am Leonard Spears and Wells Fargo will appear in State Supreme Court in front of Judge Bellini at the Hall of Justice. Judge Bellini has ordered that the eviction be halted and that Wells Fargo must show cause for what appears to be fraudulent foreclosure. Leonard Spears made local andnational headlines in May when he announced that he would not be leaving his home at 26 Ries St., Rochester, NY (see Video, Democrat and Chronicle, Daily Record). Given the level fraud (Wells Fargo not even owning the mortgage when they foreclosed) support for Mr. Spears has flooded in from all over country including a solidarity action at the Freddie Mac headquarters in Washingon, D.C.
Despite 10-12 attempts at a mortgage modification, Wells Fargo refused to negotiate with Leonard and instead asked him to continually resubmit the same paperwork. In order to take his home as quickly as possible Wells Fargo never personally served Leonard the Summons and Complaint for the foreclosure action, denying him proper recourse to defend his home in court. Instead Wells Fargo fabricated the paperwork saying they served Leonard and claiming he was up to 6 feet tall with black, brown, and blond hair! Unfortunately for Wells Fargo, Leonard is about 5'6'', bald and has never had blond or brown hair. In a further stroke of fraud, lawyers for Wells Fargo reveal that their client didn't own the mortgage or notewhen they foreclosed on Leonard Spears giving them zero legal standing to foreclose in the first place. To add insult to injury, when Wells Fargo foreclosed on Mr. Spears, they sold his house to Freddie Mac for $500. Now Wells Fargo has to justify its foreclosure practices in court. Leonard Spears and Take Back the Land Rochester demand that Wells Fargo withdraw the foreclosure and for Freddie Mac to donate the house to the Rochester Community Land Trust, where Mr. Spears can stay in his house and keep it permanently affordable.» More
OccupyOurHomes on July 11, 2012
The past week three flash demonstrations were carried out in an effort to keep the pressure on Wells Fargo to make a deal to keep Cobb County resident Steve Boudreaux in his home. So far, despite Steve’s willingness to negotiate a very reasonable deal with Wells Fargo, the bank has been unwilling to budge. It seems they would rather see another crime attracting, neighborhood devaluing, boarded up home is his community.
After battling unemployment and struggling to make payments on his mortgage, Boudreaux applied for an emergency home loan modification to stay in his home at a rate he could afford.
Boudreaux said everything was all set to move forward until the IRS delayed in getting tax transcripts to his bank.
Wells Fargo pushed forward with a foreclosure sale, according to Boudreaux. The transcripts were delivered the day after the foreclosure sale.
It’s time the banks stop holding our communities and make an effort to work with home owners to keep them in their home in these historic difficult times.
Next Tuesday Occupy Our Homes ATL and the Cobb Coalition For Change will be hosting a national call in day to Wells Fargo in an effort to pressure the bank to make a deal.
OccupyOurHomes on July 09, 2012
Occupy Rochester & Take Back the Land - Rochester are doing an emergency eviction defense at the home of Maria and Harold Steidel:
After a preliminary victory against Freddie Mac and Wells Fargo last Novemeber, Maria and Harold Steidel are once again being threatened with eviction. Our earlier support for the Steidels brought national attention including coverage by both Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann.
There is an eviction enforcement date of Wednesday, July 11. While their lawyer is currently working on legal strategies which may delay or prevent an eviction, we will gather to either arrange a watch/blockade, or celebrate and further strategize if the legal efforts prove successful.
Please join us on Tuesday evening, July 10 at 5:30 at their home at 107 Clay Rd. An eviction watch/blockade may involve setting up an encampment, so if you have a tent to volunteer, please bring it. If an eviction watch is necessary, we will need as many people as possible during the most vulnerable hours of 9am to 5 pm each day until the eviction has been abandoned.
Tuesday, July 10, 5:30 pm
107 Clay Ave
This is off Lake Ave, see map: http://mapq.st/MTqhv6
OccupyOurHomes on July 06, 2012
On Monday, tents were pitched and supporters began a 24/7 vigil until Wells Fargo makes a deal to keep Boudreaux in is home.
"Georgia is now the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. We have to do something about this, and we have to do it now," says Occupy Homes organizer Allie McCullen.
Much more below the fold.» More
OccupyOurHomes on July 03, 2012
Tim Franzen of American Friends Service Committee and Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has an update on Tacco Cullins, a single mother of eleven who's been ripped off by her landlord and is now facing homelessness.
Occupy Our Homes ATL, the Pittsburgh Community, and American Friends Service Committee call on our city to find a solution that keeps Tacco Cullin’s loving family together. We believe that Atlanta and its residents can make this happen.
Tacco Collins reached out last week in a desperate situation. She was living in a substandard three-bedroom house with no electricity and had just run out of food to feed her family.
Tacco signed a rental agreement with her landlord in February of 2011. Before she moved in the landlord made a promise to fix the flooring, replace the water heater, fix the shower, and paint the interior, none of which ever happened.
In July of 2011 her electrical box exploded and the landlord refused to fix it, leaving her with no power. She decided to withhold rent until it was fixed, and instead of fixing it the landlord tried to evict her. After Tacco took her landlord to court she discovered that he didn’t actually own the house at all, it belonged to an investor in White Plains, New York.
What we have now is a short period of time to find permanent housing for the family or they face homelessness, and there are serious challenges.
Read more below the fold» More
July 01, 2012
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta is working with a Cobb County homeowner named Steve Boudreaux to help him get Wells Fargo to allow him to stay in his home. American Friends Service Committee/Atlanta has an update on their blog:
After battling unemployment and struggling to make payments on his mortgage, Cobb County resident Steve Boudreaux did what any diligent homeowner would do--he applied for an emergency home loan modification to stay in his home at a rate he could afford. Everything was all set to move forward until the IRS delayed in getting tax transcripts to his bank, Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo, rather than wait for the transcripts to come in, pushed forward with a foreclosure sale, even though the modification application was incomplete due to no fault of Steve's own. To add insult to injury, the transcripts were delivered the day after the foreclosure sale.
Today Steve was joined by Occupy Our Homes ATL and Cobb United for Change at the Wells Fargo branch that Steve originally applied and received his home lone with one simple message, "You have all the information you need! Make a deal to keep Steve in his home!"
Cobb United for Change and Occupy Our Homes are ready to stand up with Steve to keep him in his home. Will you?
You can help Steve and call Luis Fortin of the Wells Fargo "Home Preservation" Team and demand he work to keep Steve in his home.
To reach Mr. Fortin call 877-458-8418. Once connected dial 0 until you are asked for an extension. Luis is ext. 31560.
Make sure to tell him that "Wells Fargo needs to work with Steve Boudreaux at 1525 Rubes Landing in Marietta. Set aside the foreclosure and make a deal to keep Steve in his home!"
OccupyOurHomes on June 30, 2012
A scary and outrage-inducing update from Occupy Homes MN:
several activists with Occupy Homes MN discovered that the City Attorney has decided to escalate charges following their arrests defending the Cruz family home. Prosecutors at the City Attorney’s office originally charged the group of Cruz family supporters with trespassing, and have now moved to significantly more serious charges including 3rd degree riot–a gross misdemeanor which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a $3,000 fine.» More
These charges are a clear and disgraceful attempt to suppress the Occupy Homes movement and ‘make an example’ of anti-foreclosure organizers who were arrested while non-violently protesting an unjust eviction. City Attorney Susan Segal, appointed by Mayor RT Rybak, has also made it a point to aggressively prosecute other political defendants, including a group arrested while protesting US Bank’s foreclosure practices last fall.
As of now at least three arrestees (though likely more) are charged with the following:
- 3rd degree riot (gross misdemeanor)
- Obstructing legal process
- Disorderly conduct
- Presence At An Unlawful Assembly
Instead of prosecuting the criminal fraud of the bankers that crashed our economy, or working to give relief to families devastated by the foreclosure crisis, our tax dollars are being spent to evict families at the banks’ behest, and to intimidate and prosecute neighbors fighting to keep more vacant homes out of their communities.
The fight to defend the Cruz family from a wrongful and unnecessary eviction has garnered support from hundreds of thousands of supporters around the country with solidarity actions in over a dozen cities, and has sent a message to big banks everywhere that we won’t stand by and let them steal our homes.
This attempt to silence and stifle anti-foreclosure organizing will not deter us from fighting for our homes, our families, our neighbors, and our futures.
We shall not be moved.
Marietta Resident and Supporters to Hold Press Conference Announcing Launch of First Home Defense Campaign in Cobb County
OccupyOurHomes on June 29, 2012
Marietta, GA--Today, the Cobb United for Change Coalition (CUCC) and Occupy Our Homes ATL (OOHA) will join Marietta homeowner Steve Boudreaux as he launches a campaign to save his home from foreclosure. The press conference will be held outside the very Wells Fargo branch where he applied for and received his loan.
More below the fold.» More
OccupyOurHomes on June 29, 2012
In Chicago, Communities United Against Foreclosures and Evictions has a call to action:
Eliceo Morales Martinez and his family have lived at 1943 N Kedvale for 27 years! Mr. Martinez refinanced his home loan in February of 2007. The unemployment crisis hit the Martinez family, but they still received rental income and could afford to pay CitiBank part of the mortgage. On February of 2011 CitiBank filed for foreclosure. The Martinez family has made two attempts to get a loan modification. Both times CitiBank has rejected them. After personally handing a public letter to a CitiBank rep and branch manager while staging a protest outside the bank, they were finally able to get an appointment with someone. At the meeting on May 24th, Brian Borgschulte from the New York office filled out a modification package. They were told that by May 30, 2012 they could have an answer. Mr. Borgschulte claimed their case was a priority.
Now, nearly a month has gone by and CitiBank refuses to even return phone calls. Multiple times the Martinez family has called the underwriter processing the loan, Araceli “Sally” Olvera. They have not heard from her at all. One of the reps who received the public letter assured the Martinez family that Ms. Olvera has called them. This seems very weird to the Martinez family, since they have no voicemails, missed calls, or record of receiving a call from the underwriter. The Martinez family also tried contacting Mr. Borgschulte. No response yet. Why is the Martinez family been ignored by CITIBANK? THIS IS NOT FAIR! CITIBANK SHOULD BE REMINDED TO TREAT CLIENTS WITH RESPECT AND ATTEND TO THEIR NEEDS…
Enough is enough! Tell Citibank: “Stop stealing people’s homes and treat your clients with respect! At the next court date on July 9, don’t move for summary judgment, CitiBank, when you won’t even call the Martinez family back! Stop ignoring the Martinez family and give them a modification! Stop ignoring your clients and give them a good faith negotiation!”
