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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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  • Neighbors block eviction for Minneapolis homeowner who paid for house five times

    Shab Bashiri on October 08, 2013

    150 neighbors and community supporters successfully prevented the scheduled eviction of Jaymie Kelly, a Minneapolis homeowner who has lived in her home 30 years, this morning.

    Jaymie, who has paid the value of her home five times over, was scheduled to be evicted by Freddie Mac and the Hennepin County sheriff's department at 10:30 this morning, on her daughter Sinead's 23rd birthday--but a rapid community response forced the sheriffs' deputies to reschedule.
     
    "The government is shut down, but Freddie Mac evictions are still considered an essential service. But the power of community is too big to fail," said Jaymie. "Today's blocked eviction is the greatest birthday present I could give my daughter. I am not moving, and my neighbors stand with me."
     
    Freddie Mac, which operates under the federal agency FHFA, is continuing its evictions of Jaymie and others in spite of the government shutdown.
     
    "Sheriff Stanek and the big banks don't want to do their dirty work in front of 150 community members," said Nick Espinosa, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN whose family successfully fought off foreclosure last year. "But we will be ready for them at any hour of the day or night. Jaymie's not going anywhere, and neither are we."
     
     
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  • Occupy Chattanooga rallies to support homeowner facing foreclosure

    Shab Bashiri on September 01, 2013

    Members of Occupy Chattanooga held a "Foreclosure Free Cookout" yesterday at the home of Filson Manley, a local homeowner who is now facing foreclosure. Supporters had been reaching out to neighbors for weeks, preparing for the cookout, which despite rain was a huge success! 

    Fil's home fell into foreclosure earlier this year. After suffering a loss of income after the 2008 economic crash, Fil applied for a loan modification through the HAMP program with his then servicer IndyMac. He was making his trial payments when his servicer was changed from IndyMac to One West. It's all went downhill from there, with Fil going back and forth with One West attempting to restart the modification process. 

     

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  • Desert Storm veteran Mark Harris and supporters defend his home after eviction by Fannie Mae

    Shab Bashiri on August 14, 2013

    Early Friday morning, Desert Storm veteran Mark Harris was greeted at gunpoint by Dekalb County Marshals, there to evict him from his home of 18 years. ELS, a contracted eviction company, worked quickly to move all of the veteran’s belongings to the lawn as Harris and community members watched in dismay. As more people arrived at the scene, they  were able to pressure the police into backing down on Friday and assumed control of the property.


    After helping Mark secure his belongings, community supporters and Occupy Our Homes Atlanta launched a 24-hour peaceful occupation of Mark’s property, calling out Fannie Mae for putting another veteran on the street and refusing to work out an agreeable loan modification. For 10 months Mark has been in negotiations with Fannie Mae to modify his mortgage, even traveling to Washington DC to meet with executives from the company. However, Fannie Mae made it clear last weekend that they were not willing to negotiate a deal to keep Mark in his home, despite his willingness and ability to pay if a modification were worked out. Instead, Fannie Mae has hired private security to monitor Mark's home 24/7. 


     







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  • Two arrests as community thwarts illegal eviction attempt at Ceballos home

    Becky Dernbach on July 24, 2013

    75 community members with Occupy Homes MN turned back 30 sheriffs in their attempt to evict the Ceballos home in Minneapolis today. Two home defenders were arrested in acts of civil disobedience.

    Under orders from sheriff Richard Stanek, deputies kicked in the door without warning at 12:40pm this afternoon. One home defender was cut out of a barrel filled with concrete by deputies wielding a jackhammer and saw. 

    During the eviction attempt, community members drove sheriffs into the backyard, where they retreated after boarding up the property. The Ceballos family, friends, and neighbors removed the boards and returned into the home.

    JPMorgan Chase Bank had told the Ceballos family that were considering them for a loan modification--but then filed for eviction at the same time. This process is known as dual tracking and is illegal under the national mortgage settlement. On Monday Chase asked for another loan modification application from the Ceballos family, which they accepted yesterday.
     
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  • Call to action: Former Chicago police officer faces imminent eviction

    Shab Bashiri on July 10, 2013

    After more than a year of seeking to resolve a dispute with her mortgage modification, former Chicago police officer Pat Hill is now facing imminent eviction for the second time. The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, which has been fighting alongside Pat, has put a call out to supporters, asking them to call Ocwen CEO, Ronald Farris, and demand a halt to eviction proceedings immeditately. 

    More from CAEC: 

    21-year Chicago Police Department veteran. Educator. Longtime community activist. Educator. Elder Foreclosure fraud victim. Patricia Hill is all those things, but most importantly, she’s a fighter. And right now she’s fighting for her home.

    Sister Pat spent 21 years on the Chicago police force, during which she spent many years fighting discrimination and corruption. In 2009, Bank of New York Mellon purchased her mortgage and had its servicer increase her mortgage payments by $600 for insurance. When she disputed the increase, they deemed her delinquent and foreclosed on her.

     

     
     

     

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  • Minneapolis community launches eviction defense & calls for national day of action against Chase Bank

    Becky Dernbach on July 08, 2013

    Over 100 community members rallied in south Minneapolis last week in support of the wrongfully foreclosed Ceballos family, who now face imminent eviction at the hands of Chase Bank. Occupy Homes MN has pledged a full-scale eviction defense, a tactic that drew widespread attention and 39 arrests during the Cruz house evictions last year, if JPMorgan Chase fails to negotiate. They have also called for a national day of action against Chase Bank on July 10. 

    "For me it's important to stay in my home because my kids grew up here," said Sergio Ceballos, the homeowner. "I'm just asking for a modification, not to stay in my house for free."

    After the Ceballos family launched a public Occupy Homes MN campaign in April with two neighboring families fighting their foreclosures with Chase Bank, Chase agreed to review their case for a loan modification. But even as Chase was reviewing their case, they moved forward with eviction--dual tracking illegal under the national mortgage settlement. A judge refused to allow a Spanish-speaking advocate to assist the Ceballos family in court, and ordered a writ of recovery for June 30--meaning they could now be evicted any day.
     
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  • Michigan family fights to save home from Bank of America

    Shab Bashiri on April 25, 2013

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

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

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

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


     

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

    Shab Bashiri on April 08, 2013

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

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

     

     

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  • Occupy Our Homes Atlanta reclaim foreclosed home for former owner

    Shab Bashiri on March 19, 2013

    Yesterday, Occupy Our Homes Atlanta help move Mildred Obi-Garrison, a disabled senior citizen, back into her home after she was evicted last November. 

    Organizers wrote a first hand account of the action, originally published on Alternet.org: 

     

    Twenty miles east of Atlanta, about 35 people gathered in a church parking lot in Stone Mountain, Ga on Monday. Despite the fact that the rain was pouring down, spirits were high and the excitement was visible on many faces. They were there to help Mildred -- a neighbor, community member, and friend -- move into her home.

    There were no leases signed or keys obtained from a landlord though. Instead, the group was reclaiming the home back from the bank.

     

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  • Call to action: Save Harolyn's home!

    Shab Bashiri on March 19, 2013

    Occupy Fights Foreclosure (OFF) in LA is helping Ms. Harolyn Rhue, a disabled woman suffering from head trauma who is being wrongfully evicted by Wells Fargo. 

    OFF has created a Facebook page for supporters of Ms. Rhue and put out this urgent call to action: 

    Wells Fargo is wrongfully evicting Ms. Harolyn Rhue, a disabled, elderly woman, who suffers from substantial head trauma.

    On January 4th 2013, Ms. Rhue filed a formal complaint with H.U.D. for discriminatory housing practices by her lender Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

    During our initial investigation we have noticed some very serious violations of the foreclosure process and documentation.
    Ms. Rhue needs your help! Please, tell Wells Fargo that an eviction would cause further damange to her already serious health condition that has been altered by the wrongful foreclosure of her home. 

     

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  • Stop the eviction of a disabled former school teacher in Detroit!

    Shab Bashiri on March 15, 2013

     

    Detroit Eviction Defense and the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs are asking for support to help S. Baxter Jones, a disabled former school teacher avoid eviction from his Detroit Home. 

    S. Baxter Jones was a Detroit school teacher for over 20 years. He suffered traumatic brain injury in 2005 and is severely disabled. Jones fell behind on his mortgage while waiting for Social Security and his pension to be processed. He wrote to Wells Fargo explaining his situation and had a phone conference with them to discuss a loan modification.

     

     

     

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  • Cassandra Lewis fights to save her family's Colorado home from foreclosure

    Shab Bashiri on March 09, 2013

    Cassandra Lewis, known in her community as simply 'Miss Cassandra', is fighting to save her family's home of 20 years from foreclosure. After falling behind on their mortgage payments, Cassandra and her family fell victim to a scam, giving tens of thousands of dollars to a company called 'Keep My Homes Solutions' who promised to help them do just that. Instead, Keep My Home solutions took their money, leaving them under the threat of foreclosure by HSBC bank. Cassandra created a campaign on Start2.occupyourhomes.org to build support nationally in her fight to save her home. 

    Her petition tells her story: 

    My name is Cassandra Lewis, but everyone calls me Miss Cassandra. My family is about to lose our home of 20 years due to a scam and we need your support! 

     

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  • Jacqueline Barber Is Fighting For Her Life. Help Her Fight For Her Home!

    Shab Bashiri on February 06, 2013

    Occupy Our Homes Atlanta began working with Jacqueline Barber, a retired police detective who is battling cancer, to defend her home from eviction at the hands of US Bank and GMAC late last year. As Jacqueline continues to struggle with her health, OOHA is asking supporters to call and text bank representatives to put pressure on them to speed up the process. 

     

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  • When We Fight, WE WIN! Springfield blockade forces Fannie Mae to cancel 2nd eviction in 2 weeks

    Becky Dernbach on January 24, 2013

     

    From Springfield No One Leaves:

     

    SPRINGFIELD, MA - Close to 50 Springfield residents braved negative five (-5) degree wind chills Wednesday to link arms and hold a sit-in in front of the home of Jeffery Solivan at 32 Edgemont St. Fannie Mae, a taxpayer owned mortgage giant, had scheduled an eviction for 9:00 AM. Rousing speeches by foreclosed homeowners, neighbors and Mr. Solivan fired up the crowd, and loud chants and picketing kept the crowd warm. At 9:15 AM, the Hampden County Sheriff's office informed the group via telephone that Fannie Mae had instructed its lawyers to cancel the eviction. No date has been given for a new eviction as of this release. 


