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  • Foreclose On Wells Fargo: Day 1

    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. 

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  • Foreclose On Wells Fargo: National Days of Action April 28 & 29

    Shab Bashiri on April 24, 2014

    Earlier this month, we put the word out that we were planning to take on Wells Fargo and the response we got was overwhelming. So many people registered for an organizing conference call that we had to schedule a second one just to accommodate everyone.

    Well’s Fargo’s well-documented history of abusive and discriminatory lending, servicing, and foreclosure practices have caused millions of families to lose their homes or be underwater on their mortgages. The bank’s actions have devastated communities across the country- impacting everyone from homeowners facing foreclosure, to students struggling to afford school, and immigrants fighting to keep their families intact. Even Wells Fargo employees are stepping forward to talk about how the company's predatory practices hurt their workers and communities.


    On April 29, Wells Fargo will celebrate it’s record as the country’s most profitable bank at their annual shareholders meeting in San Antonio, TX. People around the country are organizing to send a message to the bank that these predatory practices have to stop. Home defenders have launched petitions online, and planned actions at local Wells Fargo branches and offices, and some are even traveling to San Antonio to confront the bank’s executives directly.    

     
     
     
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  • 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. 


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  • Community members block traffic in downtown Minneapolis to demand Chase bank negotiate with two families

    Shab Bashiri on August 29, 2013

    From Occupy Homes MN:

    Community members marched through downtown Minneapolis and the Eviction Free Zone last week demanding JPMorgan Chase Bank negotiate with the Ceballos and Kelly families, both of whom face imminent eviction after foreclosure.

    Supporters of the Eviction Free Zone marched through two downtown skyscrapers, marching through Chase Bank lawyers' office, releasing a balloon banner inside a JPMorgan Chase office, and blocking streets surrounding Chase Bank for an hour with a 20-foot tripod suspending a supporter.

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

    Becky Dernbach on April 04, 2013

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

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

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

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

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  • Occupy Our Homes groups join Terry Horn in delivering petition to Citizen's Tri-County Bank

    Shab Bashiri on March 09, 2013

    Last week, Occupy Our Homes members from Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Minneapolis joined Terry Horn in Dunlap, Tennessee to deliver a petition to Citizen's Tri-County Bank's Chairman and CEO, Glenn Barker. 

    Terry and his sister Sherrie have been fighting to save their 86 year old mother Helen's home from the bank. The mortgage on the family's Bridgeport, Alabama home was paid off over 40 years ago, but Citizen's Tri-County is attempting to place on lein on the home to satisfy a debt they claim Helen owes.  A few months ago, Terry reached out to Occupy Our Homes for help. He created a campaign on Start2.occupyourhomes.org that has generated thousands of signatures so far. 

     

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  • Occupy Homes MN Organizer Acquitted of Assault at Freddie Mac Lawfirm

    Becky Dernbach on February 06, 2013

    On Monday February 4, a Ramsey County jury found Anthony Newby, Occupy Homes MN organizer and executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, not guilty on assault charges. An employee of a law firm representing Freddie Mac, a primary target of the housing justice movement, pressed charges after a peaceful protest March 1, 2012.

     

    Anthony was charged after attempting to help the law firm employee, who fell as dozens of supporters demanded justice for Minneapolis homeowner Monique White. Monique was then facing imminent eviction at the hands of Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage giant known for its enormous taxpayer bailout and consistent refusal to negotiate with struggling homeowners. After a national public pressure campaign, Monique ultimately won a negotiation and was able to stay in her home.

     

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  • Minneapolis: Evicted Veteran to Move into Vacant Home on #D6

    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.

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  • Jacqueline Barber Goes to Minneapolis to Deliver Petition to US Bank

    OccupyOurHomes on December 04, 2012

    American Friends Service Committee/Atlanta reports on an amazing trip by retired police officer and cancer patient Jacqueline Barber to Minneapolis, Minnesota to deliver the signatures of thousands of people who have signed a petition standing with her on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org. Jacqueline was joined by friends and members of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta on the trip and once they arrived in Minneapolis, they were supported by the fine people of Occupy Homes MN.

    Here's more of Jacqueline's story:

    After joining Occupy Our Homes Atlanta and standing up publicly to GMAC and US Bank against her eviction, Ms. Barber was told by representatives of GMAC to make an offer to buy back her home, which she can afford at current market value.

    Following their direction, Jacqueline put in an offer and GMAC sent an appraiser to her home. After saying they would report back about the appraisal, they instead backed away from negotiations, built a wall of silence, and have since pushed strongly ahead in the process to get Ms. Barber evicted.