This Friday, take 2 minutes to call Brian Borgschulte at 636.261.6071. Then email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.» More
OccupyOurHomes on June 25, 2012
Occupy Fights Foreclosures, an offshoot of Occupy LA that is working with homeowners to stop fraudulent foreclosures, is joining a rally in Sacramento today alongside other Occupy groups, unions, and clergy leaders to call on California's Governor Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris, and state legislature to implement a statewide foreclosure moratorium.
"We are bringing together all of the organizations and people now working to stop these foreclosures, and who are angry about how the banks have been given hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money, yet continue to throw millions of families out of their homes instead of working out affordable loan modifications," said a statement from rally organizers.
Occupy Fights Foreclosures has also published an open letter to California's State Senators and Assembly Members calling for a strong Homeowners Bill of Rights. See an excerpt from the letter below the fold.
13 Arrested After PNC Bank Breaks Promise to Work with Wrongfully Evicted Family, Family Vows to Return Tomorrow
OccupyOurHomes on June 21, 2012
125 community members gathered at the home of the Cruz family in South Minneapolis and 13, including hip-hop artist Brother Ali, were arrested when they crossed the police line to protest PNC Bank’s inexplicable reversal of their commitment to work with the family after the family fell into foreclosure due to a bank error. In front of the crowd of supporters, each of the 13 spoke as to why they were willing to cross the police line before asking the officers to allow them to step onto the property and be arrested, bringing the total arrest count at the hometo 39 within the past month.
In Pittsburgh, after reaching PNC Bank’s national headquarters, the Cruz family have vowed to return to PNC Bank’s national headquarters at noon again tomorrow to demand a good faith negotiation.
“PNC did not give us the meeting we requested. Instead of sitting down for a good faith negotiation with someone who had the power to fix the bank’s error, they sat us down with low-level PR executives who had no intention or authority to negotiate with us,” said Alejandra Cruz. “We came here to resolve this issue, and we’re not leaving without some answers.”» More
Another South Minneapolis Family Wins Home on Eve of Cruz Family Caravan for Pittsburgh, Launching National Week of Action
OccupyOurHomes on June 20, 2012
More great news from Occupy Homes MN:
Yesterday morning, homeowner Anita Reyes-Reley was served an eviction notice on the door of her home of 17 years. Yet in a dramatic turn of events, by 3:00pm she received an offer from Woodlands National Bank that would keep her in her home. This improbable victory, the second for Occupy Homes MN in one week, comes after community supporters successfully lead a pressure campaign consisting of phone calls, emails, and a petition to the bank demanding they negotiate a new loan for Anita.
“I’ve been waiting for this call for six months, and I wouldn’t have gotten it without Occupy Homes,” said homeowner Anita Reyes-Reley. “We’ve built a lot of pressure over the past month and the final push from community members over the past couple days finally brought the bank to the table.”
This announcement was shared with 60 community members, including nationally renowned local hip-hop artist Brother Ali, in front of the Cruz family home. The community rallied today to send off the Cruz family, whose battle against an unjust foreclosure has become a focal point for the Occupy movement, to PNC bank headquarters in Pittsburgh to renegotiate their mortgage. The rally and Anita’s victory mark the kick-off of a coordinated week of actions across the country designed to bring national attention to the Cruz family’s situation.» More
From Alejandra Cruz: Today We Leave for PNC Bank’s National Headquarters in Pittsburgh, Please Stand With Our Family
OccupyOurHomes on June 19, 2012
Our family can’t believe how much support we have received from around the country in our fight to save our home. We are so thankful for each and every one of you.
After PNC Bank committed to working with our family to resolve this issue 23 of our friends and supporters were arrested during 5 eviction attempts in one week and PNC stopped returning our calls. That’s when we decided it was time to raise the stakes.
In just a couple hours, my brother David and I will embark on a caravan to PNC Bank’s national headquarters in Pittsburgh to attempt to hand deliver our family’s loan modification documents to Jim Rohr, the CEO. We hope to give him a chance to personally correct PNC’s mistake and make things right for our family.
Over 15 cities across have committed to rallying at PNC Bank branches in support of our family as part of the #J21 national day of action, and we believe that we are on the verge of finally getting justice for our family.» More
OccupyOurHomes on June 14, 2012
Deborah Harris, a disabled former paramedic who lost the title to her home due to J.P. Morgan’s unethical business practices and is now facing eviction, confronted Mr. Dimon over a microphone, asking him to face the thousands of homeowners like herself that are loosing their homes because of his work. She was quickly dragged away while fellow Occupy Our Homes members chanted and loudly accused Mr. Diamond of being a crook.
The protesters, including Ms. Harris, were held in jail for most of the day and by 6:00pm all had been released.
“I told him to face up to the little people, like me, who had saved up for years only to have their homes taken by giants. When they slapped the handcuffs on me, I felt very proud that I was a voice who stood-up.” Deborah Harris, an Organizer with Occupy Our Homes who is facing eviction.
“I found it shocking that Jamie Diamond a billionaire who is responsible for taking thousands of people’s homes can go before a congressional committee, just apologize and walk away. While those of us who are standing for those that lost their homes are hand-cuffed and thrown in jail.” said, Micah Bales, an Organizer with Occupy Our Homes-DC.» More
OccupyOurHomes on June 13, 2012
From Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:
June 11th played out like a soap opera for those involved in Occupy Atlanta actions. The story starts however over a month ago when the Dekalb County Sheriff's Department startled a senior woman out of her bed. They informed her that she had to leave her home of 18 years and take her elderly mother along with the rest of her family and whatever she could grab on the way out with her. Although the family showed no signs of resistance and posed absolutely no threat they were met with 40 armed Sheriff Deputies swarming the house from all possible directions. All of the family's belongings were then strewed across not only their lawn, but that of the neighbors.
After rushing to get the homeowner, Christine Frazer, settled into a temporary living space it was time to let the Sheriff know that everyone had in NO WAY forgotten that he was the one that made the call to force this family on to the streets at 3 a.m. On May 7th there was a demonstration at the Sheriff's Office where many of the discarded items from the eviction were relocated from the Frazer's lawn on Wellhaun Road to the Sheriff department's lawn. As those that fought to defend Christine's home were leaving the demonstration a few of them were tailed, pulled over, handcuffed, and put into police cars all without being given any explanation as to why they were being detained. One demonstrator was immediately released then given a citation for littering while another was given the same citation after being hauled down to the Dekalb County Jail and the vehicle towed away for "investigation". Surprisingly, Sheriff Thomas Brown got on television stating that he would not take action against those involved in the protest since no officers were hurt and no property was damaged.
Much more below the fold.» More
OccupyOurHomes on June 13, 2012
Yesterday 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.
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.
(More details below the fold)
OccupyOurHomes on June 12, 2012
Tim Franzen of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta provides an update on what was yet another shameful display by Dekalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown in response to Chris Frazer's eviction. Here's some of the report on yesterday's action, which involved the delivery of a people's citation on Sheriff Brown:
Things did not play out the way any of us expected. Joe Beasley, Attorney Joshua Davis, Chris Frazer, and myself were allowed to meet with the Sheriff in his lobby while around 30 others watched from outside the glass walls. Sheriff Brown's face had no signs of reconciliation on it.
The first sign that he was backing down on his word was that he refused any media admittance to the meeting, which we had agreed he would allow. The Sheriff began to attempt to apologize, but it appeared that he just couldn't resist sharing his true remorseless feelings. At one point, as Chris Frazer had begun to weep, Sheriff Brown simply stated, "If I had to do it over again, with all the information I have now, I wouldn't have done anything differently".
In a sense Chris Frazer was forced to relive the bullying she experienced under the lash of Sheriff Brown a second time. Those of us in the room found ourselves in total bewilderment, as just days earlier Sheriff Brown had reached out to us in an attempt to make amends for the 3 a.m eviction.
Today was a shameful day for anyone that cares about justice in DeKalb County. We can't afford a Sheriff that disrespects folks in the community like Thomas Brown continues to.
Read more and see videos from the action below the fold.» More
OccupyOurHomes on June 11, 2012
Occupy Homes MN reports on the latest on activist Nick Espinosa and his mother Colleen McKee Espinosa:
Citibank Refuses to Accept Minneapolis Mom’s Mortgage Payments; Home to be Auctioned Wednesday
Minneapolis—For months, Colleen McKee Espinosa, a single mother of three—including Nick Espinosa, a volunteer organizer who has helped other homeowners fight foreclosure—has repeatedly asked Citibank officials to allow her to catch up on her mortgage and keep her home. But Citibank still has the home scheduled to be auctioned off at a sheriff’s foreclosure sale this Wednesday, June 13th, at 9am.
McKee Espinosa, a registered nurse, has been in her home for 16 years. Last year, she attempted to pay her Citibank mortgage to catch up on two past-due payments on the indicated due date. The bank told her the home had already been sent into foreclosure.
“I’ve come up with the money I owe them but they refuse to take it,” McKee Espinosa said.Colleen’s son Nick Espinosa is a volunteer organizer for the group Occupy Homes Minnesota, a group that has waged successful campaigns that saved the homes of Monique White and US Marine veteran Bobby Hull.
OccupyOurHomes on June 11, 2012
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:
For months Occupy Atlanta has stood alongside Christine Frazer in her fight to save her home. At 3 am May 2nd Dekalb County Sheriff Deputies raided the house and put the family on the street with the belongings they accumulated over the 18 years they lived there.
The property of 3662 Wellhaun Rd. and that of the neighbors was littered with discarded furniture by the Dekalb County Sheriff's Department. On May 7th people that fought to defend the Frazer home cleaned up the remains and brought it to the Sheriff's office.
We will be presenting Dekalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown with a citations for littering, disorderly conduct, and creating hazardous and offensive conditions for the actions he took against the Frazer family.
We have been told that Sheriff Brown plans on accepting the citation and sitting down, face to face, with Chris Frazer in his boardroom. We invite the media to be in the room when this happens.
More below the fold.» More
OccupyOurHomes on June 08, 2012
Before the plates were cleared from the luncheon, Freddie Mac trainers and dozens of conference attendees were startled by a group of Occupy Homes protesters who taped off the entrance and plywooded the doors to their scheduled “Default Servicing Workshop.”
A dozen protesters chanted in call-and-response: “This is a crime scene, and Freddie Mac is the criminal. They have been conspiring with PNC Bank and countless others to profit off of families getting thrown out of their homes.” Yellow caution tape reading “occupy” was unrolled, emulating the pitched confrontations Minneapolis police have had at the Cruz family home on Cedar Ave in recent weeks.