     

    “After calling for a sit-in and making direct demands to Fannie Mae’s higher ups, the Bank Tenant Association won a major victory today in our fight against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” says Springfield Bank Tenants Association Leader Candejah Pink. “But the fight won’t stop today.” 

     

    For the second time in two weeks, members of the SBTA were prepared to resist an eviction being carried out by Fannie Mae, and for the second time in two weeks they were victorious. On January 11th, Fannie Mae called off the eviction of the Clark family facing an eviction blockade by the group. 

     

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  • Victory! Fannie Mae Calls Off Springfield, MA Eviction in Face of Blockade

    Becky Dernbach on January 11, 2013

    From Springfield No One Leaves:

    We are pleased to announce that Fannie Mae informed the Clark family today that they would be putting off the eviction for 30 days to work on a potential buyback deal through Boston Community Capital! This is a huge victory due to the dedication of the whole movement fighting back against evictions and foreclosures. 

    Since receiving the 48-Hour Move Out Notice on Tuesday, countless Springfield Bank Tenant Association (SBTA) members and allies have been phone-banking Fannie Mae's offices; we've put out a public announcement of our eviction blockade efforts to sit-down, risk arrest and defend the Clark family home; and we called on our elected officials to stand with the Clark Family and the SBTA by calling Fannie Mae and asking them to stop the eviction and NEGOTIATE. Senator John Kerry, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Richards Neal's offices all got on the phones over the past couple of days. As did Ward 2 City Councilor Mike Fenton. We thank all of them for their support. 

    Attorneys from Community Legal Aid also supported the family, moving quickly to file an emergency motion to vacate the judgement and stay the eviction. After bringing the motion forward FNMA informed the family that they had planned to postpone the eviction proceedings for 30 days. 

    Just 3 months after our successful eviction blockade with the Mendez family, Fannie Mae backed down just at the prospect of our resistance - but we will never back down! We're committed to fighting back against all no-fault and unnecessary evictions! For now our eviction blockade is off, but if needed we'll be right in front of 114 Corona St to block this eviction. 

     

     

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  • Help JoSelf Freeman Deliver A Message to Bank of America!

    Shab Bashiri on December 28, 2012

    Joself Freeman has been fighting to save his home from Bank of America for months. Frustrated by the lack of response he was receiving, he penned a heartfelt letter to the bank, and has yet to receive a reply. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta hopes that with the help of supporters around the country, they can get Bank of America's attention, and get JoSelf the response he deserves. 

    From OOHA:

     

    A couple of weeks ago, Joself penned a heartfelt letter to an executive at the bank, pleading with them not to take his home. He sent the letter off, and has yet to hear a response back from the bank. We think he deserves a reply. Can you help us make sure they get the message? We’ve included the letter at the bottom of this post, but you can also download a version for easier printing by clicking here. You can choose to do one or all of the options below!

     1.) Print a copy of this letter and deliver it to your local Bank of America branch. Get a group of friends together, or go by yourself. Speak to a teller, or if you can, ask to speak to a branch manager. Tell them you’re concerned about the way they are treating Mr. Freeman, and that you want to make sure this letter gets to where it’s supposed to go. 

    2.) Like Bank of America’s Facebook page (we know, it hurts, but you can unlike it later). https://www.facebook.com/BankofAmerica

    Copy and paste the letter on their wall, or post it on your own timeline and tag Bank of America in the post. Post it in the comments of their posts. Let’s blow up their Facebook page with the letter. 

    3.) Email the letter to the following addresses at Bank of America:

    brian.t.moynihan@bankofamerica.com

    janay.carswell@bankofamerica.com 

    ron.d.sturzenegger@bankofamerica.com 

    tj.crawford@bankofamerica.com 

    diane.wagner@bankofamerica.com 

    nicole.nastacie@bankofamerica.com 

    britney.w.sheehan@bankofamerica.com 

    colleen.haggerty@bankofamerica.com 

    pressroom@bankofamerica.com 

    dan.b.frahm@bankofamerica.com 

    jumana.bauwens@bankofamerica.com 

    rick.simon@bankofamerica.com 

    patrick.donaldson@bankofamerica.com 

    scott.silvestri@bankofamerica.com 

    4.) Fax a copy of the letter to 1-866-449-4515. In the cover letter, explain your concern and that you want Bank of America to work out a deal that keeps Joself in his home.


     

     

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  • Hernandez Family & Supporters Evicted on Day After Christmas

    Shab Bashiri on December 27, 2012

    In the early morning hours of December 26, one day after Christmas, the sheriff and LAPD, accompanied by representatives from Bank of America, evicted the Hernandez family and their supporters from their home. The home, known as 'Fort Hernandez', had been occupied as part of an ongoing eviction defense for over 120 days. Below is a message that was put out a few days before the eviction took place:

    Peace go with you brothers and sisters,

    Today we received news that the sheriffs are coming to forcibly evict us from our home of seven years on Monday December 24, Christmas Eve, at 7 in the morning. This despite the fact that we have had our chapter 13 repayment plan approved by the bankruptcy trustee, and even made our first payment, men with guns are still coming to throw our family out. The sheriffs will not do this on their own volition, the Bank of New York Mellon, an investment bank that bought our loan from Bank of America, who themselves acquired it from Countrywide financial is ordering them to act as soon as possible, in order to do what they agreed to BOA they would do, hide the fraud BOA, as the owner of Countrywide is responsible for. (A summary of an audit of the loan is posted below.)

    We were tricked into foreclosure by BOA, who told us that our loan modification would be given priority, if we were to fall into default. Desperate to keep our small piece of the American dream, as we could not sustain the newly increased monthly payments, we followed the banks advice. When we missed the first payment, BOA began the foreclosure process, and would no longer accept any payments from us, all the while pretending to work with us to modify our loan. Over 5 years, and 4 denied loan mods, they told us in no uncertain terms that, no matter what, they intended to take our family home. This is the terror our family has survived for 5 years.

    119 days ago, on the last day of our 5 day notice of eviction, we invited our friends and family to help us construct a barricade around our property, as a symbolic defense against the armed men the bank was sending to enforce the theft of our house. We did this not only to defend our home, and our family, but to inspire you to defend your home, your family, and your basic human right to housing.

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  • A holiday message from home occupier Marc Simon

    OccupyOurHomes on December 25, 2012

    Marc Simon and his mother Pearl have been fighting Fannie Mae and JP Morgan Chase to keep Pearl's home of over 50 years. Marc created a campaign on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org to build organizing power around their case. So far, they've been able to keep their home, but they're not out of the woods yet.

    Marc emailed us a holiday note and asked that it be shared with the Occupy Our Homes community of activists. It is copied below.

    Hello, Housing Justice Advocates and Kind People,

    Looking out the front windows in my home that I share with my elderly mother Pearl on the eve of Christmas, the scene looks unusually magical: a combination of snow and ice has gathered within nearby maple and evergreen trees, creating a scene that seems as it were pulled out of one of those family Christmas specials that have run for decades on TV. Add in the tinsel and lights on some of these trees, and it is especially enchanting. For five decades now, my mother and I have seen an attractive holiday-season spectacle out of our front windows, but this holiday season, the decorations, snow and ice seem to have come together to make it especially memorable for us.

    For those following the OccupyOurHomes.com website, it is apparent that this holiday season, we nearly did not get treated to this sort of magical spectacle. An unmanageable mortgage loan solicited to my late father a few years before he died created an odyssey of difficulty for us that I would not wish for any of my neighbors to go through. Even last year’s spectacle of eagerly looking out the front window was nearly short-circuited for us: the big bank that pushed that mortgage loan – with the loan especially becoming unmanageable after my father died -- gave us a December 25, 2011 evacuation date in a letter. It is a small miracle that we are able to see December 25, 2012, in all its frosty, magical glory, out of our front window this year.

    If there is any God out there, it is perhaps due to him working a bit of magic on the fellow working from “the other team” who was given the highly unusual task of carrying out a summary eviction almost as soon as the judicial order to allow this was received. Evictions are quite rarely locally carried out this way, and the attorney who was asked to do this to us simply could not throw out an 86-year-old disabled woman, who had been in her home for 52 years, in this manner. My own attorney explained to me that both he and that other fellow are Rotarians – people in the business world who are held to an ethical code in how they conduct business and life. One doesn’t need to try to provide “product placement” to any fraternal nonprofit group out there to say that this action does speak well of the Rotary International in how its members have chosen to obey its ethical code, and put the community welfare at the top of the list in how they conduct themselves to others in their communities.

    My Christmas/holiday wish out there is for more people in the financial and legal world to “be Rotarian in spirit” and to realize that leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths through the pushing of unmanageable financial products, which may well return robust quick profits, is probably not the best way for banks and other financial institutions to cultivate lifetime customers. After all, after the kind of experience that I and my mother went through, who would even want to have a basic checking account at one of these institutions? Maybe one day, these institutions will see that “a different way” is not only the right thing to do, but is actually good for business in the long term as well.

    This is my wish, along with hoping that anyone facing foreclosure is able to keep their homes if they wish to do so, and that even people facing post-eviction trauma, such as the Vinjes who have graced this website with their sad saga, can find peace and hopefully even get their homes back if at all reasonably possible. In my previous personal comments written here, I indicated that I would rather take a proactive as opposed to a reactive stance in regards to housing justice. As a New Year’s resolution, keep posted here: I have something special, as a spinoff from my academic work as a student, that I think is innovative and can help in that regard, to be posted as a link to the “Start2” OccupyOurHomes website. It has tools and concepts that would be more valuable to all concerned – even to the financial and housing institutions out there – than my and my mother’s foreclosed house in their possession, I humbly feel. (And, by the way, I love feedback and suggestions!) Keep posted!

    Again, best wishes to all…and for now, I and my mother still have that magical window scene to inspire us -- and give us hope…. –Regards/Peace, Marc Simon

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  • Occupy Fights Foreclosure Moves Family Back Into Home for the Holidays

    Shab Bashiri on December 24, 2012

    Earlier this month, Soledad Corona and her teenage daugther were evicted from their Los Angeles home, despite Bank of America's commitment to hold off on evictions until after the holidays. 

    Yesterday, activists with Occupy Fights Foreclosure joined the Corona family and moved them back into their home. 

    From the press release issued by OFF: 

    On December 14, 2012 Bank of America breached their promise to our country that there would be no evictions during the holidays and evicted Soledad Corona, a single mother with a teenager, at gun point. In response, Occupy activists will help the mother to take back her house because Bank of America has failed to provide an explanation of this breach to their representative.

    Soledad will then be joined by community members and barricade themselves to demand attention and justice to their case until the home is returned to the rightful owners: the Corona family.