    The stress of facing eviction has already brought Jacqueline's cancer out of remission. Recently, Ms. Barber went to her doctor who told her that she will have to resume aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments if she is unable to relax and stay stress free while undergoing her current treatment.

    Jacqueline and OOH ATL joined up with Occupy Homes MN and the Home Defenders League to make this powerful action possible:

    Today Jacqueline marched on US Bank and GMAC-RFC with allies from Occupy Homes MN, and the Home Defenders League. The solidarity in the emerging housing justice movement was amazing and inspiring !The goal was to keep Jacqueline in her home, in good health, and to shine a light on the unjust illegal fraud at the hands of the financial institutions that continue to hold our communities and our economy hostage.

    We were able to force meetings with both US Bank and GMAC and deliver over 20,000 signatures on petition urging US Bank and GMAC to do the right thing and make a deal that would keep Jacqueline and her family in the home. We also delivered pay stubs and bank account statements that prove Jacqueline could afford the home.

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  • 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.

     

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  • Community members denounce Wells Fargo & US Bank for their heartless treatment of cancer patients

    OccupyOurHomes on October 30, 2012

     

    Today actions in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and San Francisco will target Wells Fargo and US Bank, asking them to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month by halting foreclosures and evictions of cancer patients and others batting serious illness and instead negotiate fair and affordable mortgages that will allow families to stay in their homes.

    The organizers are highlighting the cases of Jacqueline Barber of Georgia and Ana Casas Wilson in Los Angeles who are each battling cancer and working with housing activists to resist imminent evictions after facing foreclosure despite repeated pleas to the banks to renegotiate their home loans. Occupy Homes Atlanta activists have set up an encampment at the home of Jacqueline Barber, a retired police officer; the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) working to stop the eviction of Casas, a longtime advocate for the disabled.

    More details on the campaigns, as well as the four events today, are below the fold.

     

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  • Atlanta: JoSelf Freeman's eviction was stopped today, but his fight goes on

    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

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  • CA: Join in Ana Casas Wilson's Last Stand For Her Home

    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.

     

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  • 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)

     

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  • Atlanta: Jacqueline Barber APD veteran and cancer patient faces eviction hearing

    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.

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  • Keep 20 Year Atlanta Police Veteran and Cancer Patient In Her Home

    OccupyOurHomes on October 10, 2012

    Jacqueline Barber's story struck a chord with the American people as it became one of the most reposted stories in the country.

    This morning Occupy Homes Minnesota delivered a letter to U.S. Bank's headquarters in Minneapolis. U.S. Bank downplayed their role in Jacqueline’s crisis and passed the blame on to GMAC. Like many loans originated in the height of the housing bubble, Jacqueline's mortgage was bundled with other mortgages and sold to investors. U.S. Bank claims responsibility solely for dealing with investors in the trust (RASC 2006-emx2). According to U.S. Bank, GMAC is responsible for dealing with the other side of the trust, the homes and homeowners whose monthly payments are treated as poker chips to be amassed and turned over to investors.

    While U.S. Bank may state that GMAC is the servicer of the trust, it is undeniable that U.S. Bank bought the home on the courthouse steps. It is also impossible to deny that attorneys hired by and representing U.S. Bank will be present in a Newnan courtroom on Thursday aggressively seeking to evict a 20 year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department whose cancer has just come out of remission.

    Today Occupy Our Homes ATL will launch a national call in day to U.S. Bank and GMAC with two simple requests, stop attempts to evict, and make a deal that keeps the family in the home.

    Please call CEO Richard Davis of U.S. Bank at 612-303-0840 and Elizabeth Desilva 214-874-6821 at GMAC and urge themto call off the eviction and make a deal to keep the family in their home!

    (More information below the fold)

     

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  • US Bank Set to Evict Atlanta Police Department Veteran and Cancer Patient

    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.

     

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  • DC: Homeowners, Renters, and Homeless Unite Against Fannie/Freddie In Day of Action

    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.

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  • Join Fannie & Freddie residents from around the country to take back the people's bank

    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.

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  • Chicago: Help Stop Maria’s Eviction!

    OccupyOurHomes on September 14, 2012

    Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction in Chicago have a call to action to help Maria Dolores:

    Rogers Park resident Maria Dolores could be evicted from her home in the coming weeks, unless Fannie Mae gives her back her house. We can make it happen… if we all call Fannie Mae this week!

    Contact Kristy Williams Fercho at 312-386-6230 (office), 202-441-4483 (cell), or kristy_williams_fercho@fanniemaie.com . Also call the Fannie Mae front desk, at 312-368-6200.