“We demand that you work with PNC Bank to get the Cruz family in their home,” protesters cheered. As Marriott hotel security escorted the protesters out, they chanted "Eviction stops here!"
The Cruz family fell behind on payments during tough economic times. According to Occupy activist Nick Espinosa, the bank failed to withdraw an online payment due to a glitch in its own system. Instead it demanded a multiple-month payment, and when the Cruz family was unable to oblige, the home went into foreclosure. Recently, the family and protesters have grabbed headlines by repeatedly blocking the sheriff’s eviction, resulting in 23 arrests and massive MPD force to secure the modest home.
Freddie Mac, which owns the title to scores of foreclosed homes like the Cruz home, visited the Twin Cities region to host a week-long training for its servicers to help them manage through the housing recession and, according to the event's web site, "avoid preventable foreclosure."
"If Freddie Mac is committed to avoiding preventable foreclosure, they need to work with families like the Cruzes who can afford to pay their mortgage," said Cat Salonek, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. "Freddie Mac and PNC have the power to return the Cruz family home today.”
OccupyOurHomes on June 06, 2012
Jerome Jackson, paraplegic since age 14, moved into an Inkster home designed for wheel-chair access in 2004. He could not have afforded this modest home without the commitment from Community Living Services (CLS), funded by Wayne County, to share a portion of the mortgage expense.
In 2009, CLS cut Mr. Jackson’s support and he fell into default. Fannie Mae bought the mortgage at sheriff’s auction and is now seeking to evict Mr. Jackson.
We are calling on the court to set aside the eviction and for Wayne County / CLS to honor the commitment it made to help support the cost of Jerome's mortgage. We are also calling on PNC bank and Fannie Mae to modify the mortgage so that Jerome Jackson can live in his wheel-chair-access home.
The banks were bailed out for their reckless profiteering and fraudulent practices because they were “too big to fail.” Jerome Jackson is “too human to discard.”
Details of the rally are below the fold.» More
OccupyOurHomes on June 06, 2012
For the second day in a row, Occupy Our Homes DC took to the streets to fight alongside a person who was standing up to the bank to keep their home. Activists came to the aid of Dawn Butler, a South East DC resident who had been a tenant in a home for over six years. The home was foreclosed, but contrary to DC tenant rights Butler was denied her right of first refusal by JP Morgan Chase. Butler has fought to buy the home from Chase since 2010, but the bank has ignored her.
Over thirty Occupy Our Homes DC activists came to Butler's home yesterday as DC police and US Marshalls were poised to evict her on Chase's behalf. While Butler was in court trying again to stop the eviction, her mother was on hand as Occupy activists constructed a blockade at the front door of their home. US Marshalls and DC police eventually used brute force to remove the Occupiers who had peacefully sat down to defend Dawn's home.
Melissa Byrne of Occupy Our Homes DC sent this report following the action.
Thanks for the support today. We set up our first hard defense against an eviction. The Federal Marshalls pulled us apart, dragged us downstairs,and knocked one person unconscious. We lost the house but the tenant is vowing to keep fighting.
Most importantly, we showed that it is critical to resist evictions. We are continuing to work with our neighbors.
While Dawn Butler was evicted, she's continuing to fight the bank through the legal system.» More
OccupyOurHomes on June 05, 2012
Yesterday retired paramedic Deborah Harris and activists from Occupy Our Homes DC took action at a Chase branch in downtown Washington DC as part of their fight to stop JP Morgan Chase from evicting her from her home.
ThinkProgress reported on the action:
Today, protesters sat outside a JP Morgan modification office near Franklin Square in downtown D.C., blocking the doors as activists called for the bank to modify the loan. Harris and other activists entered the office, asking to meet with bank officials. When Harris finally met with representatives from the bank, they denied responsibility, saying the loan was now in the hands of Freddie Mac, according to a spokesperson from Occupy Our Homes DC.
Multiple speakers, including Bertina Jones, another local homeowner whose home was saved by Occupy activists, called for action from JP Morgan.
“The banks and the lenders out there, they’ve got to understand that they received taxpayer money,” said Rev. Graylan Hagler. And because they received taxpayer money, we expect for them to take care of the common good. If they’re going to take that money, then they have to take care of everybody that they basically abused in the process.”
Occupy Our Homes DC reports that while actions will continue in support of Deborah Harris, they will be quickly pivoting to stop an eviction of Dawn Butler, whose home they had helped save in April. Stay tune for more updates on both fights.» More
on June 02, 2012
On Friday afternoon the Cruz family, neighbors and supporters held hands and surrounded 30 police in the front yard of their home while Pastor Todd Mathison of Ebenezer Lutheran Church led a prayer for justice for the Cruz family and a swift return to their home.
They then held a barbecue in the parking lot of the Ebenezer Lutheran Church, located directly across the street from the home, to celebrate the one-month anniversary of the occupation of their foreclosed home. As the occupation began, supporters declared they would not leave until PNC Bank and Freddie Mac negotiated with the family to keep them in their home.
"We have continued to negotiate with PNC Bank and Freddie Mac to find a solution to keep our family in the home, but until we see action we are not giving up this struggle for our family and for the millions of families all over the country losing their homes because greedy banks would rather throw people out than work with them," said David Cruz.
Supporters of the Cruz family were disturbed to find their home under occupation by a massive police force of over 30 Minneapolis police officers with batons, bicycles, over two dozen marked and undercover squad cars and a paddy wagon which blocked two alleys, preventing one neighbor from leaving his home. A mobile spy camera was also posted on the corner of 41st and Cedar.
"The ongoing waste of thousands of public dollars by Mayor Rybak and his police to serve as taxpayer-funded private security for Freddie Mac shows that our city is more concerned with protecting banks than keeping families in their homes," said Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN.
"If you look at the people protecting the Cruz home, it's average everyday people. It's regular folks who share a common interest in doing the right thing. The house has been occupied for weeks and they were quiet and respectful. It wasn't until the police arrived en masse that the problems started." Said neighbor Sasha Lindquist. "Everybody knows somebody who's going through this foreclosure mess, it's an epidemic."
(More below the fold)» More
OccupyOurHomes on June 01, 2012
Expect more updates from Minnesota today, as Occupy Homes MN will be re-occupying the Cruz home at 2pm Central today. More info here.
We will reoccupy the Cruz home AGAIN tomorrow at 2pm on the one month anniversary of our 24/7 eviction blockade at the Cruz family home. Freddie Mac, PNC Bank, and Mayor Rybak have a choice to make: waste more city resources arresting peaceful protesters, or work to keep the Cruz family in their home. WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
This action comes on the heels of 5 eviction attempts and 23 arrests in the past week of Cruz family supporters defending the home and demanding the bank work with the family to keep them in their home.
OccupyOurHomes on May 31, 2012
Community members will hold 12 pm press conference at City Hall to condemn Rybak’s use of public resources to defend the banks, joined by other homeowners facing foreclosure who have taken a pledge not to leave their homes.
In the latest incident in an ongoing showdown, officers violently arrested occupiers peacefully defending the Cruz family home from foreclosure Wednesday night. Fourteen were arrested defending 4044 Cedar Avenue Wednesday night, only 24 hours after Mayor Rybak's office, facing mounting public pressure, issued a news release declaring "the City is not in the foreclosure business." In the statement, City Attorney Susan Segal is quoted saying "The City plays a limited role to protect public safety. The property is the responsibility of its owner… In this case, the City has fulfilled its legal obligation to secure the property."
"We hoped Mayor Rybak would stick to his word, but today's police violence shows Rybak and his police protect and serve the banks, not our communities," said Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN and representative of the Cruz family. The 14 arrests Wednesday at the Cruz home bring this week’s total to 23 during 5 eviction attempts.
At 8:45PM, over 100 people gathered to link arms around the Cruz family home, sitting peaceably singing "We Shall Not Be Moved." By approximately 9:30PM, occupiers had reclaimed the Cruz home.
Around 10:30PM, dozens of police returned in full force, many wielding four-foot batons, and closed off the entire block around Cedar Avenue. Several officers, including Police Chief Tim Dolan, trampled over the eight protesters sitting down and linking arms on the front steps of the home. During this time dozens of protesters gathered in the front and back yard linking arms around the Cruz family home. A police line shoved the protesters linking arms in the front yard down the hill to the sidewalk. The protesters linking arms sang and chanted "It stops here" before the 8 protesters sitting on the front steps of the house were violently arrested. One police officer head-locked Occupy Homes organizer Nick Espinosa, who was sitting on the top of the steps, throwing him down on his back and dragging him inside the front door of the house in the arrest.
“The banks are stealing our homes through illegal and fraudulent practices while refusing to work with families, and they are aided and abetted by the mayor and police," said Espinosa, who was released on bail early this morning. "If anyone should be arrested it's the bankers that crashed our economy while paying themselves record bonuses with our tax dollars."
(More below the fold)
OccupyOurHomes on May 27, 2012
Occupy Homes MN is continuing their effort to defend the Cruz family's home after the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) launched the third eviction attempt in less than a week Tuesday, arresting two protesters and a neighbor who was observing the eviction.
Around 4:00pm, nearly 40 police officers surrounded the home, blocked off Cedar Avenue between East 40th Street and East 41st Street, and spent over an hour removing and arresting a protester who had locked himself to a concrete barrel inside the home while over 100 protestors gathered to defend the home.
When the protesters locked arms to try to non-violently reclaim the home, they were faced with violence from the police. Officers choked protesters by pushing against their throats, and sexually assaulted three female protesters grabbing their chests repeatedly despite their vocal complaints. Officer Lehner, who is currently being sued for destroying a KSTP camera at an Occupy protest in April, was photographed pepper spraying peaceful protesters.
After firefighters boarded up the home, demonstrators marched down Hiawatha Avenue occupying the highway between East 38th Street and Lake Avenue en route to the MPD 3rd Precinct to protest the raid.
All three arrestees were released at 1:20am, including one whose bail was lowered from $80,000 to $50.
Occupy Homes MN has protected the home in a round-the-clock occupation for nearly one month and mobilized supporters through a text alert system.
OccupyOurHomes on May 25, 2012
UPDATE: Community members will hold a 12:00pm press conference and march on Sheriff Stanek's office from the steps of City Hall to denounce him for authorizing the violent eviction of the home while the family is in active negotiations with the bank to peacefully resolve the situation, and to demand he stop trying to evict the home.
Platoons of sheriffs descended on the Cruz family home in a 4 am raid today, arresting five nonviolent supporters in the second failed eviction attempt in 48 hours. Fifty protesters mobilized to defend the home and outflanked the sheriffs by marching through the alley into backyard, causing the sheriffs to retreat without fully securing the home. Members of Occupy Homes MN remain inside the home as of 7 am this morning.