    Occupy Fights Foreclosures, a subcommittee of Occupy LA, is dedicated to end the bank abuse against home owners, the families, and the communities in which they live. "I have worked closely with dozens of home owners. I have seen widespread abuse by financial institutions that continue their financial terrorism against working families," says Carlos Marroquin, "Unless we resist, abuses will continue."

    Read more and follow this story here. 

     

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  • Riot Charges Dismissed, Occupy Homes MN Looks to Legal Action Against City

    Becky Dernbach on December 21, 2012

    From Occupy Homes MN: 

    After 50 supporters packed the courtroom, Hennepin County judges Monday dismissed riot charges against all four Occupy defendants. Each defendant accepted a plea deal to a misdemeanor that will not go on their record pending successful completion of community service and a year's probation. 

    On May 30, fifteen community supporters were arrested in a peaceful protest, many linking arms and sitting on the front stoop of the foreclosed Cruz family home. The Cruz family fell into foreclosure due to a bank error, and though their original lender was willing to work with them, Freddie Mac insisted on pursuing their eviction. Dozens of police came to evict the home, just one night after Mayor RT Rybak and City Attorney Susan Segal told Freddie Mac the city was not in the foreclosure business and they would have to secure the contested property themselves. Many of the protesters were then charged with third-degree riot, a violent crime.

     

     

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  • M&T Eviction Leaves Another Vacant Home In Atlanta

    Shab Bashiri on December 19, 2012

    On the D6, a national day of action for housing justice that took place on December 6, Occupy Our Homes Atlanta helped move a homeless family into a bank owned home in the Pittsburgh Community of Atlanta. Last week, M & T Bank, who now owns the home after foreclosing on it earlier this year, moved to evict the family from the home. 

    From an email to supporters sent by Occupy Our Homes Atlanta: 

    In Southwest Atlanta neighborhoods, vacant homes are a fact of life. These neighborhoods have been emptied by the foreclosure a crisis and banks now own about 25% of all property in the neighborhood, much of it sitting empty or unused. At the same time, our homeless population continues to grow. There are currently seven empty homes for every homeless person in Atlanta. On December 6, we took a step to correct that ratio. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta members, Reneka and Michelene, along with their two children, Dillon and Jahla, who have been without a home for the last six months, moved into a vacant home owned by M & T Bank and demanded that it be turned over to a non-profit. This home should be controlled by the community it's in, not Wall Street. 

    Our bold and exciting action asserted not only the rights of people to stay in their homes, but the rights of communities to take control of vacant homes that the bank has foreclosed on and put them to good use-- like providing shelter to a homeless family. We occupied the house at 1043 Windsor Street for two reasons. 1)To provide shelter for a family that had none, 2)to keep yet another home in Pittsburgh from being stripped bare and being used for drugs, prostitution, or even rape. 

    However, instead of responding to our numerous attempts at communication, M & T Bank flew representatives down from Buffalo, NY, to evict the family, board up the house, and ensure that their vacant home is not put to good use. 

     

     

     


     

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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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  • Debbie & Ron -- One foreclosure in a thousand

    OccupyOurHomes on December 03, 2012

    Debbie and her husband had both been diagnosed with cancer and Ron lost his second job. The bank erroneously claimed they missed a payment, and even though they tried valiantly to make up the payments, but the bank refused them and requests for modification. 11 months after vowing to keep her home, Debbie has finally exhausted the possibilities in the courts, and is standing her ground, with a standing eviction order, on the moral claim that families’ homes are more important than bank profits.

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  • Atlanta: Parkwood Farms Resumes In Defiance of HSBC/Everyhomes

    OccupyOurHomes on November 28, 2012

    Originally posted at American Friends Service Committee/Atlanta's blog:

    Despite having no guarantee that the eviction process won’t move forward, classes at Parkwood Farms therapy center in Snellville resumed today.

    It was truly beautiful to experience Parkwood Farms in full effect. The eyes of children light up as they stepped out of their parents cars and towards the horses they've all built important bonds with.

    The horses even seemed excited, all the volunteers tell me the horses are kind of spoiled at Parkwoods.

    Read more below the fold.

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  • US Bank & GMAC Move to Evict Former Police Officer & Cancer Patient Jacqueline Barber: Take 5 Minutes to Call & Save Her Home!

    Shab Bashiri on November 20, 2012

    From Occupy Our Homes Atlanta: 

    Back in October, retired police officer and cancer patient Jacqueline Barber joined up with Occupy Our Homes Atlanta to fight against her impending eviction by US Bank. Her story inspired and outraged people all over the world and spread far and wide. Thousands of people signed petitions, made phone calls, marched on the bank, and showed their support for Jacqueline and her family. 

    After US Bank pawned off the responsibility of her mortgage to GMAC, and after pressure from supporters, Jacqueline started what she thought was the negotiation process with GMAC. They sent out an appraiser, and the Barber family has been ready and waiting to buy back their home from the bank once and for all. Now after weeks of waiting in what in they thought were good faith negotiations, it appears that the banks aren't living up to their word. 



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  • Make a Call to Fifth Third Bank: Keep Mary Bonelli & Lionel Torres In Their Homes!

    Shab Bashiri on November 16, 2012

    Take 5 minutes to support Lionel & Mary's fight for their homes by joining their call-in campaign to Fifth Third Bank. 

    Mary Bonelli and Lionel Torres, two homeowners on Chicago's west side, are joining together in their fight to save their homes from Fifth Third Bank. Mary's family has been in their home for three generations, and they have paying banks for the home the entire time. But in 2011, Mary fell into foreclosure because of an error in the automatic payment system used by Fifth Third Bank. Her home has now been sold to Fannie Mae and Mary, 76, faces eviction within the next two months. Though Mary suffers from lymphedema and can barely walk, she is standing up for her home and the community she's lived in all her life.

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  • Georgia Community Rallies to Stop Eviction Of Therapeutic Equestrian Center for Children with Disabilities

    Han Shan on November 14, 2012

    East of Atlanta, in Snellville, GA., a beloved therapeutic horse riding center for children with disabilities is facing imminent eviction.

    Dr. Marilyn Peterson, who owns the property and helps run the center, Parkwood Farms, has issued a plea for support to help save this community asset. The Sheriff's department arrived last week to carry out the evicting, although Dr. Peterson and the center had received no notice of eviction. After seeing the children and horses, the officer reportedly decided to reschedule.

    Dr. Peterson has decided to stay and fight to keep her land, and the community has responded with support. On Monday, Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, American Friends Service Committee, the Mayor of Snellville, and the entire Snellville City Council held a press conference and rally in support of Parkwood. The message was clear; the community can't afford to lose Parkwood to HSBC Bank.

     

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  • Urgent: Help stop Marc & Pearl Simon's eviction by Chase & Fannie Mae

    OccupyOurHomes on November 09, 2012

    (Update below)

    Marc Simon recently created a petition on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org, asking Fannie Mae and JP Morgan Chase to stop the eviction of him and his 86 year old mother Pearl from their home. Despite their efforts, Marc and Pearl are facing eviction today, November 9th. Marc has issued a plea for support and a call to action. He writes:

     

    This is Marc Simon again in regards to the pending eviction situation of me and my mother Pearl. Chase Bank, in a postal letter, stated that it would get back to us by November 6, but instead have still not gotten back to me or my local attorney, Matt McKeever, who has repeatedly tried calling Scott Pullins at Chase, the designated contact mentioned by Chase in its letter. Fannie Mae has been highly aggressive in wanting to evict us -- instead of the normal approach of the Sheriff coming and telling the occupant(s) that they have ten days to leave their home, Fannie Mae tried to get an eviction immediately at the time the Sheriff arrived Tuesday. This is highly unusual -- local evictions are quite rarely carried out this way. (There was a humanitarian bone in the attorney for Fannie Mae [who came along with the Sheriff], who did grant us three additional days to vacate, despite Fannie Mae wanting it otherwise.)

     

    Read Marc's full letter below the fold.

    Please take action for Marc and Pearl right away by signing their petition to Chase and Fannie Mae, then please ask your friends to do the same.

    Update (11/9/12):

    I just got word from Marc that they've received a 30 day stay of eviction. He will keep fighting to get a long-term solution, but he and his mother are safe for today.

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  • Occupy Homes MN: Save Rose McGee's Home!

    OccupyOurHomes on November 05, 2012

     

    Rose McGee is working with Occupy Homes MN to get Citimortgage and Fannie Mae to stop her eviction. She's created a campaign onStart2.OccupyOurHomes.org to help build support for her fight natioanally. Rose is asking "CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae [to] reverse the sale and allow me to stay in my home of nearly 20 years." Rose has the money to make payments and wants the banks to take her money, not her home.

    In her petition, she tells her story:

    I am Rose McGee. Please support me in my effort to get CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae to allow me to stay in my home. I am like you; I have worked hard all of my life. I have contributed to my community. I pay my taxes. I tried to live out the American dream by buying a house. I have lived in my home and paid my mortgage for almost 20 years.

    And like some of you I am middle aged and have raised my children in my home. It is the source of my fondest memories, children growing up, backyard barbecues, basketball games in the yard, graduation parties. For nearly 20 years it has been my home.

    Unfortunately like many other Americans I was laid off from a job I loved. When I regained employment, CitiMortgage promised to work with me to modify my loan--but at the same time as they were reassuring me that they were going to work with me, they sold my home from under me. Citi says Fannie says they will not re-instate my mortgage. I can pay, I am working, but they don’t want my money. Instead, Citi and Fannie are putting me out of my home that I have worked so hard for.

    I don’t understand why they aren’t sympathetic to my plight. After all, the government bailed them out and gave them our tax dollars when they needed help. I am not asking for a handout, just a modification. Please sign my petition asking CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae to reverse the sale and allow me to stay in my home. Thank you. Rose McGee

    Support Rose by signing her petition on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org.

     

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  • Desert Storm Veteran Faces Eviction, Refuses to Leave. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, Teamsters Local 728, and Atlanta Jobs with Justice Stand with Him

    OccupyOurHomes on November 04, 2012

    Mark Harris created a campaign to fight for his home on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org and is now working with Occupy Our Homes Atlanta to stay in his home. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta put out this statement in advance of a press conference tomorrow as they work to help him stop his eviction.

    Desert Storm veteran and retired UPS worker Mark Harris purchased his home in 1996 with a VA backed home loan and refinanced it in 2004.

    In 2005 he started a trucking business, and then the economy crashed. His illnesses related to his service in Desert Storm became an issue, and he fell behind on his mortgage.