    Tell her: “My name is __________ I am calling on behalf of Maria Dolores, who lives at 7250 N Claremont. I am calling to ask you to stop all eviction proceedings on her and all families, and to initiate negotiations directly with her. I vow to support her home occupation and continue protesting, until Fannie Mae gives her back her home.”

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  • Video: Fannie and Freddie 99: National Week of Action (Chicago)

    OccupyOurHomes on September 12, 2012

    Monday, September 10th, 2012 touched off a national week of action targeting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Led by the Fannie and Freddie 99, groups of fearless families from across the country marched through Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York to defend their homes.

    In Chicago, the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, the Centro Autónomo of Albany Park (Chicago), Occupy Our Homes Minnesota and Moratorium Now! (Detroit) participated.

    Fannie and Freddie own 59% of all mortgages in the US. American taxpayers bailed out Fannie and Freddie in 2008, and now we own 79% of these financial institutions. However, these behemoths refuse to take positive steps to end the housing crisis. Ed DeMarco, the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (which oversees Freddie and Fannie) would rather steamroll through the eviction and foreclosure process and sell vacant homes to the same investors that caused the crisis than take measures to keep families in their homes. The Fannie and Freddie 99 demand that Obama fire DeMarco and replace him with someone who will stop all evictions of Fannie and Freddie properties, carry out principle reduction on mortgages, and stop selling vacant homes to investors.

    wearethefanniefreddie99.tumblr.com

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  • 200 People March on Fannie Mae’s Southeastern Hub Demanding An End To Abusive Housing Practices

    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)

     

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  • The People Vs. Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

    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.

    More information on the Atlanta action on the Occupy Our Homes Atlanta website here, and on facebook here.

    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.

    More information on Chicago's day of action on the website of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, and on Occupy Homes MN's facebook here.

    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.

    To follow this week's actions, watch the @OccupyOurHomes twitter feed, and follow the hashtag #FFFighters (as in Fannie Freddie Fighters!). 

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  • Beloved DC Pastor Fights Eviction; Occupy Our Homes DC Pressing Bank of America for Justice

    Han Shan on September 02, 2012

    UPDATE Sept. 10th: Supporters of Rev. Vanzant's fight to keep his home got Bank of America's attention. Unfortunately, the bank still doesn't get it. According to Occupy Our Homes DC:

    While Rev. Michael Vanzant was in the hospital recovering from a minor stroke brought on by Bank of America's plans to evict him, we foreclosed on BofA's DC Home Loan office while also asking supporters to shut down their phone lines.  We were successful on both fronts.  That same day, BofA called Rev. Vanzant in the hospital to set up a call to discuss solutions. Once that discussion began, though, it became clear that they hadn't quite heard us.  Rev Vanzant was offered more money to move out of his home in a gentrifying area of NE DC.  He is not interested, though we are all pleased that we've made it onto their radar.

    We are asking you to take a moment to call the DC Home Loan office and let them know that this isn't about money - this is about keeping communities intact.  Please call and demand they work with Rev. Vanzant on a modification - he is not leaving.

    Bank of America Home Loan office - DC - 202-797-4940 

    * * *

    An admired DC pastor is fighting to keep his Northeast Washington DC home, with the support of Occupy Our Homes DC. Reverend Robert Michael Vanzant serves as the outreach pastor for DC's Faith Temple, and is a staunch supporter of LGBT rights. When Rev. Vanzant's income was cut after going on disability two years ago, he appealed to Bank of America for a modification of the mortgage on his home of 24 years. But despite repeated requests, B of A hasn't budged.

    Occupy Our Homes DC is supporting Rev. Vanzant and recently helped him create a petition to Bank of America. In the petition, he writes:

    "I've spent my life serving God and my community. When I became disabled and my income dropped, I reached out and asked for a modification so that I could continue to pay my mortgage. You denied my request and set me up for foreclosure and eviction.

    As a young man, my church threw me out for being gay. I renewed my faith in God and started a church for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

    With that same resolve, I will fight for my home and the homes of my brothers and sisters being thrown out on the streets by bankers like you.

    I ask that you modify my mortgage so that I am able to live with dignity as I grow old and continue serving God and my community."

    According to Occupy Our Homes DC, the disabled and aging pastor suffered a minor stroke due to the stress he's been experienceing at the prospect of losing his home of more than two decades. Friends and community of Rev. Vanzant marched today to a DC Bank of America loan office, demanding B of A find a solution. 

    Sign the petition to demand Bank of America do the right thing, and keep Rev. Vanzant in his home.

    More on today's rally and Rev. Vanzant's condition after the fold.

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  • Rochester: Rally and Protest to Call the City to Divest from Chase

    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

     

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  • Atlanta: Demand Wells Fargo Negotiate With Steve! CALL NOW!

    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. 

    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.