“An army of sheriffs marched in military-style and busted down the door in the dead of night,” said Ben Egerman, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. “It’s unconscionable that Sheriff Stanek ordered the violent eviction of this home a second time, especially when he is fully aware of active negotiations between the family and the bank to resolve the situation peacefully.”
Several protesters, who had locked themselves to structures in and around the home, sustained minor injuries as sheriffs forcibly removed them from the balcony and roof with jackhammers and electric saws. The condition of arrested persons remains unknown.
(More below the fold)
OccupyOurHomes on May 24, 2012
(Updated below the fold)
While the house is secure for now, it is still under threat of imminent eviction.
We urgently need your support to demand a negotiation on the Cruz family’s mortgage.The Cruz family home fell into foreclosure after PNC Bank failed to withdraw a monthly payment, then demanded two months’ late payment for their own mistake. For over three weeks, Occupy Homes has occupied the Cruz family home in a round the clock eviction blockade at 4044 Cedar Avenue in South Minneapolis. After failing to clear the house of Occupy Homes activists and lockdown devices, they left.
Please support the Cruz family, and supporters continuing to risking arrest in the house by calling these numbers with the following demands. Together, we can put the pressure on banks and authorities to support the Cruz family and set a new precedent in the anti-foreclosure movement.
Please take five minutes to call these five people:
1) Fred Solomon, PR executive for PNC Bank at (412) 762-7544
-Demand PNC 1) to renegotiate the Cruz’s mortgage AND 2) to tell Freddie Mac to halt the eviction
(More below the fold)
OccupyOurHomes on May 23, 2012
Sheriffs and police retreated today after over 100 community members surrounded a foreclosed home while others locked themselves to half-ton concrete barrels to prevent the eviction. Six sheriffs attempted to evict the Cruz family home around 3:30 this afternoon, which members of Occupy Homes MN have been defending in a round-the-clock eviction blockade for over three weeks.
"Sheriff Richard Stanek should be ashamed of himself for authorizing the eviction of the Cruz family's home just days after we sent a delegation to his office to inform him that PNC was negotiating with the family. It appears he would rather throw families on the street at the banks' request than work with our communities," said Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN.
When sheriffs arrived to evict the home, protesters locked themselves to structures inside the home with bike locks. Sheriffs attempted to cut them out, but within 30 minutes over 100 supporters had arrived, and sheriffs retreated from the home. Police blocked traffic at either end of the street for over an hour, then also left the home to the activists who had gathered to defend it.
Shortly afterward PNC Bank contacted Occupy Homes MN to request the necessary documents for a loan modification for the Cruz family. However, the home remains under threat of imminent eviction.
Atlanta: Newton Co. Resident Moves Back Into Home After Wrongful Eviction, Faces Imminent Second Eviction
OccupyOurHomes on May 21, 2012
Newton County resident Eddie Jones was illegally evicted on Thursday, May 17th. Instead of just rolling over and letting his house get taken away like so many other Americans, Eddie decided to fight back. Eddie got a few friends together and did something very few have been brave enough to do—he moved back into his home.
This past Saturday, Sheriff’s deputies showed up at Eddie’s home to evict him for a second time. After allowing Eddie to show them paperwork that proves his foreclosure--and therefore eviction--is wrongful, the officers decided to leave and give Jones until Monday, May 21st, to vacate his home.» More
OccupyOurHomes on May 17, 2012
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:
On December 6th of last year Occupy Atlanta began an encampment in front of the Pittman family home in solidarity with their struggle to save their home from JP Morgan Chase.
When the Pittman family reached out to Occupy Atlanta they had just lost their Mother and Grandmother, Eloise Pittman. Like so many Americans Eloise’s struggle to stay in her home was a private struggle, kept secret not only from neighbors but family as well. It wasn't until days after Eloise Pittman passed that the rest of the family discovered that the home had already been sold at the county foreclosure auction.
It has since become one of the longest full-scale home occupations in the country. Working side by side with Occupy Atlanta, the Pittman family has organized dozens of actions to expose JP Morgan Chase's unjust practices and legacy of predatory lending. From marches, rallies, and sit-ins to call in campaigns, workshops, and community canvassing it’s been a 24/7 operation that has put off the eviction for 6 months and put Chase on blast.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO JUNE 1st! That’s right. Chase has given the family until June 1st to accept a deal they simply can’t afford.
We need your help. Can you organize and heavily promote an action against a Chase Bank branch or corporate office to take place on June 1st in solidarity with the Pittman Family and the millions of people being pushed out of their homes?
- Hold a candle light vigil
- Organize a call in Day
- Deliver a letter
- Shut down a Chase branch
- Foreclose on a Chase branch
- Stage a move-in to a Chase branch, or just outside of one
- Use your imagination to come up with something creative and compelling!
OccupyOurHomes on May 15, 2012
Check out the latest update and video from Take Back the Land Rochester:
Leonard Spears' fight to save his home has now been taken to Wells Fargo. Watch this protest event that shows his several attempts to deliver a letter, Wells Fargo's response, how the police handle the situation, and how the power of people can show a large financial corporation what their up against.» More
OccupyOurHomes on May 08, 2012
The Uptake reports on a bold and courageous action by Alejandra and David Cruz, whose parents are facing foreclosure and responding by occupying their home. They are using cement buckets at the front and rear of the property to peacefully block entry by chaining themselves to it.
My parents had to work so hard for this house,” teary-eyed Alejandra Cruz told an Occupy Homes rally this week. “It’s unjust for the banks to take away our dream. My parents brought us here really young, and we’ve learned how to fight against injustice ever since we came to this country. It’s been a struggle for us every single day since we got here.”» More
Alejandra and her brother David, two Minneapolis college students and activists for the Dream Act, took the Occupy Homes pledge this week to stay in the house which their Mexican immigrant parents purchased and are in danger of losing to foreclosure. They are among the first Latinos in the Twin Cities to take the Occupy Homes pledge and defy the banks.
OccupyOurHomes on May 08, 2012
Occupy Atlanta and community allies organized a rally outside of Sheriff Thomas Browns office at 4415 Memorial Drive today. Over 100 people showed up with signs and carrying some of the wreckage that Sheriff Brown and his officers left in Chris Frazer's lawn less than a week ago. The furniture was place in front the entrance to the Sheriff's department with the idea of bring the housing crisis right to the Sheriff's doorstep. The Sheriff's office locked the door and refused to respond to community concerns. Chris Frazer, Carmen Pittman, and Pastor Johnson all spoke to the crowd outside of the Sheriffs department demanding that Sheriff Brown apologize and let Chris Frazer back in her home.» More
May 07, 2012
Leonard Spears and Take Back the Land Rochester are calling on the community to protest Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac's move displace Leonard from his home at 26 Ries St., Rochester, NY 14611. Despite 10-12 attempts at a mortgage modification, Wells Fargo refused to negotiate with Leonard and instead asked him to continually resubmit the same paperwork. In order to take his home as quickly as possible Wells Fargo never served Leonard the Summons and Complaint for the foreclosure action, denying him proper recourse to defend his home in court. Instead Wells Fargo fabricated the paperwork saying they served Leonard and claiming he was up to 6 feet tall with black, brown, and blond hair! Unfortunately for Wells Fargo, Leonard is about 5'6'', bald and has never had blond or brown hair. In a further stroke of fraud, lawyers for Wells Fargo reveal that their client didn't own the mortgage or note when they foreclosed on Leonard Spears giving them zero legal standing to foreclose in the first place. To add insult to injury, when Wells Fargo foreclosed on Mr. Spears, they sold his house to Freddie Mac for $500. Now Freddie Mac is trying to evict Leonard and gave him 90 days to vacate on March 30, 2012. We demand that Freddie Mac withdraw the eviction and that Wells Fargo withdraw the foreclosure and work out a reasonable settlement with Leonard.» More
OccupyOurHomes on May 06, 2012
Occupy Atlanta and community allies plan to protest outside of Sheriff Thomas Browns office at 4415 Memorial Drive; Decatur, GA 30032 from 4-6pm on Monday 5/7
The scene early on the morning of May 2nd at 3662 Wellhaun Road in Decatur, Georgia resembled that of a major drug bust with officers sneaking around in the middle of the night. Instead of a bust however, 50 officers stormed the property of 62 year old Christine Frazer’s house at 3 AM to serve her with an eviction notice at gun point.
Chris’ house was foreclosed on fraudulently by Investors One Corporation in October 2011, and she a case currently in federal court disputing the foreclosure. In March, activists with Occupy Atlanta set up camp on her lawn and committed to stay to defend Chris’ home from eviction.
We cannot afford to allow Sheriff Thomas Brown to disrespect are communities in this fashion. We demand that he lets the family back into the place they've called home for the past 18 yrs. We will be meeting outside of his office Monday evening, 4-6pm, carrying signs and banners asking why he would choose to leave a family homeless at 3 in the morning at gun point and allowed her valuables to be stolen.
Actions you can take:
1. Call the Sheriff's Department (404-298-8145) and demand that they reverse the eviction and Let the Frazer family back in her home.
2. We are scrambling to help Chris put the pieces back together, her family has places to stay but we are trying to get them all under the same roof, please donate if you can.
OccupyOurHomes on May 04, 2012
The scene early on the morning of May 2nd at 3662 Wellhaun Road in Decatur, Georgia resembled that of a major drug bust with officers sneaking around in the middle of the night. Instead of a bust however, 50 officers stormed the property of 62 year old Christine Frazer’s house at 3 AM to serve her with an eviction notice.
Chris’ house was foreclosed on fraudulently by Investors One Corporation in October 2011, and she has been fighting it in court ever since (see the video above). In January, activists with Occupy Atlanta set up camp on her lawn and committed to stay to defend Chris’ home from eviction.
Using what sheriff Thomas Brown himself referred to as “intelligence,” Dekalb County law enforcement waited until activists were not present at the home, and the neighbors would be asleep, to serve an unprecedented eviction after hours, putting 4 generations including her 85 year old mother, and 3 year old grandson out on the curb. They refused to allow Chris to shower or for her mother to get dressed; they told Chris to behave as if it were a fire drill. They even rounded up her dogs and took them to the pound.
The police blockaded the neighborhood and wouldn’t allow anyone to help secure the family’s valuable personal belongings from the side of the road.
Once again, it is clear that the government and our law enforcement officials are being used to serve and protect the interest of the 1% and not of ordinary people or even the laws that they have put in place. Occupy Atlanta is more committed than ever to the fight for Chris Frazer’s home, and the thousands of other homeowners just like her who are being disrespected every day.