    He’s been trying to catch up ever since; recently he applied for the HomeSafe program here in Georgia. While his application was being processed his VA benefits kicked in, which meant he could afford to make my payments. Greentree(loan servicer) and Fannie Mae(Loan owner) decided to foreclose despite Mark’s willingness and ability to pay.

    Occupy Our Homes Atlanta looked over the assignment documents and discovered that some of the country’s most famous robo signers signed the mortgage assignment that was used to foreclose on Mark.

    ...

    Fannie Mae is aggressively moving forward with an eviction, and it could happen as soon as November 15th. Mark Harris states, “As a veteran, I thought the toughest battles were behind me. "I never thought I’d be struggling to keep a roof over my head. I fought for this country, so I know I have a right to fight for my home!”

    Read more about Mark's fight and how OOH Atlanta, Atlanta Jobs With Justice & Teamsters Local 728 are helping him.

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  • Occupy Denver: Harrowing account of the eviction of Sahara Donahue

    on November 02, 2012

    Occupy Denver has posted a detailed and terrifying account of the eviction this week by Idaho Springs resident Sahara Donahue. Here's some of Sahara's story in her fight to keep her home from US Bank:

    Sahara Donahue has lived in her home for over 20 years, has been a volunteer in her community, and was a decent law abiding citizen. She suffered injuries from a near-fatal accident, including a head injury that was not properly diagnosed until over a year after the accident. She could no longer perform the duties of her job, and therefore was forced to rely on the generosity of friends to help pay her mortgage for several years. She made every attempt to communicate and work with the banks, and even retained the services of an attorney, in the hopes of finding some resolution to keep her home. However, the banks (as well as a corrupt realtor) apparently had different plans.

    When it became clear that US Bank was trying to imminently take Sahara's home, she went to Occupy Denver, who immediately began assisting her in keeping her home. After a successful eviction defense on Monday, things took a turn for the worse on Tuesday.

    Yesterday a highly militarized police force arrived at the home of 63 year old Sahara Donahue to evict her from her residence of 24 years. She was petitioning US Bank for an additional 60 days to remain in her home, so she could have some time to find a new place to live, secure her belongings and leave her home with dignity. She came to the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition and Occupy Denver General Assembly to ask for our help. She knew no one in Occupy Denver prior to reaching out. We immediately started mobilizing to try to get her the assistance she needed and a group went up to her house for the first rumored eviction on Thursday 10/25. When that eviction didn’t happen, we planned an in-town action at US Bank on Monday for Sahara to try to find someone to speak with about her situation, with carpools up to her house later that day as the eviction was said to be scheduled for Tuesday 10/30. Occupiers laid barricades from fallen trees to prevent moving trucks and workers from entering the property and were able to stave off the eviction for a few hours. At 2:45pm ten or more truckloads of police in full combat gear armed with live-ammo AR-15’s, and grenade launchers arrived on the scene & forced occupiers to the ground at gun point. Police then made their way to the house, broke down the front door, threw Sahara to the ground in her own kitchen and pointed their guns at the heads of a mother and son who were in the house with Sahara along with others. They continued to break items in the house as they searched it.

    Occupy Denver has a long, detailed account of their work to help Sahara and what happened this week. You can read it here

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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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  • MN: Major Cruz Campaign Development

    OccupyOurHomes on October 22, 2012

     

    Home occupier Alejandra Cruz with Occupy Homes MN has a big update from her family's fight for their home. In an email she writes:

    Friends and Supporters,

    As my family stood up against the banks' unjust foreclosure, we were joined by hundreds of thousands of people around the country. With support from Occupy Homes MN, we traveled to Freddie Mac's offices in Chicago and to their national headquarters in Washington, D.C. to demand they work with our family and others like us who are at risk of losing their homes.

    Though we were evicted after 5 raids on the house, during which 37 of our friends were arrested while peacefully defending our home, our story gained national media attention. Our story is inspiring many other families to fight back.

    And it isn't over. I just learned that our family's home has been placed on the market for sale and now we have a chance at winning back our home once and for all.

    Thanks to all of your support, PNC Bank has come to the table and agreed to work with our family to buy back our home at a reduced price reflecting real market value that our family can afford.

    Unfortunately, Freddie Mac, who now owns the property, is refusing to sell it to us.

    Will you stand with us to demand Freddie Mac let us buy our home back and sign our petition?

    Go below the fold for more of Alejandra's email.

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  • Foreclosure Fraud Whistleblower Lynn Szymoniak Exposes Fraud in Fayetteville

    OccupyOurHomes on October 18, 2012

    Tim Franzen of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has an update on a big development in Jacqueline Barber's fight to keep her home. Famed robosigning and foreclosure fraud whistleblower Lynn Szymoniak has exposed evidence of fraud in Jacqueline's mortgage assignments. Tim has a report back of Lynn's event in support of Jacqueline:

    Today Fayette County Woman Jacqueline Barber, who's refused to leave her home despite battling cancer and being under threat of eviction fro US Bank and GMAC, got a visit from someone else who has experience fighting the big banks.

    West Palm, FL resident Lynn Szymoniak is the reason "robo signing" is a nasty practice almost everybody has heard of. While Lynn was facing foreclosure she discovered serious problems with the assignments. Documents filled out wrong, missing or terribly incorrect information, and counterfeit signatures, all ways the big banks cut corners so they could foreclose and evict people faster. Lynn took them to task, and won!

    Having exposed several serious problems with the assignments, and feeling a connection with Jacqueline, Lynn volunteered to fly to Atlanta to do a press junket at Jacqueline's home and spend the day with Jacqueline's supporters.

    The settlement she helped the US government win cost the big banks over 25 billion dollars, which she admits should have been closure to two trillion. Lynn volunteered to take a look at Jacqueline's paperwork and guess what she founds, “I look at the assignments and said, ‘Oh no, this isn’t right.' Four different dates the trust acquired Jacqueline’s mortgage in 2007 and 2011. I know this is not correct,” Szymoniak said.

    Go below the fold for more information about Lynn's work in support of Jacqueline Barber.

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  • Victory for Steve Boudreaux!

    OccupyOurHomes on October 17, 2012

    Great news from Steve Boudreaux & Occupy Our Homes Atlanta: Steve won! Here's the email Steve sent out to supporters yesterday:

    The short version (and a spoiler alert!): I am keeping my home!

    Some of you already know much of my story- how I reached out to the Occupy Our Homes Atlanta in desperation, literally when all hope seemed lost. Despondent after a representative with Wells-Fargo refused to consider my loan modification, and with less than 24 hours before my home was to be auctioned as a foreclosure, I called Allie with Occupy Our Homes, Atlanta, and I was immediately amazed and heartened by the response- OOHA mobilized several people, none who knew me, who stood with me on the courthouse steps, showing potential buyers that buying my home would come with, well, "problems!" The support brought real tears to my eyes, and the results that day- no one bid on my home!- would prove to be just the tip of the spear.

    Over the next several months, OOHA would organize on-the-ground protest actions at Wells-Fargo branches, and even at the Atlanta Regional Fannie-Mae office, have over 1,400 people sign an on-line petition, many who don't know me personally but heard my story and recognized in it a similar plight their family members or friends were facing, and organized call-in drives to Wells Fargo. My spirits sagged, several times- but OOHA kept at it, as if they knew something I dared not believe. Those actions made the powers that be at Wells-Fargo and Fannie Mae realize that the Occupy Movement, far from being "no longer relevant" as some misguided people had been lead to believe, is a force to be reckoned with. We- and that includes YOU- have achieved the almost unheard-of feat of having Wells-Fargo and Fannie-Mae approve a load modification well AFTER the foreclosure sale.

    That is almost NEVER done, but WE have done it! You should all congratulate yourselves, and each other, on a job VERY well done. I could not have done it without all of you! Everyone who signed my petition, called the bank on my behalf, everyone who organized and participated in direct actions, I owe you debt of gratitude, this is truly our victory!

    I won't let fight to stop with my home, I’m committed to pay it forward and help the next person. And the next. I’m asking everyone if they can do two things to support this important work:

    Read more from Steve below the fold.

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  • Occupy Our Homes Victories

    October 16, 2012

    Homeowners, renters, and the homeless joined forces to fight the banks and reclaim our communities. All over the country, we declared that housing is a human right. We came together, occupying our homes to prevent eviction, disrupting foreclosure auctions, restoring vacant homes to community use, and protesting the banks that caused this mess in the first place. And we showed time and again that when people fought for their homes, they could win.

    Here is a partial list of some of the victories of the Occupy Our Homes movement over the last year.

     

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  • Occupy LA, Occupy FIGHTS FORECLOSURE, HOME DEFENSE ALLIANCE, LUCERO FAMILY, foreclosed homeowners, and the community ERECT barricade TO STOP EVICTION and call a press conference to voice their demands

    on October 15, 2012

    On September 27, 2012, Atlantic and Pacific Real Estate and Los Angeles Sheriff department acted on Deutsche Bank's instructions, ignored a court order, and illegally locked out the Lucero family from their home of 15 years. With no other place to go and after living in their car, the Lucero family reached out to Occupy LA for help.

    In response, Occupy LA is mobilizing their home owner activists to form a resistance against the wrongful eviction. They will barricade themselves and demand attention to their case until the home is returned to the rightful owners: the Lucero family.

    Occupy Fights Foreclosures, a subcommittee of Occupy LA, is dedicated to end the bank abuse against home owners, the families, and the communities in which they live. "I have worked closely with dozens of home owners. I have seen widespread abuse by financial institutions that continue their financial terrorism against working families," says Carlos Marroquin, "Unless we resist, abuses will continue."

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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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  • Atlanta: Make A Call for Steve Boudreaux

    OccupyOurHomes on October 05, 2012

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  • Occupy LA Anniversary Goes to Foreclosure Mill Responsible for Looting and Pillaging of American Homeowners

    OccupyOurHomes on September 27, 2012

     

    On the weekend of the Occupy LA anniversary, Occupy Fights Foreclosures, a subcommittee of Occupy LA, shines light on the business model of fraud used by the financial industry that devastated the economy and the lives of millions of Californians who are now struggling to keep their homes. Homeowners and activists gather to illustrate the timeline of frauds that start before a homeowner signs on the dotted line and continue through the lockouts and evictions following fraudulent foreclosures.

    Almost all foreclosures have been found to have suspicious documentation or legal violations according to February's audit by the San Francisco County Assessor-Recorders office. The newly-signed California Homeowners Bill of Rights does give homeowners a fighting chance against the fraudulent practices. But right now, homeowners are without those protections. In LA County alone, there are almost 8,000 active foreclosures with over 32,000 expected by the end of the year when the law goes into effect. If nothing is done, in less than 100 days, over 32,000 families in LA County will lose a house that they would keep starting January 1 — that's about 65 families every business hour.