    In Solidarity,
    Occupy Our Homes ATL
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  • MN: Bank of America Week of Action for the "Minnesota 5"

    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!

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  • Atlanta: The Fight To Save Steve's Home Continues

    OccupyOurHomes on July 11, 2012

    Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:

    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.

    Event Details

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  • Detroit: Fight the Banks Save Jennifer's Home!

    on July 05, 2012

    Jennifer Britt lives in her Detroit home with her son, daughter, mother and uncle. Jennifer and her family are facing eviction after Flagstar Bank foreclosed on her. Jennifer has paid over $45,000 to Flagstar over the years, only to face higher and higher monthly payments which eventually took her entire savings. Now that the banks have bled her family dry, Fannie Mae, a bank operated by the federal government, has taken over and is poised to kick them out of their home.

    When a local nonprofit organization called Southwest Solutions offered to purchase the home at its appraised value and sell it to Jennifer on favorable terms, Fannie Mae refused. It wants $120,000 for a house worth 1/12th that amount. Jennifer could be evicted as early as this coming week. Please call (312) 368-6200 and demand that Fannie Mae call off the eviction.

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  • Call out CitiBank: ¡Basta ya! Negotiate, don’t foreclose!

    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 brian.w.borgschulte@citi.com and araceli.olvera@citi.com.

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  • AZ: Save Lilly Washington's Home

    June 28, 2012

    Arizona Mother and Homeowner Lilly Washington returned home from visiting her injured son in a US Military Hospital in Germany, to find that despite written confirmation from Bank of America that they would suspend their foreclosure proceedings until she returned, the bank illegally sold her home to Fannie Mae in a trustee's sale. Fannie Mae then changed the locks, and sent all of her belongings, including her son’s Purple Heart medal from his service in Iraq, to the city dump.

    Despite this crushing setback, Lilly refused to give up. She moved back in and won a stay of eviction that granted the right to legally stay in her home as a renter. Now Lilly is fighting to recover ownership of her home and demand justice from Bank of America and Fannie Mae. And she needs your help.

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  • PNC Says They Have "Washed Their Hands" of the Cruz Family, 100k Signers Disagree

    OccupyOurHomes on June 22, 2012

    This morning David and Alejandra Cruz went back to PNC Bank's headquarters in Pittsburgh to demand a meeting with PNC executives that have the authority to offer them a good faith negotiation (yesterday they were pawned off on low level PR representatives with no intention of negotiating who disrespected the family). When they arrived at the bank, they were locked out from the building.

    Despite having traveled 800 miles as their petition has soared beyond 100,000 signatures, PNC Bank's head of security, John Weslager, had this message to deliver to David and Alejandra: "PNC Bank has washed their hands of this issue."

    “We will not be shamed out of what we deserve when PNC Bank is the one who should be ashamed of their behavior. We deserve dignity and a meeting with those who can renegotiate our mortgage.” Alejandra Cruz said to the crowd of supporters in Pittsburgh after the meeting. “We are not giving up. This is not the end.”

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  • 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.”

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  • #J21 Day of Action Against PNC Bank

    OccupyOurHomes on June 21, 2012

     

    Around 7:00am this morning a large balloon banner reading “Evictions Stop Here” was deployed above the embattled home of the Cruz family as 15 supporters of the Cruz family began an occupation of the rooftop in protest of thefamily’s unjust foreclosure. The action kicks off a national day of action in 18 cities demanding PNC Bank negotiate with the family to allow them to return to their home.

    Alejandra and David Cruz will arrive at the bank’s headquarters in Pittsburgh around 1pm with over 40,000 petition signatures and their loan modification documents demanding a meeting with CEO Jim Rohr to renegotiate their mortgage.

    The Cruzes’ battle against an unjust foreclosure has become a focal point for the Occupy movement and garnered media attention from around the country. In the past month, 24 community supporters with Occupy Homes MN have been arrested defending the south Minneapolis home. The campaign has become a sticky political situation for local elected officials, PNC Bank, and Freddie Mac, the current owner of the property.

    Although PNC has acknowledged the foreclosure was due to a bank error, executives have repeatedly said they are working “behind the scenes” to fix the situation, and Executive Vice President Dan Taylor said that he would look into the Cruzes’ case, the bank has not offered a negotiation. “We feel like PNC and Freddie Mac have forgotten us,” said David Cruz. “So we’re going to remind them.”

     

    Occupy Homes MN has a live blog, which we've also embedded below the fold here.