Read more below the fold.» More
Portland: Neighborhood leads May Day foreclosure defense, reclaims property and home of woman unjustly evicted by the bank
OccupyOurHomes on May 04, 2012
On May Day, the Portland Liberation Organizing Council, the Black Working Group, and dozens of allies and community partners helped Alicia Jackson re-occupy her home which was unjustly evicted from last July. Here's part of the report from the PLOC:
Today, the community of NE Portland rallied and reclaimed the home of Alicia Jackson, longtime Portland resident, who had been driven from her home last July. Approximately 400 people gathered in Woodlawn at 9am and marched with banners, music, and chanting the four blocks to Alicia’s home. The Portland Liberation Organizing Council and the Black Working Group, along with a dozen allies and partners, organized this home defense.
The neighborhoods hosted a press conference on the steps of the house with Alicia, Ahjamu Umi of the Black Working Group, Father Jack Mosbrucker, retired from St Therese Catholic Church , and Rain Crowe of PLOC. The community then cut a yellow ribbon to enter the house and begin cleaning out the accumulated dust. Other community members began carting in soil, garden tools, and supplies. The neighbors brought out food dishes, spaghetti, pizza, and snacks to share with the crowd.
“Home is where the heart is,” Alicia said during the reclamation.
The home defense went forward without incident and appeared be broadly supported by the neighborhood, many of whom already had “Support your neighbors, stop foreclosure” signs in their front yards. The sun came out as community members shared food, played games, and danced a Maypole together.
OccupyOurHomes on May 02, 2012
The scene early this morning at 3662 Wellhaun Road in Decatur resembled that of a major drug bust with officers sneaking around in the middle of the night. Instead of a bust however, officers knocked on the door of 62 year old Christine Frazer’s house at 3 AM to serve her with an eviction notice. Chris’ house was foreclosed on fraudulently by Investors One Corporation in October 2011, and she has been fighting it in federal court ever since. In January, activists with Occupy Atlanta set up camp on her lawn and committed to stay to defend Chris’ home from eviction.
Using what the sheriff himself referred to as “intelligence”Dekalb County law enforcement waited until activists were not present at the home, and the neighbors would be asleep to serve an illegal eviction after hours, putting 4 generations including her 83 year old mother, and 3 year old grandson out on the curb. They even rounded up her dogs and took them to the pound. To add insult to injury, the police blocked off the street and wouldn’t allow anyone to help secure the family’s valuable personal belongings from the side of the road.
Once again, it is clear that the government and our law enforcement officials are being used to serve and protect the interest of the 1% and not of ordinary people or even the laws that they have put in place. Occupy Atlanta is more committed than ever to the fight for Chris Frazer’s home, and the thousands of other homeowners just like her who are being disrespected every day.
Sherriff Thomas Brown and the Dekalb County political system showed their true colors today, and made it known where their loyalties lie. Today at 1 pm, Occupy Atlanta, John Evans, President of Dekalb County NAACP, and other community members will be holding a press conference in front of Chris Frazer’s home to put these officials on blast and let them know that we will not stand for this type of shady behavior.
OccupyOurHomes on April 30, 2012
Bank of America is at it again! This "too crooked to fail" megabank--notorious for racial profiling, sub-prime lending, robo-signing, and ripping off everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed--is after Vine City resident Pamela Flores's home.
BoA is attempting to foreclose on Pamela, claiming that she missed payments during the trial period of a loan modification she received through the "Making Home Affordable" program. The thing is, Pamela Flores never missed a payment, in fact she was never even late, and has all the records to prove it. Pamela has no plans to just pack up and leave. She is fighting back, and Occupy Atlanta along with Occupy Our Homes plan to stand with her every step of the way.
On Monday April 30th, the day before her house is set to be auctioned off, we'll be at the Bank of America Plaza in Midtown with one simple message: Make a deal to keep Pamela Flores in her home!» More
Han Shan on April 24, 2012
As I write this, downtown San Francisco is filled with community activists and members of the 99% who have surrounded Wells Fargo's annual shareholders meeting in protest. The Merchant's Exchange Building in the city's Financial District, where the meeting is taking place, is effectively shut down, according to news reports and tweets from participants in the march and protest. San Francisco police have shut out dozens—maybe hundreds—of shareholders, who are displaying their share certificates and demanding to be allowed into the meeting.
From an AP report just filed:
Shareholder Mark Richmond, a 59-year-old Portland member of the group We Are Oregon, said he hoped he could voice his concerns specifically about predatory lending and home foreclosures. He said he expected some raucousness inside and outside the meeting.
"Oh, there's going to be some action all right. We're very dissatisfied with Wells Fargo," said Richmond, who works as a janitor at the Portland International Airport. "This should be very interesting."
The report continues:
Hundreds of union members, activists and clergy members blocked the street in front of the building beforehand waving signs and chanting, "We are the 99 percent! Let us in!"
The livestream and photos posted on twitter show a scene at once raucous, inspiring, and frustrating, as a massive and colorful crowd defiantly brings business as usual to a halt in the Financial District, but police stop legitimate shareholders from entering, and giving voice to the concerns of millions of people across the country about Wells Fargo's criminal practices.
Han 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.
Han Shan on April 16, 2012
Today marks the beginning of a week of actions to stop the sales of foreclosed homes at auction in New York City.
According to Organizing for Occupation (O4O):
Every week, foreclosed homes are sold at auctions throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Many of the families who live in these homes were victims of predatory loans and deceptive banking practices, but now face imminent evictions from some of the biggest culprits of financial fraud in the banking and mortgage industry. Others will have their house bought out by speculators, who are looking to flip properties, or gentrify new neighborhoods.
Watch the powerful new 'call to action' video and if you're in New York, join O4O and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists to occupy the forecluse auctions:
MONDAY, April 16th, 2pm
Bronx Supreme Court, Rm 600. 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx
Who: Organizing for Occupation (O4O), OWS
THURSDAY, April 19th, 3pm
Kings County Supreme Court, 360 Adams St, Brooklyn
Who: Occupy Faith, Catholic Worker, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)
FRIDAY, April 20th, 11am
Queens Supreme Court, 8811 Sutphin Boulevard, Queens
Who: Occupy Queens, Columbia University students, Occupy the New School
For more information, see the press release about the week's actions from OWS' press relations working group:» More
OccupyOurHomes on April 11, 2012
The foreclosure crisis hit Vine City hard. Now, only 15% of residents own their homes and many of them are facing hardship, like resident Pamela Flores whose property backs up to Martin Luther King III and City Councilman Michael Julian Bond’s home.
Pamela bought her home at an inflated amount in 2006, the height of the crime spree at the hands of American banking institutions. In 2009 she attempted to get a loan modification with Bank of America through the “Making Homes Affordable” program. The bank told her that in order to qualify she needed to miss 3-4 mortgage payments; this is a scam that has already put countless Americans out of their homes. During the time she missed payments, at the banks request and in order to meet the loan modification criteria, she fell into foreclosure. By qualifying for the “Making Homes Affordable” program foreclosure was temporarily avoided. Pamela began to pay trial period monthly payments for the “Making Homes Affordable” program. When it was time for Bank of America to grant her the promised modification, they instead mailed her a notification alleging that she failed to make four out of five payments. Her home, unknowing to her, was slated for auction at the Fulton County courthouse during the time the bank claimed to be researching their records for the “missing” payments. The thing is, Pamela Flores never missed a payment, in fact she was never even late, and has all the records to prove it.» More
OccupyOurHomes on April 10, 2012
On 4.9.2012 Occupy Raleigh along with Occupy Greensboro, Take Back The Land, Save Our Homes, and Mortgage Fraud NC attempted to defend the home of a family illegally foreclosed on in Southeast Raleigh. This is a recap of the day's events including the eventual arrests. IMPORTANT NOTES: This was not an attempt by Occupy to squat. This was an attempt to allow the family access to their belongings before they were trashed, and to hopefully allow them some way to stay in the home and/or bring attention to the reality of mortgage fraud. Occupy's assistance was in fact requested by the homeowner!» More
on April 09, 2012
Community supporter of Occupy Homes MN will join with John Vinje and Lucinda Williams Monday morning to protest US Bank auctioning off their family’s home at a sheriffs sale planned for 11am. US Bank has failed to respond to John’s request for a sit-down meeting to discuss a reasonable renegotiation of his overpriced mortgage.
John Vinje explained: “If US Bank won’t come to me with a reasonable offer, we’re going to them. We’re going to attend the sheriff’s sale and demand to speak to the US Bank representative, and say this sale has got to be postponed until a real negotiation happens, until they give me a reasonable offer that can keep my family in our home.”» More
OccupyOurHomes on April 09, 2012
Join us in a chain hunger strike to demand the banksters be held accountable for systematic foreclosure fraud against hundreds of thousands of homeowners. On April 6, 2012, Donna Vieira ended her 16-day hunger strike. Tim Nonn (Occupy Petaluma) is continuing the hunger strike, to protest the lack of prosecution of the banks for foreclosure fraud. Tim began on April 6 and will end his leg of the hunger strike on April 13.
We invite others to participate in the rolling hunger strike by signing up for one or more days. If you are interested in participating, please email Brenda (email@example.com) to be placed on the schedule of hunger strikers.
Join with members of the Occupy Movement by standing in solidarity with the millions of homeowners who have already been foreclosed or are facing foreclosure. The banks have been given a license to steal our homes by the government. We must demand accountability and criminal prosecutions for these massive crimes that are wrecking families’ lives and our communities. (Pictured above in SF AG’s office: Tim Nonn second from the left and Donna Vieira second from the right, along with supporters from Oakland and Sacramento.)
OccupyOurHomes on April 09, 2012
Updates from today's action are below the fold.
Occupy Greensboro joins Occupy Raleigh to reclaim an evicted family’s foreclosed home
A family in Raleigh has been evicted and forced from their home through an illegal foreclosure. They have been ordered to remove all personal property from their home by Sunday April 8, 2012. The family has bravely chosen to fight eviction and foreclosure and is requesting community support. Evidence of robo-signing by the bank, which is a fraud, has been uncovered and the entire foreclosure process is under attorney review.
It is up to us to send a clear message that we will not allow this to happen.
On Monday, April 9th, community participants will enter the house and refuse to leave as an act of civil disobedience. Another 10 families in this predominantly African-American neighborhood are facing similarly illegal foreclosure and eviction.
OccupyOurHomes on April 08, 2012
Update: Wells Fargo has agreed to a postponement of eviction until after the pending hearing on May 1st.