    "How does it make any sense that any homeowner would lose their home today, when they wouldn't on January 1st?," says Carlos Marroquin, homeowner advocate with Occupy Fights Foreclosures. "On top of all the fraud that came to light at the beginning of this crisis, new companies have appeared precisely to take advantage of the disaster created by the banks. It's an entire cycle of looting and pillaging."

    Details for Friday's Occupy LA anniversary action are below the fold.

     

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  • St Louis: Home Defenders Now In Position to Defend Against Eviction (Updated)

    OccupyOurHomes on September 21, 2012

    Update (original post below the fold):

     

    Home Defenders Win Temporary Stay on Eviction

    With Public Pressure High, Sheriff Drops Eviction for the Day

    St. Louis citizens succeeded today in temporarily halting the eviction of homeowner Angelia Williams after a year of negotiating, going to the Attorney General's office and doing a petition. With neighbors and solidarity activists prepared to defend the home, the eviction has been cancelled for Friday, September 21st. 

    "I am happy for the victory today and for the support from my community. We need to continue these efforts because today clearly shows that when we stand up to the banks, we win. I owned this house before the bank ever did," said homeowner Angelia Williams, with fierce determination. 

    Angelia's victory, however, is temporary, as she is still under threat of foreclosure.  Angelia, and many other homeowners throughout St. Louis, could avoid foreclosure if an automatic foreclosure mediation bill is passed in the city. Automatic mediation, which recently passed in St. Louis County, requires the bank and the homeowner to sit down with an independent mediator to negotiate the case before the bank can foreclose. Currently, in St. Louis City, banks can foreclose on a homeowner without any oversight from a neutral mediator, putting homeowners at an enormous disadvantage when it comes to gaining a fair process for keeping their homes. Foreclosure mediation legislation would help keep many city residents facing foreclosure in their homes. 

    Although Angelia's eviction was stopped today, Wells Fargo and FHA still have not agreed to give her a fair loan modification. Angelia, her neighbors, and community activists will continue to pressure Wells Fargo so Angelia can stay in her home and demand that the sheriff's office stands with people, not with banks. 

     

    More information below the fold

     

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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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  • MN: A step forward for John & Lucinda Vinje

    OccupyOurHomes on September 13, 2012

    Anthony Newby from Occupy Homes MN sends along this great update:

    Some good news! As most of you know, John and Lucinda Vinje have been fighting an unjust Freddie Mac eviction in housing Court for the last few weeks. In response John filed a Temporary Restraining Order (or TRO), without the help of an attorney, and asked the court Referee to move the entire proceeding and process to District Court where ALL of the egregious crimes committed by US Bank in this case can be exposed. Today the referee granted the TRO!!

    This means an immediate halt to Freddie Mac's eviction action. It also means that the Hennepin County sheriff's office can no longer move to evict the family. Not only will the District Court proceedings take months to decide, the Vinje's have amassed enough evidence of fraudulent Bank practices for them to actually win the case...and their home back. Let's pay close attention to these new Cort proceedings and show up to hearings and testimony when we can. Feels like another victory might be on the way!

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  • VICTORY! St. Paul Lawyer Saves Own Home from Foreclosure with Occupy Homes MN

    OccupyOurHomes on August 15, 2012

    Yet another victory for Occupy Homes MN, with Paul Lelii winning a principal reduction from Bank of America this week.

    St. Paul, MN – Paul Lelii, a single father, attorney for his private law firm, and St. Paul homeowner, has been offered a principal reduction loan modification by Bank of America. 

    The news came after a targeted campaign Occupy Homes MN led against Bank of America, urging them to renegotiate with Paul and four other homeowners. So far four of the five have won renegotiations, including Ruby Brown of north Minneapolis and Frank Clark and Kristina Darrington of Coon Rapids.

    “Paul has shown courage, strength and passion for eliminating foreclosures throughout St. Paul,” said Lauren Siegel, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. “His victory shows that banks can and will stop foreclosure when they face enough pressure to do so.”

    Read more below the fold.

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  • MN: VICTORY! Formerly Homeless Suburban Couple Wins Loan Modification to Stay in Home

    OccupyOurHomes on August 09, 2012

    Occupy Homes MN has helped another family win their home:

    After a three-year foreclosure fight, a campaign with Occupy Homes MN, and an investigation by the Minnesota Attorney General, Bank of America and Freddie Mac have offered an affordable loan modification for Frank Clark and Kristina Darrington. 

    The official offer came one day after the end of Frank and Kristina’s redemption period, which put them at risk for imminent eviction at any time.

    “Frank and Kristina have overcome great odds, including a history of homelessness. This victory allows them to sleep soundly in their home, and to continue to help others in their community,” said Ryan Stopera, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN.

    Frank overcame a difficult childhood and nine years of homelessness to build a life for himself and his wife Kristina. He became a union laborer and worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week to build the new 35W bridge. After the economic crisis and recession, labor jobs declined dramatically across the state, and Frank’s hours were cut, making mortgage payments difficult. Despite their hardship, Frank and Kristina were denied a loan modification, and were forced into foreclosure. At a sheriff sale, Bank of America bought the home back from themselves for nearly $100,000 less than the original price; while they were unwilling to modify the mortgage for Frank and Kristina, they were more than happy to do so for themselves.

    Frank and Kristina took the pledge to remain in their home until they were offered a good faith negotiation. They have built tremendous support from friends, family, neighbors, Laborers’ Union 563, CrossPoint Church, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, and the local media. “This problem is not only in the cities. It affects everyone,” said Frank.

    Read more of Frank and Kristina's story below the fold.

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  • Atlanta: Edgewood residents to hold press conference about illegal eviction of elderly woman

    OccupyOurHomes on August 06, 2012

    Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:

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

    Within hours, Ms. Calhoun’s possessions were moved back into her house with the help of Edgewood residents and supporters. She is currently still residing in that house, determined to resist eviction should it again be attempted. 

    That evening, Edgewood residents formed a group, Eviction Free Edgewood (EFE), determined to resist eviction of Edgewood residents. On Sunday, EFE, with Ms. Calhoun, hosted a barbeque to build community resistance. About 100 people were in attendance throughout the day. 

    Join us at 11:00AM on Monday August 6th at Sherrye’s home, 39 Aberdeen Street Atlanta, GA 30307 to hear Sherrye tell her story alongside neighbors and community members enraged by this eviction in their community. 

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  • Emergency Call-In to Stop Joliet, IL Sheriff's Sale!

    OccupyOurHomes on August 01, 2012

     

    The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign is asking that people call on behalf of Loleta Barrow-Leggett to help stop Wells Fargo from putting her home up for auction.

    For months, the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Warehouse Workers for Justice, Will County Community Concern and other groups have been trying to stop the sale of Loleta Barrow-Leggett's home in Joliet, IL. After our first demonstration, Wells Fargo agreed to call off the sale of the home and look into a modification.

    Unfortunately, the modification that they have offered INCREASED BY $200, the amount of money that the family had been struggling to pay for its unaffordable monthly mortgage payments. For months, Ms. Barrow-Leggett's family and supporters have been seeking to get her into a more affordable HAMP modification, sending in all the requested documentation as well as proof that her family has secured homeowners insurance.

    But instead of good faith negotiations, Ms. Barrow-Leggett has received 11th hour calls threatening to put her house on sale on August 1st if she does not agreed to Wells Fargo's unaffordable trial modification. This is unacceptable.

     

    Find out how you can help below the fold.

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  • Help Save Rain and Summer's Home

    OccupyOurHomes on July 31, 2012

    Update August 3: Great news! Rain was able to raise enough money to keep her home. She writes:

    I have great friends and they have great friends and we were able to do it. ...Thank you so much.

    Rain was supported by over 475 people on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org, which in turn helped her raise the money she needed to keep her home. This is a great win for Rain and Summer. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a reality.

    * * *

    Last week, when we launched Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org, one of the first people to create a campaign was Rain Burroughs. In her campaign targeting the Virginia Housing Development Authority, Rain wrote:

    Dear VHDA folks, I admit to my shortcomings, and want to make things right. My 12 year old daughter has been sick for some time and was finally diagnosed correctly with juvenile arthritis. I suffer from depression and have not dealt with a lot very well. I am employed full time and Summer is finally getting the help she needs. Now that bankruptcy court is not protecting us, I have three hundred twenty dollars more dollars with which to pay you.

    Once she set up her campaign, Rain started organizing. In just a few days, almost 400 people have signed her petition. She's now recorded a video to thank the people who have joined in her fight to save her home. Rain is also asking for donations to help pay to keep her home.

    Please take a moment to sign Rain's petition to the Virginia Housing Development Authority. She's building power to make sure she can keep her home and we are trying to help her win. Let's make sure she and her daughter get to keep her home!

     

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  • Colorado: Family May Be Forced From Farm After Apparent Fraud By Bank

    OccupyOurHomes on July 31, 2012

    An update from the Colorado Progressive Coalition on the fight to save a family farm from fraudulent foreclosure:

    HSBC bank is moving to remove an Eagle County family from their farm despite evidence the Fasis were the victims of fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo. Though the family attempted to reconcile with the foreclosing parties and file bankruptcy to protect their home, the Fasis are once again facing a hearing by HSBC to lift a stay on their home';s foreclosure on August 14. If the court agrees with HSBC's attorneys, another Colorado family will lose their farm.

    Donna and Douglas Fasi were at the brink of being removed from their long-time home last month when they were able to block their eviction by filing for bankruptcy. After finding themselves in foreclosure due to a series of seemingly illegal actions taken by Wells Fargo, including forged documents that put the couple into an ARM loan and misinformation that caused the family to believe they were required to fall behind on payments on their farm, the Fasi's are now spending the last pennies of their life savings on advocates to help them keep the farm. But they may not have enough pennies.

    Wells Fargo made the decision to foreclose on the Fasi Home earlier this year without acknowledging their responsibility for the conditions that could remove the Fasis from their farm. Wells Fargo allegedly sold the loan to HSBC Bank USA, who bid half the farms value at a public trustee sale and started eviction proceedings. With their backs against the wall, Douglas Fasi entered into bankruptcy to save the family home. Now, HSBC is again moving to evict the Eagle county small business owners from their long-time residence.

    “We were successful in getting the last eviction stopped only because I had to file a bankruptcy for my husband,” said Donna Fasi. “Now, the foreclosure attorneys have already filed to have the automatic stay lifted so they can evict us again.”