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  • MN: Bank Backs out of Negotiation with Foreclosed Homeowner, Community Prepares to Raise the Stakes

    OccupyOurHomes on June 21, 2012

    Occupy Homes MN:

    Anita went into foreclosure when her vertigo prevented her from driving to work. She now works full-time at a casino and is more than able to pay her mortgage. But despite four separate offers from the Attorney General to look over the proper documents, Woodlands Bank has refused to agree upon a good faith negotiation that would keep Anita in her home.

    Tuesday morning, the sheriffs arrived at Anita’s home to post a 24-hour eviction notice. While Anita contacted family and friends, Occupy Homes mobilized dozens of neighborhood supporters, repeatedly flooding Ms. Koonce’s voicemail with messages of support for Anita and securing nearly 200 petition signatures. Later that day Vice President Cindy Koonce called Anita from her personal cell phone, offering to drive down to Minneapolis to negotiate.

    However, when Anita arrived to begin negotiations on Wednesday, she was told that the deal was off. “She needed to let us know by noon today if she had the money… It was not before noon,” said Joanne Whiterabbit at the Minneapolis branch of Woodlands Bank. “We’re done.” Anita had called Ms. Koonce at 12:04 pm.

    “This is not about four minutes,” said Occupy Homes MN organizer Chris Gray. “The bank offered her a concrete deal. I might expect this from a Craigslist ad, but in this case, I can’t imagine a world where the difference between 11:59 and 12:04 should mean a woman gets thrown into the street.”

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  • 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.

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  • June 21: National Day of Action for the Cruz Family

    OccupyOurHomes on June 15, 2012

    Since April 30, Occupy Homes MN has been working with the Cruz family, whose home went into foreclosure when PNC Bank mishandled an online payment. Although PNC executives have acknowledged their error and repeatedly told Cruz supporters that they are working on a solution, their actions have shown the opposite. They have refused to work with the family, instead working with Freddie Mac and the city of Minneapolis to launch a series of costly police raids against home, resulting in 23 arrests in less than a week. Despite ongoing protests, PNC still thinks we’ll go away if they ignore us long enough. It’s time to show them otherwise: on June 19, Alejandra and David Cruz will be travelling along with a team of supporters to PNC’s Pittsburgh headquarters to hand-deliver their modification documents and demand a meeting with CEO Jim Rohr! Occupy Homes MN is calling for a national day of action on PNC to coincide with the Cruz’s arrival on Thursday, June 21.

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  • At Senate Hearing, Jamie Dimon confronted by Occupy Our Homes DC

    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.

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  • MN & Philly Take Action at PNC for the Cruz Family

    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)

     

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  • Occupy Our Homes Atlanta To Issue a Peoples Citation To DeKalb Sheriff Thomas Brown

    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.

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  • MN: Protesters “Foreclose” on Local Freddie Mac Conference

    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.”

     

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  • DC: Reports from Harris & Butler actions this week

    OccupyOurHomes on June 07, 2012

    Here's an update from Occupy Our Homes DC following this weeks actions in support of Deborah Harris and Dawn Butler:

    When we woke up on Monday morning, we had our eyes focused on pressuring Chase and Freddie Mac into negotiating a modification for Ms. Harris' mortgage. As a crowd began to rally at the DC offices of Freddie Mac, Ms. Harris and team of Occupy Our Homes DC members began a sit-in at the Chase modifitcation office. For more than two hours, Ms. Harris waited to meet with a manager. Chase called the police on OOHDC members, escorted us out of the building, and put the rest of the building on lockdown. Nearly 30 people rallied outside until Ms. Harris emerged to explain that Chase claimed no responsibility and that it's all in Freddie Mac's hands. We left, vowing to plan our next step in the campaign.

    Click here to ask your friends to sign the petition to stop the foreclosure!

    Before we could even debrief Monday's action, we learned that the U.S. Marshall's scheduled the eviction of Dawn Butler, another OOHDC member. We held an emergency meeting in her living room, pulled in a trainer, figured out a plan, wrote a press release and a turnout email, and began preparing our first home defense. By 9am Tuesday morning, the front yard of her home was filled with OOHDC members and allies, a barricade was secured, and we hoped that the court would do right by Dawn. The court failed to acknowledge her lease and the Marshall's began to physically remove each demonstrator.

    The picked us up, pulled, dragged, and even choked members of Occupy Our Homes DC. The Marshall's carried machine guns and tazers. They pulled on the barricade so hard that the door split into two causing a Marshall to suffer a bleeding head wound. With one final blockade in place, the Marshall's choked a fellow occupier until he passed out and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.

    More below the fold.

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  • MI: Courthouse Rally to Keep Jerome Jackson In His Home

    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.

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  • DC: Action at Chase for Deborah Harris

    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.

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  • MN: 14 Arrested at Cruz Home, Vowing Needless Foreclosure "Stops Here"

    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)

     

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  • Occupy Our Homes Atlanta: Call to Action for Pittman Family

    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?