Wells Fargo Please Wait Until The Case Can be Heard on May 1st – You Do Not Have to Evict the Family on EASTER SUNDAY!!!!!!!
PLEASE STOP THE EVICTION OF THE PHILLIPS-TEHIVA FAMILY HATOTA TEHIVA, JAYDENE PHILLIPS TEHIVA, and JOYCELENE PHILLIPS
Hana, Hawaii 96713
Loan # 111003400
We support the Phillips-Tehiva `Ohana and the right for them to remain on their property at 5305 Hana Highway in Hana, Maui, Hawai`i. The nine family members, including 6 children and an ailing grandmother, are about to be evicted from land that has been in the family since the Great Mahele. The family has a reconsideration hearing in Second Circuit District Court scheduled for May 1, 2012.
HOWEVER, their eviction is scheduled for EASTER SUNDAY morning at 10:00 am. EASTER SUNDAY!
EVERYONE PLEASE : EMAIL and CALL WELLS FARGO: (and post this to your Facebook and Twitter)
John.G.Stumpf@wellsfargo.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Todd.M.Boothroyd@wellsfargo.com; email@example.com; Richard.D.Levy@wellsfargo.com; David.M.Carroll@wellsfargo.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; AVID.MODJTABAI@wellsfargo.com; BoardCommunications@wellsfargo.com; email@example.com
I ask for your assistance in preventing a gross miscarriage of justice.
OccupyOurHomes on April 04, 2012
Delina Pierre and family, apparent victims like millions nationwide of foreclosure fraud, are facing eviction today from their home of seven years at 4441 NW 36th Court, Lauderdale Lakes. Pierre had been foreclosed several years ago by US Bank, a financial institution which has no standing in the case at all based on a perusal of Pierre's documents. The home, appraised at over $150,000, was sold at auction last week for about $97,000. The case, like the vast majority, wreaks of fraud.
This will be the second action in less than a week in which Occupy Ft. Lauderdale Foreclosure Mobilization has called on local activists to defend a family from eviction. Last week, the group galvanized an eviction defense on behalf of Jessie Museau in North Miami Beach, though ultimately the court granted a 30-day stay before the eviction could be enforced
OFLFM has been part of or led the stoppage of four evictions in south Florida over the past three-and-a-half months, all of them based on fraudulent loan and other documentation. But the case of Ms. Pierre is particularly heinous in that no evidence seems to exist proving that the foreclosing bank, US Bank, held title to the home at the time of foreclosure.» More
Chicago Southwest Suburbs: Support a family vowing to resist eviction from their home under threat of arrest by Will County Sheriff's Deputies
OccupyOurHomes on April 04, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 8:00 a.m., Dena Killacky, her husband Patrick and their four children (ages 9-to-18) will be evicted from the home that Dena's father built in 1978.
The family lost their home to foreclosure by Eastern Standard Bank of Maryland and faces what their lawyer calls an unlawful eviction full of irregularities in the way the case was handled by the Will County Circuit Court.
Using manipulation & deceit, Eastern Standard Bank foreclosed and made off with their money by selling the house at auction to DG Enterprises of New Lennox, Illinois. DG Enterprises originally offered to rent the home to the Killacky family, but then decided to press ahead with the eviction at the advice of their lawyers.
Go below the fold to see how you can help.» More
OccupyOurHomes on April 03, 2012
Occupy Palm Beach County has started a bold and exciting new program to Occupy the Courts. This Working Group will occupy the Foreclosure Courts in Palm Beach County. They will work to have 2 volunteers monitor both of the Foreclosure Court Rooms 401 4A and 4B/6D Monday through Thursday from 8:45 to 10:30 AM.» More
OccupyOurHomes on April 02, 2012
Update: Here's the latest from Occupy Our Homes DC:
Occupy Our Homes DC wins another victory. At 9 AM, Monday, April 2nd, J.P. Morgan Chase directed U.S. Marshals to evict Dawn Butler from her home on Maryland Avenue NE in Capitol Hill. With a strong show of force over 40 activists were present and determined to defend Ms. Butler's home from eviction. Metro Washington Police and the moving crew had arrived while activists sang songs and blocked the staircase. At the same time, Ms. Butler was at Landlord and Tenant court in Northwest Washington and successfully requested that the judge call off the eviction.
Representatives from other housing activist groups including City Life/Vida Urbana and the Backbone Campaign spoke out against unfair evictions at the home. Bertina Jones, who joined with Occupy Our Homes DC to get her house back from Freddie Mac in February, also spoke at the home and expressed solidarity with Ms. Butler's case. The movement for housing for all is growing in the District of Columbia. Ms. Butler has been a tenant since 2006 and following the foreclosure of her landlord has tried to exercise her rights as a tenant. There will be a court date this spring where the merits of the case will be heard. The spring offensive is underway.
OccupyOurHomes on March 27, 2012
Occupy Fights Foreclosures (OFF), a sub-committee of Occupy LA, joined neighbors in the South Adams community to help a widow who fell victim to foreclosure fraud by at least three companies.
Monday evening, dozens of anti-foreclosure protesters responded to an emergency eviction appeal from a Dirma Rodriguez, a widow, and her 27-year old daughter, Ingrid Ortiz, who is disabled with a condition called toxic plasmosis cerebral palsy.
Ortiz has special needs and the family has the home build to accommodate her needs with wheelchair ramps and other accessibility alterations. Mrs. Rodriguez has been unable to find a place to rent that could accommodate her daughter’s special needs. Eviction could mean separation of this family and possible institutionalization of Ingrid.» More
OccupyOurHomes on March 26, 2012
As of Monday, March 26, the eviction blockade/occupation of the Hill family home, located at 3811 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago enters Day 18. A number of developments demonstrate the effectiveness of resistance to attempts by the banks to "grab the land" in our communities:
- the real estate broker hired by Bank of New York Mellon (BoNYM) has decided to call it quits. Chicago Realty Partners (CRP) coordinated the attempt to evict the Hill family on March 9- they have now told us they will inform BoNYM & their agents that they will no longer act as brokers for this property. CRP cited the public pressure campaign (phone calls from our supporters, media coverage and a visit to the CRP office by Campaign supporters) as a factor in their decision.
- a hearing in Cook County Circuit Court last Friday (March 23) has established the first legal ground for us to reverse the eviction order and challenge the legal basis for both the eviction & foreclosure. Judge Leonard Murray granted a continuance to the motion filed to reverse the order over the objections of the bank's lawyer. Another hearing is scheduled for next Friday (March 30).
Momentum is in our favor, but victory is far from clear until we are certain that the Hill family is secure in their home of 17 years. While we can assume there will not be another eviction attempt until after next week's hearing, the round-the-clock occupation of the Hill family home remains alert. We're asking all those who want to help us fight BoNMY:
- to continue to contact BoNMY and demand they resume negotiation with the Hill family & their lawyers based on the actual current value of their home.» More
OccupyOurHomes on March 23, 2012
At the home of a 62 year old woman threatened with eviction, Occupiers are fighting to keep a roof over her family’s head.
Today, March 22nd, everyone working to save this home from illegal eviction was greeted by multiple police cars and helicopters looming overhead. Rather than investigating the clearly evident fraud perpetrated by Investors One Corporation, the company attempting to claim Chris Frazer’s home, the DeKalb Sheriff’s Department has turned a blind eye on those who need it most.
There is currently a lawsuit being filed against all parties who had a hand in these clandestine business practices. The Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office still didn’t hesitate to send multiple squad cars to be stationed outside of the Frazer residence. Despite severe budget cuts the county is facing police were told, “bring a book or a movie.” There were also several instances where a helicopter was circling the house, hovering for about 10-15 minutes at a time costing the county thousands of dollars. Tomorrow we are expecting an even more blatant show of force on the part of the Dekalb County Sheriff.» More
OccupyOurHomes on March 20, 2012
Tents will be erected at 6PM Tuesday by Occupy Long Beach and other supporters of Rachel to kick off the 24 hour plus Vigil at Rachel’s home to stand up to the banks and send a clear message, "What you are doing is wrong and we are not leaving."
Occupy Long Beach has been working with Rachel and her family to organize community support. At a protest rally at Wells Fargo in Signal Hill Friday, March 16th, Rachel talked with the Bank Manager and again asked for help while fifty members of Occupy Long Beach, Occupy Santa Ana, Occupy LA, Good Jobs LA, Service Employees International Union, Long Beach Area Peace Network, and Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and A Healthy Community pledged to stand witness at her home.
At a Monday Press Conference, flanked by 20 supporters and her aunt and brother, Rachel forcefully declared, “I put all of my life savings into this home. I am asking Wells Fargo and CEO John Stumpf to sell me my house back for the price they purchased it. I am not leaving until they work with me or make me leave.”
Recently several of her Signal Hill neighbors have contacted her to commiserate. Some are in a similar plight. Public records show that 98 residences in Signal Hill are in some stage of default and foreclosure. One asked, " Imagine what 100 more empty homes will do to our community?"
OccupyOurHomes on March 19, 2012
Rachel New and her family—two young daughters, disabled mother, a disabled aunt, and brothers—are threatened with eviction Wednesday March 21 or soon after despite trying for over a year to negotiate a loan modification with her bank.
Rachel came to this country as an immigrant from the killing fields of Cambodia, where she was beaten and starved and saw people shot. She worked hard, graduated from CSU-LB, where she has worked for over 17 years. By the time her dream home was completed, it was underwater.
A year after being run around by the bank on almost daily calls, Wells Fargo finally informed her they were not approving the modification 20 hours before selling the home to themselves at auction for half of the mortgage price. We believe they should sell it back to her for that same price and keep the New family in their home.
OccupyOurHomes on March 16, 2012
In a strategy that is a growing trend for homeowners that have been wrongfully evicted from their homes, a Bayview family will re-claim their home from Wells Fargo. In the last month, more and more homeowners across the country have re-occupied their homes from big banks after being evicted. Foreclosure Fighters, community members and supporters are announcing the family is refusing to leave the home and will continue to take back homes until the banks instill a moratorium and work with borrowers.
“I had submitted the paperwork to the bank (Wells Fargo) for a modification,” says family who will re-claim their home this Friday, ”and while their modification department was saying they were working with me, their foreclosure department sold my home from underneath me. I didn’t find out our home was sold until the Sheriffs came with a notice to vacate. I want Wells Fargo to rescind the sale of my home and offer me an affordable modification.”