    Having lost $300,000 dollars in equity on the property and years of hard work and labor to turn the farm into their home, the Fasi family is unwilling to lose more. They are trying to raise funds from friends, family, neighbor and the community for a legal battle they believe will help to set precedent that will protect all Colorado property owners.

    “If we can do this thing in Denver in front of a jury trial it will help so many others in the same situation because it will set a precedent and will put us in a position to demand that Wells Fargo and HSBC Bank and the foreclosing attorneys be fined and charged with criminal charges for fraud, and we intend to ask for this.”

    “When the lawyer reviewed our paperwork and has discovered that the judge ruled on the wrong statute in our case, and ruled also on the Fraud Note telling us we could not raise a claim of fraud against HSBC bank because that Note was not signed by us. This has turned out to be a very bizarre ruling because the original Note I signed at the closing, the fixed rate mortgage Note, is signed and initialed by me. You would think the judge would understand that of course I did not sign the Fraud Note, and that Note is what HSBC bank is using against us to foreclose.”
    Much more information about the Fasi farm below the fold.

     

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  • Occupy LA - Occupy Fights Foreclosures, Community and Faith Leaders Join in a Call to Action

    OccupyOurHomes on July 31, 2012

     

    Occupy Fights Foreclosures announces an action to help stop an illegal eviction in Ontario, California.

    Barbara Bratton and family are joined Tuesday by faith leaders, church congregation members, and Occupy Fights Foreclosures as they face eviction from the Ontario home the family has lived in for almost 40 years. Neighbors and members of the Bratton's family church will participate in prayer, and call for justice for homeowners being thrown out of their homes due to practices such as dual-tracking now made illegal following the signing by Governor Jerry Brown of the California Homeowners Bill of Rights.

    The Brattons allege the refinance loan they obtained from Countrywide was fraudulent — it imposed an adjustable rate loan after the Brattons signed a fixed rate loan. The Brattons' immediate complaint about the switch was just the beginning of a saga that has been a seven-year nightmare for the Bratton family, one that has resulted in a federal law suit and FBI case.

    The family was strung along on a loan modification track by a series of new loan servicers who, at the same time, proceeded to foreclose — the common practice known as dual tracking, now illegal. The loan servicer proceeded to sell the home, order an eviction, then mysteriously cancelled the sale, then somehow reoriginated the loan.

    A string of zig-zagging title transfers followed. The long list of companies with blandly ambiguous names that claim to have authority over the property make it almost impossible to determine which, if any, company has legal right for any action. The Brattons faced foreclosure again after the family's payments were rejected. The foreclosing agent — Select Portfolio — claims to represent US Bank. Yet US Bank specifically confirmed to the Brattons that it is not the trustee on their loan, has no claim to the property and cannot foreclose.

    Despite the pending federal lawsuit and despite the questionable authority of the foreclosing agent, the Brattons still face imminent eviction. They have been locked out of their home and are facing the "trash-out" day whereupon the real estate agent — South Hills Properties — removes all the possessions remaining in the home.

    Neighbors, members of their church and other religious leaders participate Tuesday in prayer and silent vigil for justice, referring to Psalm 103: The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

    "The Brattons have struggled for seven years to preserve the sanctuary of their home," says Carlos Marroquin, Occupy Fights Foreclosures activist. "They have a lawsuit pending in Federal Court against bogus foreclosure sales that had to be cancelled retroactively, phony property titles being filed and erased, and other suspicious maneuvers that have put immense stress on this family. Years of their lives have had to be devoted to fighting this fraud. And this family is a pillar of this community. Neighbors and congregation members rightfully come together to defend this family, create a foreclosure-free zone, and stand with them against this injustice."

    Much more details below the fold.

     

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  • Occupy Bernal/ACCE foreclosure fighter Ross Rhodes wins loan modification from Wells Fargo Bank

    OccupyOurHomes on July 29, 2012

    Check out this inspiring video of Occupy Bernal and ACCE Foreclosure Fighter Ross Rhodes talking about how he organized to pressure Wells Fargo to give him a modification on his mortgage and keep his home. From the video's description:

    Democracy is dying. Corporate campaign contributions are simply legalized bribes, and the most powerful corporations of all are the banks. They foreclose and evict people with no protection from the government and hold the courts in their pockets. Ross Rhodes knows what it's like, but fortunately for him, he found the super heroes who can bring the banks to their knees. Don't give up hope! Instead, listen as he tells you his secret to staying in your home and making the banks come to you.

    Buck from Occupy Bernal writes:

    Wells Fargo Bank agreed to give Ross an affordable loan modification, with a $259,000 principal forbearance in the form of a sleeping, no interest second mortgage. They have also agreed to negotiate with Occupy Bernal/SF ACCE/Occupy Noe on August 3, 2012 over loan modification for 23 foreclosure fighters. We'll see if they produce. We'll keep the pressure on in any case, and increase it if they don't. Thus far, in 2012, we have forced Wells Fargo to postpone almost 120 property auctions for about 30 foreclosure fighters, and won loan modifications for some, but not yet all.

    This is amazing, inspiring work! Keep it up Occupy Bernal, ACCE and Occupy Noe!

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  • A New Tool: Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org

    OccupyOurHomes on July 27, 2012

    With the support of the Occupy Our Homes movement, hundreds of people across America have taken a stand and demanded their bank negotiate to keep them in their home. 

    These bold individuals and courageous families have built support in their neighborhoods, pressured their banks, raised awareness (and sometimes a ruckus), and won their homes at an inspiring rate. 

    Of course, not everyone who is facing foreclosure and eviction is ready to occupy their home. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t find ways to help everyone facing foreclosure and eviction keep their home. 

    Today I’m excited to announce a new tool for anyone in housing crisis: http://Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org. 

    Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org allows anyone to start a campaign in support of a solution to their housing situation. This tool empowers people in housing crisis to start organizing on their own behalf in their community, and build power that they can leverage in their efforts to keep their home.

    You can use this tool to target anyone—a bank loan officer, a local elected official, executives at Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac—whoever has the power to make sure you keep your home.

    It’s easy to do—all it takes is a few quick steps: identify who you are petitioning, tell your neighbors and supporters around the world what you want them to do, then say why it’s important. You can start a campaign in support of keeping your home in a matter of minutes. 

    Once you start a campaign, we’ll be here to help answer questions and do our best to see you succeed. 

    The banks are more powerful than they should be—we all know this—but the Occupy Our Homes movement is proving that when homeowners fight back and organize within their communities, we have the power to beat the banks.

    Take a stand, start a campaign, and save your home. Or if you’re not in housing crisis, come to the site and take action in support of brave homeowners around the country who are fighting to keep their homes. 

    http://Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org

     

     

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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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  • CA: Demand PNC Bank Negotiate With Yin Wong to Keep Her Family in Their Home

    OccupyOurHomes on July 26, 2012

     

    Via Occupy the Auctions in San Francisco:

    PNC Bank is stealing the home of Yin Wong, disabled senior by ILLEGALLY foreclosing on her and her family after National City Mortgage sold the loan on her home to PNC Bank. The first she heard of PNC’s purchase of the loan was a foreclosure notice in the mail. Even though Yin Wong has the money to pay the loan and has tried to get PNC Bank to accept it, PNC has refused and has pushed eviction proceedings forward even after four prior court appearances during which the Superior Court judge urged PNC to correct the problem. Yin Wong has tried over and over to work with PNC, but PNC has refused to work with her.

    PNC Bank did the exact same thing with the Cruz family in Minneapolis… thousands of people have protested their eviction, organizing to re-occupy their home with dozens of arrests.

    Let’s stand together to fight back and let banks know that we won’t let them foreclosure on families illegally.

    JOIN US AND DEMAND PNC WORK WITH YIN TO KEEP HER HOME!!!

    More below the fold, including how to take action.

     

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  • Detroit: Get ready to stop the eviction of Jennifer Britt

    OccupyOurHomes on July 24, 2012

    There's important information coming from Moratorium Now! and Detroit Eviction Defense:

    We have reliable information that the dumpster truck is very likely to arrive on Tuesday at Jennifer Britt's house in Detroit's Rosedale Park. We need maximum turnout tomorrow at 15701 Warwick St. at Midland, just south of Grand River, to oppose the placement of the dumpster in front of Jennifer's home and to also prevent her eviction. 

    Please join this peaceful and determined opposition to another unjust eviction in whatever capacity you are comfortable with-- as witness, supporter, resister. We will oppose the placing of the dumpster in front of the home in a nonviolent manner, making a statement with our numbers.

    Supporters are welcome at any time, but it helps if we know how many will be there thru the day. If possible, contact us at DetroitEvictionDefense@gmail.com and let us know the hour(s) you can join us, from dawn onwards. The early morning is an important time, but who knows when the truck will arrive with the dumpster. At 4pm we will have a barbecue, so join us whenever you can -- or make a day of it!

    More information below the fold.

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  • VICTORY!: North Minneapolis Woman Wins Home from Bank of America After Five-Year Foreclosure Battle

    OccupyOurHomes on July 23, 2012

     

    Great news of another victory from Minnesota, thanks to the work of Occupy Homes Minnesota and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. Read the report below:

    After a five-year battle over now-illegal lending practices, a bank error that dropped her from a loan modification program, and a campaign with Occupy Homes MN, north Minneapolis homeowner Ruby Brown has received a mortgage renegotiation from Bank of America, just days before her home was to be auctioned off.

    “This is an incredible victory for Ruby, who has been in the struggle for so long. It’s also something that can and should happen for everyone facing the loss of a home right now,” said Susan Kikuchi, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN.

    Ruby, a hairdresser whose home of 17 years is the center of her family life, fell into foreclosure after years of struggling with inflated payments in an adjustable rate mortgage, a predatory lending practice which is now illegal. She eventually received a trial modification and complied with its requirements for 12 months, but was dropped from the program anyway.

    As though her struggle with the banks weren’t enough, Ruby’s home was damaged by the tornado that swept through North Minneapolis in 2011. Despite the uncertain future of her home, she threw herself into the project of repairing the home, a pillar for her family and a symbol of her community’s resilience despite disaster.

    “Had it not been for my faith, I could not have made it through,” said Ruby, a deacon in her north Minneapolis church. She found herself relying on comforting words from a Muslim friend: “God is bigger than Bank of America.”

    When Ruby began working with Occupy Homes MN and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change 6 months ago, she felt her shame dissolve. “It generated a fight in me,” she said. “I didn’t realize there were so many people in the same situation, that it wasn’t just me.”

    Read more below the fold.