    You can:

    • Picket
    • Hold a candle light vigil
    • Sit-in
    • 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!
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  • Rochester: Leonard Spears Protest at Wells Fargo

    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.
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  • Occupy Atlanta and Chris Frazer speak at Sheriff Thomas Brown eviction rally

    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.

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  • Rochester, NY: Facing Foreclosure, Leonard Spears Pledges to Stay in His Home

    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.

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  • Atlanta: Protest Sheriff Thomas Browns 3am Eviction of Chris Frazer’s Family at Gunpoint

    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.

    https://www.wepay.com/x2tg0qn/donations/193827

     

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  • ATLANTA: Dekalb County Sheriff Ousts Family From Their Home at 3 AM

    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.

     

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  • Atlanta: FLASH OCCUPATION to Save Pamela's Home

    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!

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  • Protests Overwhelm Wells Fargo Annual Meeting, Shareholders Shut Out

    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.

     

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  • Minneapolis: Homeowner Demands — and Gets — Meeting with CEO of Bank Foreclosing on Her Home

    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.

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  • Rochester, NY: Rally to Divest from Chase!

    J. Matt Smucker on April 15, 2012

     

    From Metro Justice:

    WHAT: Rally to Divest Rochester City Funds from Chase

    WHERE: Downtown Chase Bank, Main St. and Clinton St.

    WHEN: Friday, April 20th, 12:30pm

    WHY:

    As the third largest mortgage-provider in the nation, Chase has a major responsibility to prevent the foreclosure crisis from pushing thousands of people into homelessness.  They have a responsibility to work with people to modify their mortgages, a responsibility that they’re failing.

    Chase and the other major banks received billions of dollars in bailout money with the expectation that they would help people stay in their homes.  Instead, they just kept at business as usual and continue to allow their practices to harm our communities.

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  • CA: Rolling Hunger Strike to Stop Illegal Foreclosures

    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 (brendahreed@sbcglobal.net) 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.)

     

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  • M15: Occupy San Fernando Valley Bank of America Move-In

    OccupyOurHomes on March 18, 2012

    Occupy San Fernando Valley along with Occupy LA and Occupy the Hood held a move-in at Bank of America on 3/15/2012.

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  • M15: Fight BAC: Foreclose on Bank of America

    OccupyOurHomes on March 15, 2012

    Join in this huge action by the FightBAC and FtheBanks.org group of Occupy Wall Street today in New York City:

    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!

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  • M15: Occupy Atlanta Fights Eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on March 15, 2012

     

    The state of Georgia ranks 4th in the nation for foreclosures at the end of last year, with more foreclosures expected. Along with many other metro Atlanta counties, DeKalb County and South Decatur have especially been hit hard by the housing bubble and crash. Ms. Christine Frazer, a 62 year old widow, along with four generations of the Frazer family is being threatened with eviction from the place they have called home since 1994. A notice was signed that ordered a writ of possession be issued on the 15th. Allowing armed marshal's to forcibly remove this family from their home of 18 yrs leaving them without a place to go.

    As part of a national day of action, Occupy Atlanta along with other organizations will be gathering for a Speak Out against foreclosures to stand up for not only this family but all families in similar dire situations. We will hear their personal stories as well as them condemning the process that allows for these injustices to occur. We plan to expose those responsible for the heinous crimes that are robbing the working class people.

    Join us at one of the crime scenes today (03/15) at 11:00am located at 3662 Wellhaun Rd. Decatur, Ga 30034.

    The 99% is just beginning our work this spring. In April, we'll help train more than 100,000 people to take nonviolent direct action in April; and on Tax Day, we'll demand that corporations and the richest 1% pay their fair share. We'll also hold corporations accountable at dozens of shareholder meetings and move millions of dollars from Big Banks to community banks.

     

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  • M14: Occupy Homes MN Marches on the Home of US Bank CEO Richard Davis

    OccupyOurHomes on March 15, 2012

     

    On Wednesday, March 14, at 5:00pm Occupy Homes MN held a march to US Bank CEO Richard Davis' Minneapolis home as part of the Occupy Homes national week of action on the banks.

    "We want to respectfully ask Mr. Davis and US Bank to work with customers like me to keep us in our homes. We bailed them out with our tax dollars when they were in trouble at the start of the housing crisis they created, now we need them to work with us to help stabilize our communities, instead of tearing them apart," said Monique White

    Since October, protesters have attempted to bring attention to Minneapolis-headquartered US Bank for their ongoing role in the foreclosure crisis. While speaking at an event hosted by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Davis, whose 2011 total compensation topped $18 million, allegedly told homeowners fighting foreclosure and their supporters rallying outside the event to "get over it.'