OccupyOurHomes on March 16, 2012
On Friday, March 9, Cook County Sheriff officers and agents from Bank of New York Mellon attempted to evict a Chicago family from their home of 17 years. After a seven-hour standoff- Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign & Occupiers on one side, Chicago Police Department officers & bank agents on the other- the eviction was halted. The family gets to stay in their home- for now.
Please sign the petition to demand that Bank of New York Mellon make a fair agreement with the family to stay in their home based on the actual current market value.» More
OccupyOurHomes on March 15, 2012
Bank of America (BAC) is a morally and financially dead “zombie bank” poised to shock the entire global economy into crisis. Its time to FightBAC and break up the bank! On March 15th, we will Foreclose on Bank of America.
Bank of America (BAC) gambled with Americans’ homes and lost, but America has been the one to pay the price. Now BAC is trying to stave off the bankruptcy it deserves by kicking millions of Americans out of our homes.
We're not going to let them. On March 15, Americans will move into BAC branches across the country and take back what’s rightfully ours: HOME. Bring a chair, a bed, a potted plant. Get ready to move in.
BAC has been foreclosing on America for years. But SPRING IS COMING, and America is ready to FIGHT BAC!
OccupyOurHomes on March 14, 2012
Today March 14th, 2012 we ask American Citizens along with any and all Concerned Citizens, Homeowners, and activist Occupy members to take direct action. Please email, phone and/or fax ALL the 1% (entities) listed below which have participated in the fraudulent attempts to steal the home from the Bayless Family in Delaware Ohio, (North Columbus). THEY ARE COMING….AGAIN…THURSDAY March 15th at 9:00am…unless we STOP THEM.
We ask you “Take Action” to protest any further eviction attempts on this family. Homeowners & citizens across America and in Ohio – Please contact the 1%: US BANK Corporate Trust, their profiteering servicing partner Wells Fargo and the two Ohio based Predator Drone foreclosure mill firms Lerner, Sampson, Rothfuss (LSR) and Thompson Hine LLP, hired to execute criminal acts in our courts. The behavior of the 1% - if allowed to go unchecked - will exacerbate the foreclosure crisis, affecting millions of families, and continue to destroy the lives, families & economy for the remaining 99%.
OccupyOurHomes on March 13, 2012
A great video on Occupy Santa Cruz's March 11th Stop Foreclosure Fraud March.» More
OccupyOurHomes on March 12, 2012
An urgent update from Occupy Glen Iris following protests this morning at Chase Bank branches in Atlanta:
This morning, at 9am, 5 Chase Bank locations were the target of civil disobedience in defense of the Pittman Family that lives at 404 Glen Iris. 6 members of the Occupy community, after dancing on their cars in the drive-thru at the West-End branch, tried to leave the parking lot and were blocked in by APD (yes, they were leaving the area). They have been arrested and we have reason to believe they have been taken to Rice St. (Fulton County Jail).
At least 3 have been detained at a separate location. We hear they're being released.
Today, March 12th, 2012, we are going after Chase bank branches in the metro Atlanta area. We are Take Back the Block and Occupy Atlanta. This is our third time stopping Chase’s businesses from operating. We want the deed to the Pittman home, located at 404 Glen Iris, and a moratorium on foreclosures.
Today, Atlanta shuts Chase down. Tomorrow, on Jamie Dimon’s birthday, the nation will join us in disrupting their abominable practices.
The update continues below the fold.» More
OccupyOurHomes on March 12, 2012
A crew of occupiers makes a home of a Bank of America lobby with a couch, a coffee table, a rug and a potted plant. "Bank of America took our homes so we though we'd move in here!" Join them March 15 as America turns the tables on the nation's largest bank!
See more actions at FtheBanks.org.» More
Video streaming by Ustream
OccupyOurHomes on March 06, 2012
Occupy Cleveland's Rally on March 5, 2012 of Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Sale - Including an inside Mic Check and arrests.» More
on March 05, 2012
A broad coalition of faith leaders and community organizations are claiming a small victory today, having further delayed homeowner Monique White's eviction after Freddie Mac defied Minnesota's Attorney General's request to halt the eviction so they could investigate her case. In a closed door meeting of attorneys for both sides and the Court Referee all agreed to move the hearing to an actual Trial date of Friday, March 9th at 1:30pm. In the meantime Monique's Attorney's, including Rachel E. B. Lang, Representative Bobby Joe Champion and the State Attorney General's office, will continue to probe into the alleged mishandling of procedures during the foreclosure process.
"Despite Freddie Mac's attempt to ram Monique's eviction through, about 100 supporters packed the courtroom and we successfully delayed the hearing until Friday at 1:30PM. In the meantime we will continue to pursue all our legal options make sure the Attorney General has more time to do a full investigation into her case to be sure no fraud or illegal activity took place, and to build pressure on US Bank to make things right." Said Occupy Homes MN Organizer Nick Espinosa» More
Occupy Homes MN and North Minneapolis Clergy Rally to Support Homeowner Monique White at Eviction Hearing
OccupyOurHomes on March 05, 2012A broad coalition of faith leaders and community organizations will again call on Freddie Mac to halt the eviction of North Minneapolis resident Monique White, and ask US Bank to modify her loan so she and her children can stay in their home.
Congressman Keith Ellison released a statement supporting the Minnesota Attorney General Office’s request that the Monday March 5, 2012, eviction be postponed for Monique White. Congressman Ellison stands with the Attorney General and other local elected officials in requesting time for a full review of Ms. White’s case.“I encourage US Bank and Freddie Mac to act in good faith and negotiate a solution that works well for all parties and allows Monique and her children to keep their home.” Said Congressman Ellison"We will not stand by as Freddie Mac tries to railroad through an eviction process for a single mother in North Minneapolis while they ignore a request from Minnesota's Attorney General to investigate her case to make sure she has been treated fairly." Said Occupy Homes MN Organizer Nick Espinosa.» More
on March 01, 2012
Detroit has been a critical city in the Occupy Homes movement, with numerous occupations organized by Occupy Detroit and important work being done by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions, and Utility Shutoffs. The Moratorium NOW! Coalition has called a conference on March 31, 2012 to demand a two year national moratorium to stop foreclosures.
Learn more about the conference and register at nationalmoratorium.org.» More
OccupyOurHomes on February 28, 2012
Occupy Our Homes-DC held it’s second successful action against Freddie Mac today. Yesterday, we sent a clear message to Freddie Mac when we gathered outside their offices to stop the eviction of Bertina Jones. As Ms. Jones said, they can hear us now. Today we continued our actions, with a rally that resulted in Freddie Mac arranging an emergency meeting between Ms. Jones her lawyer, and a representative from Bank of America. The banks said they would work with Ms. Jones towards a positive solution.
While we are cautiously optimistic about this meeting, we know that the banks have lied before. We are interested in actions, not promises.
Ms. Jones will continue fighting with Occupy Our Homes to keep the pressure up on Freddie Mac until she is secure in her home. We plan continue next round of actions to let Freddie Mac know that the public is watching.
We call on Freddie Mac to move quickly to return the home to Ms. Jones.
We are confident that this will be the first of many victories for people in the region who are facing foreclosure.
Ms. Jones said, “I’m feeling hopeful.”
OccupyOurHomes on February 28, 2012
In solidarity with families across the U.S. resisting foreclosures and evictions, the Occupy Our Homes movement is announcing that March 12th-16th will be a National Week of Action to protest the criminal foreclosure practices of the nation's largest banks.
The housing system built by Wall Street banks and for the 1% has utterly failed the 99%. The banks' criminal foreclosure practices have cost millions of Americans their homes already. Millions more homeowners are at risk of foreclosure in the coming years. And while hun» More
OccupyOurHomes on February 27, 2012
On Monday, February 27th at noon, South Minneapolis homeowner Bobby Hull, supporters from Occupy Homes MN and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change and will publicly declare victory in their fight to save Hull’s family home from an unfair and avoidable foreclosure. Following a three-month public campaign, Hull’s lender has agreed renegotiate his mortgage so that he and his family can keep their home!!
"We hope that Bobby's story will inspire communities around the country to stand up and fight against unfair and immoral foreclosures. His success is proof that we can win if we rally our friends and neighbors and stick together. Rather than a miracle, we look at this deal as one that's appropriate for necessary if we're going to get the American economy back on track." -Anthony Newby, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change
Hull says he will continue to support others facing foreclosure. “We won't stop until all Americans across the country get the same deal that I did.” said Hull.
on February 24, 2012
Art de los Santos moved into his Riverside home with his wife and four kids in 2003. It was his first home and represented the American dream he had worked his whole lives for. In 2009, his work slowed down and he applied for a loan modification with his bank. But after encouraging him to miss mortgage payments on purpose, JP Morgan Chase and investor Freddie Mac foreclosed – even though he still had a stable income and likely qualified for a modification. Last year, his family was evicted from our home. His house then sat vacant for over six months. Over the holidays, he moved back in, enrolled his kids back at school and has asked the bank to accept his payments.
Rather than accept his payments, Freddie Mac is seeking a court order requiring the sheriff to evict Art’s family. It’s time to stand up.
Join us and take action against Freddie Mac and demand that stop the eviction and negotiate with of Art de los Santos and fellow 99%er Bertina Jones. We will also be demanding that Freddie Mac stop standing in the way of principal reduction for American homeowners.» More
OccupyOurHomes on February 23, 2012
Sporting goggles, snorkels, flippers and life preservers, more than 150 demonstrators marched on the big banks on January 30th to call attention to the scourge of underwater mortgages. Foreclosure victims lead by City Life and New England’s Bank Tenant Associations were joined by allies from MASSUNITING and the Occupy movement in calling on financial institutions to take meaningful steps to address the mortgage crisis. Their primary demand of JP Morgan Chase, Fannie Mae, Bank of America and other big banks: reduce the principal owed on underwater homes.