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  • Atlanta: National Call-In Day to Save Steve's Home!

    OccupyOurHomes on July 17, 2012

     

    Last year, Marietta, Ga resident Steve Boudreaux lost his job. Like the millions of other Americans battling unemployment, Steve struggled to make his mortgage payments, and eventually fell behind. In an effort to save his home from foreclosure, Steve applied for an emergency loan modification from his lender, Wells Fargo. Everything was set to move forward until the IRS delayed in getting Steve’s tax transcripts to the bank. Rather than wait for the transcripts—the IRS even sent confirmation that they were on their way-- Wells Fargo moved forward with a foreclosure sale. To add insult to injury, the transcripts were delivered to the bank the next day.

    Steve is now employed and getting back on his feet, and is willing to do whatever it takes to stay in his home. He contacted Wells Fargo numerous times requesting they rescind the foreclosure, and let him stay in his home. His calls have so far fallen on deaf ears.

    Please contact Wells Fargo on Steve’s behalf with this simple message.

    "Rescind the foreclosure, and work out a deal to keep Steve Boudreaux (Loan # 00006391834) in his home. Accept his payments instead of leaving another empty house in our communities."

    Contact info below the fold.

     

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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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  • Rochester: Court Stops Leonard Spears Eviction, Forces Wells Fargo to Show Cause

    OccupyOurHomes on July 11, 2012

    On Wednesday, 10:00am Leonard Spears and Wells Fargo will appear in State Supreme Court in front of Judge Bellini at the Hall of Justice. Judge Bellini has ordered that the eviction be halted and that Wells Fargo must show cause for what appears to be fraudulent foreclosure. Leonard Spears made local andnational headlines in May when he announced that he would not be leaving his home at 26 Ries St., Rochester, NY (see Video, Democrat and Chronicle, Daily Record). Given the level fraud (Wells Fargo not even owning the mortgage when they foreclosed) support for Mr. Spears has flooded in from all over country including a solidarity action at the Freddie Mac headquarters in Washingon, D.C.

    Despite 10-12 attempts at a mortgage modification, Wells Fargo refused to negotiate with Leonard and instead asked him to continually resubmit the same paperwork. In order to take his home as quickly as possible Wells Fargo never personally served Leonard the Summons and Complaint for the foreclosure action, denying him proper recourse to defend his home in court. Instead Wells Fargo fabricated the paperwork saying they served Leonard and claiming he was up to 6 feet tall with black, brown, and blond hair! Unfortunately for Wells Fargo, Leonard is about 5'6'', bald and has never had blond or brown hair. In a further stroke of fraud, lawyers for Wells Fargo reveal that their client didn't own the mortgage or notewhen they foreclosed on Leonard Spears giving them zero legal standing to foreclose in the first place. To add insult to injury, when Wells Fargo foreclosed on Mr. Spears, they sold his house to Freddie Mac for $500. Now Wells Fargo has to justify its foreclosure practices in court. Leonard Spears and Take Back the Land Rochester demand that Wells Fargo withdraw the foreclosure and for Freddie Mac to donate the house to the Rochester Community Land Trust, where Mr. Spears can stay in his house and keep it permanently affordable.

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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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  • Atlanta: Coming Together For Family On The Verge Of Homelessness

    OccupyOurHomes on July 10, 2012

    Tim Franzen of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has an update on the fight for Tacco Cullens fight to have a home to live in with her family.

    The last week we've been frantically working with Tacco Cullens, single mother of 11. As of Saturday June 30th Tacco and her children were forced to leave the substandard home they had rented buy a scam artist that did not in fact own the home. Why was the home substandard? Because the fake landlord refused to fix the house.

    Since the 30th there have been two tasks that the family and others have been trying to accomplish. While we all have been organizing a patchwork of suitable places for the family to stay, we've also been trying to find a long term solution to their housing.

    One two separate occasions in the last week the family was literally on the verge of having nowhere to sleep. If it weren't for "Able" Mable Thomas and Atlanta Travelers Aid Tacco and her family could have already ended up on the street.

    Progress has been made. In the last week more and more people are coming out of the woodwork to offer help. We've had several leads on a house, though none have panned out yet.

    More below the fold

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  • Rochester: Emergency Call to Action to Prevent Eviction at the Steidel Home

    OccupyOurHomes on July 09, 2012

    Occupy Rochester & Take Back the Land - Rochester are doing an emergency eviction defense at the home of Maria and Harold Steidel:

    After a preliminary victory against Freddie Mac and Wells Fargo last Novemeber, Maria and Harold Steidel are once again being threatened with eviction. Our earlier support for the Steidels brought national attention including coverage by both Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann.

    There is an eviction enforcement date of Wednesday, July 11. While their lawyer is currently working on legal strategies which may delay or prevent an eviction, we will gather to either arrange a watch/blockade, or celebrate and further strategize if the legal efforts prove successful.

    Please join us on Tuesday evening, July 10 at 5:30 at their home at 107 Clay Rd. An eviction watch/blockade may involve setting up an encampment, so if you have a tent to volunteer, please bring it. If an eviction watch is necessary, we will need as many people as possible during the most vulnerable hours of 9am to 5 pm each day until the eviction has been abandoned.

    Tuesday, July 10, 5:30 pm
    107 Clay Ave
    This is off Lake Ave, see map: http://mapq.st/MTqhv6

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  • MN: Homeowner’s Eviction Hearing Canceled Due to Bank Fraud

    OccupyOurHomes on July 09, 2012

    Occupy Homes MN reports more good news in one of their campaigns to stop a wrongful foreclosure and eviction.

    Three days before Connie Gretsch’s eviction hearing, she was shocked to receive good news: The Attorney General’s office had discovered that her prosecuting bank, Pacifica, did not own Connie’s south Minneapolis home, or even have a license to do business in Minnesota. Pacifica’s attorneys quickly called off the eviction hearing.

    “I feel so lucky that we caught this in time,” said Connie. “How many people out there lost their home because of a bank error they never knew about?”

    Pacifica has asked Citibank, which currently owns the property, not to pursue an eviction.

    When Connie Gretsch lost her job as a special ed teacher, she began negotiating with Citibank to adjust her mortgage. They informed her that she had to be two months behind on payments before they could consider her for a loan modification, and advised her to not make payments for two months.

    After a year of consideration, Citibank rejected her application. They sold her mortgage to Pacifica, which quickly foreclosed on her because she had missed two months’ payments–the payments Citibank had advised her not to make. This summer, Pacifica filed to evict her.

    “Fraudulent banking practices like these are unfortunately not uncommon, and often go unnoticed in the automatic foreclosure machine,” said David Smith, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. “We are forced to work around the bank’s mistakes, sloppy paperwork, and unethical practices. Connie’s case makes it clear that we need to be investigating fraudulent practices in all foreclosures.”

    Read more below the fold.

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  • Atlanta: The People vs Wells Fargo

    OccupyOurHomes on July 06, 2012

    American Friends Service Committee/Atlanta:

    On Monday, tents were pitched and supporters began a 24/7 vigil until Wells Fargo makes a deal to keep Boudreaux in is home.

    "Georgia is now the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. We have to do something about this, and we have to do it now," says Occupy Homes organizer Allie McCullen.

    Much more below the fold.

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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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  • Atlanta: Single Mother of 11, Ripped Off, Now Faces Homelessness

    OccupyOurHomes on July 03, 2012

    Tim Franzen of American Friends Service Committee and Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has an update on Tacco Cullins, a single mother of eleven who's been ripped off by her landlord and is now facing homelessness.

    Occupy Our Homes ATL, the Pittsburgh Community, and American Friends Service Committee call on our city to find a solution that keeps Tacco Cullin’s loving family together. We believe that Atlanta and its residents can make this happen.

    Tacco Collins reached out last week in a desperate situation. She was living in a substandard three-bedroom house with no electricity and had just run out of food to feed her family.

    Tacco signed a rental agreement with her landlord in February of 2011. Before she moved in the landlord made a promise to fix the flooring, replace the water heater, fix the shower, and paint the interior, none of which ever happened.

    In July of 2011 her electrical box exploded and the landlord refused to fix it, leaving her with no power. She decided to withhold rent until it was fixed, and instead of fixing it the landlord tried to evict her. After Tacco took her landlord to court she discovered that he didn’t actually own the house at all, it belonged to an investor in White Plains, New York.

    What we have now is a short period of time to find permanent housing for the family or they face homelessness, and there are serious challenges.

    Read more below the fold

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  • South Minneapolis Woman to Defy Sheriff’s Eviction Orders After Bank Backs out of Negotiation

    OccupyOurHomes on July 03, 2012

     

    Occupy Homes MN:

    Anita Reyes-Reley planned on moving out of her South Minneapolis home last Tuesday when she received an eviction notice from Hennepin County Sheriffs. Now she is unpacking her boxes, planting a garden, and building community support to stay in her home.

    “All that I am asking is for Woodlands National Bank to sit down and negotiate with me, so I can stay in my community,” said Anita.

    Ms. Reyes-Reley, who has owned her home for 17 years, fell behind on her mortgage when her hours were cut and vertigo prevented her from making the 100-mile one-way drive to work. She reached out to Cindy Koonce, Vice President at Woodlands National Bank, to find a solution to stay in her house. Ms. Koonce told Anita she would do everything she could to help her. The Attorney General offered to look over Anita’s loan documents for the bank. Anita returned to work, earning more than enough to afford her mortgage. To Anita’s shock, however, on the end date of her redemption period, Ms. Koonce called Anita and told her she needed to leave her home.

    With the help of Occupy Homes MN, Anita began building a public pressure campaign, including call-ins and a petition, for Woodlands National Bank to renegotiate her mortgage so she could stay in her home. That same day, Ms. Koonce called Anita and made a concrete offer to keep her in her home. But the following day, when Anita showed up to negotiate, she was told that the offer was off the table due to a minor technicality: she had called the bank four minutes too late.

    “This is not about four minutes,” said Occupy Homes MN organizer Chris Gray. “The bank’s erratic behavior is disturbing. 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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  • Atlanta: Cobb County Home Owner Stands Up To Wells Fargo

    July 01, 2012

     

    Occupy Our Homes Atlanta is working with a Cobb County homeowner named Steve Boudreaux to help him get Wells Fargo to allow him to stay in his home. American Friends Service Committee/Atlanta has an update on their blog:

    After battling unemployment and struggling to make payments on his mortgage, Cobb County resident Steve Boudreaux did what any diligent homeowner would do--he applied for an emergency home loan modification to stay in his home at a rate he could afford. Everything was all set to move forward until the IRS delayed in getting tax transcripts to his bank, Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo, rather than wait for the transcripts to come in, pushed forward with a foreclosure sale, even though the modification application was incomplete due to no fault of Steve's own. To add insult to injury, the transcripts were delivered the day after the foreclosure sale.