     

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  • M14: Occupy Homes MN and Homeowners Facing Foreclosure to March on Home of US Bank CEO Richard Davis

    OccupyOurHomes on March 14, 2012

     

    On Wednesday, March 14, at 5:00pm Occupy Homes MN will hold a march to US Bank CEO Richard Davis' Minneapolis home as part of the Occupy Homes national week of action on the banks. The march will be led by the family of homeowner Monique White, Vietnam Veteran John Vinje and others facing foreclosure and eviction at the hands of US Bank, demanding that US bank negotiate with them rather than throw them out of their homes.

    "We want to respectfully ask Mr. Davis and US Bank to work with customers like me to keep us in our homes. We bailed them out with our tax dollars when they were in trouble at the start of the housing crisis they created, now we need them to work with us to help stabilize our communities, instead of tearing them apart." Said Monique White

    Since October, protesters have attempted to bring attention to Minneapolis-headquartered US Bank for their ongoing role in the foreclosure crisis. While speaking at an event hosted by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Davis, whose 2011 total compensation topped $18 million, allegedly told homeowners fighting foreclosure and their supporters rallying outside the event to "get over it.'

     

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  • M13 Detroit: “Chase Bank, You’re in Default!”

    OccupyOurHomes on March 13, 2012

    Tuesday - Community activists, neighbors, labor and faith leaders will join the family of Alma Counts, a disabled senior citizen facing foreclosure by Chase Bank, to deliver a “Notice of Default” on Chase for violating a Consent Order of the U.S. Treasury requiring it to cease “unsound banking practices” and implement mortgage modifications to keep people in their homes. The Notice of Default” will call on Chase and other banks to reduce mortgage principal to the depressed market values caused by predatory lending and mortgage banking fraud, and to implement a two-year moratorium on foreclosures while the modifications are put in place.

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  • Occupy Santa Cruz Foreclosure March: We Can Not Be Moved

    OccupyOurHomes on March 13, 2012

    A great video on Occupy Santa Cruz's March 11th Stop Foreclosure Fraud March.

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  • Atlanta: Arrests at Chase Bank actions

    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.

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  • Occupiers set up living room in Bank of America lobby

    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.

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  • Chicago’s Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction (CUAFE), Centro Autónomo defend the Delgado family in their quest for housing as a human right! (En Español Abajo)

    OccupyOurHomes on March 07, 2012

    Last year, Melecio and Beatriz Delgado applied for a loan modification for their modest single-family house on the northwest side of Chicago. At the time, CitiBank and a number of other big banks were under pressure from the Obama administration to offer quick modifications. The Delgados agreed to a loan package and made their new monthly payments religiously every month, about $100 less per month than the old payments.

    CitiBank cashed the checks for seven straight months, but on the eighth month the family received a surprise. CitiBank refused to accept their payments and decided to foreclose on their home after nine years of receiving full, on-time payments from the family. After many months of getting the run-around through the mail and never actually getting to talk to a real human being at CitiBank the Delgados, shocked and frustrated from a year of neglect, came to the Centro Autónomo de Albany Park for assistance.

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  • Occupy Homes MN and Supporters Claim Victory, Delay Homeowner's Eviction

    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

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  • Occupy Louisville protests Chase Bank

    OccupyOurHomes on March 05, 2012

    This video shows members of Occupy Louisville protesting a Chase Bank for its exorbitant eviction of families in Louisville. The police respond with violence and several activists are arrested.

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  • Freddie Mac Defies Attorney General's Request to Postpone Monique White's Eviction Hearing!!

    Monique's Story: Facing Foreclosure from Peter Leeman on Vimeo.

    OccupyOurHomes on March 02, 2012

    After an incredible week of action targeting US Bank, Freddie Mac, and Mayor RT Rybak demanding a halt to Monique's eviction, Occupy Homes MN got word from the Attorney General that they have asked US Bank and Freddie Mac to halt Monday's court date where Monique will be served with an eviction notice, so they can investigate potential fraud committed in Monique's case.

    Today, representatives from the Attorney General's office say that Freddie Mac has refused to pause the eviction process to give the attorney general time to fully investigate Monique's case for errors or illegal activity committed by the Bank during the process that may render the entire process void.

    Please make an urgent call to Freddie Mac's Public relations representative Brad German: Tell him to cancel Monique White's eviction hearing so the attorney general's office can investigate to make sure no fraud was committed in her case.Brad_german@freddiemac.com 703-903-2437

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  • After Second Occupy Our Home-DC Action, Freddie Mac Meets with Homeowner and Her Lawyer

    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.”