“Millions of homes are underwater due to the greed of Bank of America, Fannie Mae, JP Morgan Chase and the rest of the big banks,” said Melonie Griffiths, an organizer with City Life/Vida Urbana. “They’re directly responsible for the mortgage crisis, and it’s about time they did something to clean up their wreckage and help drowning homeowners.”» More
February 20, 2012
MEET BERTINA: A familiar story to millions of Americans, Bank of America used the financial crisis to take advantage of Bertina Jones. Bertina did everything right. Like millions of Americans, she fell behind on her mortgage after losing her job in wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Hoping to take responsibility for missed payments, she met with Bank of America to renegotiate her mortgage, and was offered a modification in January of 2009. She kept making payments, and while the bank acknowledged it had received her money, it told her that her paperwork was lost. In the Summer of 2010, she was informed that the modification was off the table, and in September, Bank of America sold her mortgage to Freddie Mac which continued with foreclosure.» More
OccupyOurHomes on February 17, 2012
Denver’s Foreclosure Working Group (FWG), with members from Colorado Progressive Coalition and Occupy Denver, conducted a foreclosure auction disruption in downtown Denver on February 16, with testimonials and an anti-foreclosure song. After an outdoor rally against the auction and bank settlement the previous Thursday, the FWG, which was formed about two months ago to organize their communities and fight fraudulent foreclosures, vowed to return. And return they did! The FWG will continue to organize and take direct action, disrupting auctions and occupying the homes of those threatened with eviction.» More
OccupyOurHomes on February 16, 2012
A little after 1:30pm today Arturo de los Santos, a former marine who is fighting to save his home, was arrested in the lobby of a major downtown LA office building where Freddie Mac has its LA office. His wife and four young children stood by his side until the police made them leave the building. An angry crowd of 60 or more struggling homeowners with the ACCE Home Defenders League took over the building lobby, demanding that Freddie Mac negotiate with Art and his family. Another 100 supporters rallied outside. Below is the press release with background that went out today.» More
OccupyOurHomes on February 16, 2012
The Occupy Movement calls Valentine’s Day 2012 “Break Up with your Bank Day”. Some Occupy Activists from LA and Inland Empire cities disrupted a foreclosure auction in Chino to save a soldier’s family home.
Sergeant Anthony Chavoya, an active-duty member of the Army National Guard, contacted members of Occupy LA to help save his home from foreclosure, after his father saw a news report about Occupy Activists and Wells Fargo Executives meeting last week regarding foreclosures.
Chavoya’s home was supposed to be auctioned on Valentine’s Day at the City of Chino Civic Center at 1pm after his bank, Wells Fargo, and other big banks negotiated a sweetheart deal with 49 state Attorney Generals for foreclosure fraud.
“It’s been stressful since we got the letter,” said Sgt. Chavoya. “We couldn’t sleep. We were up late hours thinking, what are we going to do with our family?”
Chavoya has served in the Army for 14 years and has done a total of 3 tours, 2 tours in Iraq and one in Kosovo as an infantryman.» More
OccupyOurHomes on February 14, 2012
On the anniversary of the Minnesota Moratorium of 1934, passed during the last great depression, we'll be throwing a massive block party to celebrate the defense of the home of Bobby Hull. He's a former Marine and Vietnam era vet who's been in his home since 1968 and is facing foreclosure. Feb 17th is the last day of his Redemption Period after which he could face eviction. On this day we'll pitch a tent and a stage, invite friends, neighbors and supportive community members to Bobby's home and block.» More
We'll treat the event like a celebration-Either be celebrating a good faith negotiation by the Bank (US Bank or Bank of America) or we'll be celebrating the fact they we're not leaving anyway. Come stand in solidarity with Bobby and help to send a strong message to the big Banks: We will NOT be moved from our homes without a good faith negotiation and fair resolution to the foreclosure crisis.
Come and join hundreds of community members in solidarity. Enjoy some amazing artists, great food, and the warmth and protection that only comes when neighbors stand together in unity. We'll be live streaming the event to our friends around the country as we proclaim; Who's House? Bobby's House!
OccupyOurHomes on February 09, 2012
In 2008, Arturo de los Santos, a former Marine who lives with his wife and four children in Riverside, CA, fell victim to the economic crash caused by the greed of those on Wall Street. Like millions of Americans, he faced the prospect of mortgage default. Arturo was then encouraged by JPMorgan Chase & Co. to deliberately fall behind on his payments in order to modify his loan. A loan owned by Freddie Mac. Thinking the bank had his best intentions in mind, Arturo followed their instructions. Instead, JPMorgan greedily foreclosed on him, evicting Arturo and his family. Since then, Arturo has decided to fight back and re-occupy his home, even as he faces the possibility of arrest!
Arturo could be forcefully removed from his house at any time. Cuéntame and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) are working together to spread Arturo's story as wide as possible and tell JP Morgan and Freddie Mac that the abuse must end today! We need your help.» More
February 07, 2012
ACCE is calling for action to help Arturo de los Santos and his family.
Arturo de los Santos has lived in his Riverside, CA with his wife and four children for over ten years. When the economic crisis hit in 2008, the factory he works at reduced his hours. Like millions of hardworking Americans, the reduced income forced him to pursue a modification in his mortgage, which is owned by Freddie Mac. The mortgage servicer, JP Morgan Chase, informed de los Santos that in order to negotiate a loan modification he had to be in default on his loan. De los Santos was caught in the Catch-22 that proved to be profitable for Freddie Mac but devastating for his family.» More
OccupyOurHomes on February 07, 2012
Update from Unsettle Portland:
In December, amidst the swirl of holiday cheer, Unsettle Portland received an urgent request for support of a Portland homeowner – Angelah Hill, an African American single mother of two whose home in Southeast was being put up for auction. Her family would be homeless if evicted, so in a rousing show of support that is proving to be characteristic for foreclosure defense work, Unsettle Portland,We Are Oregon, and many community allies showed up to the auction and packed out the courthouse steps for Angelah. The house was not auctioned off that day, and Angelah wagered some time to start organizing her community.
The next step in her battle is coming up THIS Tuesday, February 7th. At 9am Pacific, Freddie Mac is filing the paperwork to have Angelah and her two kids evicted. We invite you, once again, to pack out the court room to show Angelah your support and the courts that eviction notices are no longer effective! Following the 9am filing, Angela and a number of her allies (including Unsettle Portland and We Are Oregon) will be giving a press conference publicly affirming her intention to stay in her home, no matter what.» More
OccupyOurHomes on February 02, 2012
Mortgage Justice Group, ForeclosureHamlet and 4closurefraud join Awake the State, the Coalition of Occupy Foreclosure Working Groups movement, and other groups across the nation to rally at the capital in Tallahassee for the annual FORECLOSURE AWARENESS DAY RALLY on Feb. 16, 2012. The rally is to bring awareness about illegal foreclosures and to stop the Florida legislature from making Florida a non-judicial state, thus denying citizens “due process” in court.
Several Florida legislature bills, particularly HB 213 and the amended PCB, sponsored by Kathleen Passidomo backed by The Bankers Association, are attempting to make Florida a non-judicial state which would preclude homeowners from defending a foreclosure in order to "fast track" the foreclosure process, denying Floridians their day in court.
FREE buses, traveling up both coasts of Florida, will pick up participants along the way to the capital. Rep. Scott Randolph, Rep. Darren Soto, attorney activist Matt Weidner, citizen activist Lisa Epstein and other nationally known speakers will be presenting new vital information about the foreclosure situation. Participants will be meeting with members of the legislature to express their objections to the bills.» More
BREAKING: One hundred Brooklyn community members and Occupiers peacefully disrupt foreclosure auction
OccupyOurHomes on January 26, 2012
Brooklyn, NY — This afternoon approximately one hundred people peacefully and powerfully disrupted a foreclosure auction by bursting into song. At 3pm the foreclosure auctioneer attempted to start bidding on homes that had been foreclosed upon. When the bidding started, the courtroom burst into song:
“Mr. Auctioneer» More
All the people here
Are asking you to stop all the sales right now
We’re going to survive, but we don’t know how”
January 26, 2012
On Friday January 27 at 3:30pm Occupy Atlanta will rally at 404 Glen Iris and march side by side with the Pittman family to Chase Bank where we will demand the deed to the home that is rightfully theirs, letting the bank know we refuse to work with them on their terms. Occupy Atlanta is one of many Occupy groups participating in this nationwide struggle against JPMorgan Chase, a corporation that treats the general public as no more than means to the ends of profit. Like many hardworking individuals across the nation, the late Ms. Eloise Pittman was victimized by predatory lending. The Pittman family has been fighting to save the family home since November 2011. This past week Chase gave the Pittman family an ultimatum: either buy back their home or accept the $2500 “cash for keys” offer. Occupy Atlanta will be escalating the campaign against these predatory banks beginning Friday. Friday’s action promises to be bold, diverse and unlike anything Occupy Atlanta has done yet. Pastors from multiple Churches will participate in the march and hold a prayer service outside the bank, while others with OA enact creative direct action.» More
OccupyOurHomes on January 23, 2012
On Monday (01/23) at 11am Occupy Atlanta will hold a press conference in the front of Chase Bank located in the Edgewood Shopping Center, 1215 Caroline St. NE.
Like many families across the nation, the late Ms. Eloise Pittman was a victim of one of the worse cases of predatory lending. The Pittman family has been fighting to save the family home since November 2011. This house for this family is more than a building that gives shelter. It is a home that has been passed down generations since the 1950’s.» More
OccupyOurHomes on January 21, 2012
Liberate the South Side’s January 19th home liberation was a success! More than 30 South Side community leaders, neighbors, and a number of clergy met at the corner of 87th on Kenwood during an afternoon snow flurry before liberating a vacant home for a displaced family. Reporters, local news cameras, and photographers gathered around the group to document the rally lead by Pastor Vance of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and new tenants of the liberated home. In the moments leading up to liberating the home there was so much joy and excitement, that participants barely noticed the cold brisk winds stirring.
OccupyOurHomes on January 18, 2012
On January 15 and 16, 2012, a coalition of Chicago housing-rights organizers did a city-wide day of canvassing under the banner of Occupy Our Homes. From five different locations in all parts of Chicago about 150 volunteers went out into the neighborhoods knocking on doors.
In all, canvassers across Chicago connected with over 100 homeowners & tenants.
Participating groups included the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Communities United Against Foreclosures & Evictions, the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, the Albany Park Autonomous Center/Centro Autonomo, and other faith-based & community groups.» More
OccupyOurHomes on January 17, 2012
Occupy Minneapolis is calling for activists around the country to make calls on behalf of home occupiers Monique White and Bobby Hull every Tuesday in January. Call US Bank and ask them to stop stealing homes from our communities.
To take action, call and ask for US Bank Senior Vice President, Tom Joyce: 612-303-3167
Ask that he come to the table with a reasonable solution that will allow Bobby and Monique to stay in their homes and in their community.
OccupyOurHomes on January 17, 2012
Pastor Dexter Johnson reached out to Occupy Atlanta on the eve of a court date in which BB&T bank had hoped to force the eviction of the 108 year old Vine City Church. Higher Ground Empowerment Center has been a lifeline in this underserved community, so it was with no hesitation that we committed to fight alone side the church.» More
OccupyOurHomes on January 14, 2012
During the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, January 15 & 16th, Chicagoans are reaching out to help families in foreclosure. Join neighbors and other volunteers to help keep families in their homes.» More