     

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  • Occupy Our Homes Calls for National Week of Bank Protest Actions

    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

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  • Emergency home defense at Freddie Mac HQ in DC for Arturo & Bertina

    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.

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  • 150+ Foreclosure Victims, Occupiers March on Big Banks to Expose “Underwater” Mortgage Crisis

    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.”

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  • Occupy Atlanta calls for national action targeting Chase on March 13

    OccupyOurHomes on February 20, 2012

    We, the occupiers of Glen Iris, are asking everyone locally and nationally to take action in Solidarity with us as we fight Chase Bank. Since this bank is a behemoth, we cannot defeat it only in Atlanta, we need to bring the fight everywhere. We are calling a day of action against Chase on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, to demand a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. March 13th is the birthday of Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Chase Bank.

    JPMorgan Chase, doing business as Chase Bank, through a series of recent mergers and acquisitions has become the largest banking institution in the United States. This expansion has been fueled to a great degree by its extensive investment in the two main subprime mortgage originators, not to mention nearly $25 billion in bailout funds that rewarded the bank for its criminal swindling of millions of American families.

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  • Former Marine Arturo de los Santos arrested at Freddie Mac office

    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. 

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  • Occupy LA helps Iraq War veteran save his home

    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.

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  • Occupy Atlanta shuts down Chase Bank with the People's Mic

    OccupyOurHomes on February 10, 2012

    Atlanta Independent Media Center reports on an action by Occupy Atlanta, Take Back the Block, and the Pittman family today at a Chase Bank branch.

     

    Today, February 10th, 2012, Occupy Atlanta and Take Back the Block sat in at the Chase Bank located in the Edgewood Retail District. This action is part of a larger campaign against Chase Bank in getting the deed back from Chase to the Pittman family. Carmen Pittman, the granddaughter of the late Eloise Pittman, was arrested along with seven others. This was the first time--since the occupation movement shifted its focus to foreclosure--that a homeowner was involved in direct action. They are now known as the Chase Eight.

    Eloise Pittman was given a predatory loan on a home that she and her family have lived in for over 50 years. She passed away in November, and her family is facing eviction. Since December 6th, 404 Glen Iris has been occupied in an effort to stop eviction.

    "We have been in negotiations with Chase bank, but they have been completely unwilling to be reasonable. We have no other choice but to act today and in the future until the deed is in the Pittmans’ name," stated the occupiers. "Last month, along with shutting down a Chase branch, we announced our goal of escalation. Today’s sit in was the furthering of that action. Chase bank and the media should be aware that this is just the beginning. We have no plans to stop until there are no evictions and no foreclosures by Chase bank."

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  • Unsettle Portland: Call-out to show support for foreclosed mother on Feb 7th

    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.

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  • Occupy Glen Iris: Chase Bank vs the Pittman Family

    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.

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  • Occupy Atlanta taking action for the Pittman family (and other actions)

    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.

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  • Take Action: Stop JP Morgan Chase from evicting a Palm Beach family

    OccupyOurHomes on January 16, 2012

    Via 4closurefraud.org, JP Morgan Chase is trying to foreclose and evict Marylin Hepburn of Palm Beach County, Florida. Ms. Hepburn is a nurse with a ten year old autistic son. She’s a sweet person who deserves justice.

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  • Occupy Atlanta: National Call-in to Chase Bank

    OccupyOurHomes on January 11, 2012

    Eloise Pittman passed away in late November. Her family is now left with a mountain of debt, and is trying to save a home that’s been in their family for nearly 60 years. Chase has been unwilling to find a solution that keeps them in their home.

    The mortgage is owned by Chase. Today, we appeal to you for help. Can you take the time to call, fax, and email the CEO of Chase Bank with a simple message; Make the Pittman family’s mortgage work. Rectify predatory loans.

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  • Video: Occupy Detroit & the Henrys fight back

    OccupyOurHomes on January 04, 2012

    Yesterday, Robert and Debbie Henry of Southgate, Michigan were joined by 150 supporters including family, neighbors, church members, as well as UAW Local 600 and Occupy Our Homes. They marched on Bank of America and demanded an end to attempts to evict them from their home of 8 years.

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  • Southgate, MI: Community Demands New Year's Resolution from Bank of America-- keep families in their homes

    OccupyOurHomes on January 03, 2012

    Earlier today, Robert and Debbie Henry, along with 150 supporters, including family, neighbors, church members, as well as UAW Local 600 and Occupy Our Homes, marched on the Southgate Bank of America branch to demand an end to attempts to evict them from their home of 8 years. They were joined by retired Vietnam veteran Joe Astro, who is facing eviction by Bank of America from his home in Dundee.

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