    Today Steve was joined by Occupy Our Homes ATL and Cobb United for Change at the Wells Fargo branch that Steve originally applied and received his home lone with one simple message, "You have all the information you need! Make a deal to keep Steve in his home!"

    Cobb United for Change and Occupy Our Homes are ready to stand up with Steve to keep him in his home. Will you?

    You can help Steve and call Luis Fortin of the Wells Fargo "Home Preservation" Team and demand he work to keep Steve in his home.

    To reach Mr. Fortin call 877-458-8418. Once connected dial 0 until you are asked for an extension. Luis is ext. 31560.

    Make sure to tell him that "Wells Fargo needs to work with Steve Boudreaux at 1525 Rubes Landing in Marietta. Set aside the foreclosure and make a deal to keep Steve in his home!"

     

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  • Marietta Resident and Supporters to Hold Press Conference Announcing Launch of First Home Defense Campaign in Cobb County

    OccupyOurHomes on June 29, 2012

    Marietta, GA--Today, the Cobb United for Change Coalition (CUCC) and Occupy Our Homes ATL (OOHA) will join Marietta homeowner Steve Boudreaux as he launches a campaign to save his home from foreclosure. The press conference will be held outside the very Wells Fargo branch where he applied for and received his loan.

    More below the fold.

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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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  • VICTORY CA: Dexter Cato Gets His Home Back

    OccupyOurHomes on June 29, 2012

    BREAKING!!!! Dexter Cato, a Long-time member of ACCE and the Home Defenders League in Bayview San Francisco, got his house back!!! Its been a long fight with the bank and lots community support made this happen!! He was foreclosed and evicted unjustly, and now he gets to move his family back in!

    Learn more about Dexter's story here.

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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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  • RI: Who would you rather have as your neighbor? Joann and her family or Midland Mortgage?

    OccupyOurHomes on June 28, 2012

    Joann Manning has been living in her home for 5 year. Three years ago, she got laid off from her job, and one year ago, the bank who owns her mortgage sent her a foreclosure notice. Now, she just wants to pay her rent so she and her family can stay in their home. Unfortunately, Midland Mortgage, located in Oaklahoma, doesn't want to accept her rent. Instead, they want to let her house sit empty and boarded up and her family to struggle to find a new place to live, while they wait for housing prices to go up just so they can make a profit selling it.

    Your call and your presence tomorrow could help Joann and her family have a place to live.

    Fortunately, you can help. Join the Tenant and Homeowner's Association of DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality) at a rally tomorrow, at 4pm, at Joann's home, 222 Vermont Ave. to show your support for Joann, and everybody in our communities facing foreclosure and eviction.

    Or if you can't make it out, call them today, at (800) 654-4566 Ext. 1204and leave a message for Mary Hensley, telling her you think they should do the right thing, and accept Joann's rent.

    For more information, call Christopher, from DARE, at 401-316-1123

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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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  • Another South Minneapolis Family Wins Home on Eve of Cruz Family Caravan for Pittsburgh, Launching National Week of Action

    OccupyOurHomes on June 20, 2012

    More great news from Occupy Homes MN:

    Yesterday morning, homeowner Anita Reyes-Reley was served an eviction notice on the door of her home of 17 years. Yet in a dramatic turn of events, by 3:00pm she received an offer from Woodlands National Bank that would keep her in her home. This improbable victory, the second for Occupy Homes MN in one week, comes after community supporters successfully lead a pressure campaign consisting of phone calls, emails, and a petition to the bank demanding they negotiate a new loan for Anita.

    “I’ve been waiting for this call for six months, and I wouldn’t have gotten it without Occupy Homes,” said homeowner Anita Reyes-Reley. “We’ve built a lot of pressure over the past month and the final push from community members over the past couple days finally brought the bank to the table.”

    This announcement was shared with 60 community members, including nationally renowned local hip-hop artist Brother Ali, in front of the Cruz family home. The community rallied today to send off the Cruz family, whose battle against an unjust foreclosure has become a focal point for the Occupy movement, to PNC bank headquarters in Pittsburgh to renegotiate their mortgage. The rally and Anita’s victory mark the kick-off of a coordinated week of actions across the country designed to bring national attention to the Cruz family’s situation.

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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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  • Video: Alejandra and David - Facing Foreclosure

    OccupyOurHomes on June 18, 2012

    Despite acknowledging that the Cruzes foreclosure was due to a bank error and repeated claims that they are working “behind the scenes” to get the Cruz family back in their home, PNC Bank has refused to accept the documents necessary for the loan to be modified. Take action in support of Alejandra and David by writing to PNC Bank and Freddie Mac!

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  • Atlanta: Bizarre Behaviors of Sheriff Brown

    OccupyOurHomes on June 13, 2012

     

    From Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:

    June 11th played out like a soap opera for those involved in Occupy Atlanta actions. The story starts however over a month ago when the Dekalb County Sheriff's Department startled a senior woman out of her bed. They informed her that she had to leave her home of 18 years and take her elderly mother along with the rest of her family and whatever she could grab on the way out with her. Although the family showed no signs of resistance and posed absolutely no threat they were met with 40 armed Sheriff Deputies swarming the house from all possible directions. All of the family's belongings were then strewed across not only their lawn, but that of the neighbors.

    After rushing to get the homeowner, Christine Frazer, settled into a temporary living space it was time to let the Sheriff know that everyone had in NO WAY forgotten that he was the one that made the call to force this family on to the streets at 3 a.m. On May 7th there was a demonstration at the Sheriff's Office where many of the discarded items from the eviction were relocated from the Frazer's lawn on Wellhaun Road to the Sheriff department's lawn. As those that fought to defend Christine's home were leaving the demonstration a few of them were tailed, pulled over, handcuffed, and put into police cars all without being given any explanation as to why they were being detained. One demonstrator was immediately released then given a citation for littering while another was given the same citation after being hauled down to the Dekalb County Jail and the vehicle towed away for "investigation". Surprisingly, Sheriff Thomas Brown got on television stating that he would not take action against those involved in the protest since no officers were hurt and no property was damaged.

    Much more below the fold.

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  • 11th Hour Victory! Citibank Cancels Foreclosure Auction of Minneapolis Mom’s Home; Commits to Loan Modification With Reduced Payments

    OccupyOurHomes on June 12, 2012

    Amazing news from Occupy Homes MN:

    After a several month campaign pressuring Citibank to negotiate with Colleen Mckee Espinosa and a last minute blitz of social media, petition signatures, and calls to the office of CEO Vikram Pandit, Citibank canceled a scheduled sheriff’s sale and approved a loan modification for the Espinosa’s home. An official with CitiMortgage’s Executive Response Unit contacted the Espinosa family with news that Citibank had approved a loan modification that would keep the family in their home and reduce their payments by one-third on a 7.5 year payment plan. The dramatic news came less than 24 hours before the house was to be sold at auction on Wednesday, June 13.

    “I’m so relieved that my family’s home of 16 years will not be on the auction block tomorrow,” said Colleen McKee Espinosa, a nurse and single mother who received widespread support after she pledged not to leave her home without a good faith negotiation. “We are grateful that Citibank has decided to accept my payments, and we look forward to signing the final paperwork.”

    Allies from around the country, including OccupyOurHomes.org and Occupy Wall Street, as well as Mckee Espinosa’s union the Minnesota Nurses Association, helped to rally support for the family.

    “I am deeply grateful to everyone from across the country who stood with our family as we fought our foreclosure,” said Nick Espinosa, Colleen’s son, and an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. “I’m inspired by the outpouring of community support, and it renews my commitment to stand with other families who are struggling to stay in their homes.”

    (Read more below the fold)

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  • Occupy Homes MN Anti-Foreclosure Activist Fights to Save Mom’s Home

    OccupyOurHomes on June 11, 2012

    Occupy Homes MN reports on the latest on activist Nick Espinosa and his mother Colleen McKee Espinosa:

    Citibank Refuses to Accept Minneapolis Mom’s Mortgage Payments; Home to be Auctioned Wednesday

    Minneapolis—For months, Colleen McKee Espinosa, a single mother of three—including Nick Espinosa, a volunteer organizer who has helped other homeowners fight foreclosure—has repeatedly asked Citibank officials to allow her to catch up on her mortgage and keep her home. But Citibank still has the home scheduled to be auctioned off at a sheriff’s foreclosure sale this Wednesday, June 13th, at 9am.

    McKee Espinosa, a registered nurse, has been in her home for 16 years. Last year, she attempted to pay her Citibank mortgage to catch up on two past-due payments on the indicated due date. The bank told her the home had already been sent into foreclosure.

    “I’ve come up with the money I owe them but they refuse to take it,” McKee Espinosa said.Colleen’s son Nick Espinosa is a volunteer organizer for the group Occupy Homes Minnesota, a group that has waged successful campaigns that saved the homes of Monique White and US Marine veteran Bobby Hull.

     

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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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  • Atlanta: The Pittman Story & Call for Support

    OccupyOurHomes on June 08, 2012

    Here's a great video by Occupy Our Homes Atlanta on the Pittman family. There's good news on the horizon for the Pittman's, but they need our help first.

    Like many families across the nation, the late Ms. Eloise Pittman was a victim of one of the worst cases of predatory lending. The Pittman family has been fighting to save their home since November 2011. For the family, this house is more than a building that gives shelter. It is a home that has been passed down through generations since the 1950's.

    Occupy Atlanta has been defending the home alongside the family since December of last year. After organizing marches, bank sit-ins, and petitions, they've been able to push Chase Bank to offer a price the Pittman's can afford...but there's a problem; they will only accept cash payment.

    We need to raise $5,500 for a down payment ASAP. Can you help us in the final stages of this campaign?

    A win for the Pittman family isn't just a win for the 99%, it's a message to the big banks that crashed our economy. We will no longer allow you to hold our communities hostage!

    Thank you for reading this, and thank you for helping!

    You can make a donation to the Pittman family so they can keep their home at this link.

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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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  • Occupy Our Homes DC's fight for Dawn Butler's Home

    OccupyOurHomes on June 06, 2012

    For the second day in a row, Occupy Our Homes DC took to the streets to fight alongside a person who was standing up to the bank to keep their home. Activists came to the aid of Dawn Butler, a South East DC resident who had been a tenant in a home for over six years. The home was foreclosed, but contrary to DC tenant rights Butler was denied her right of first refusal by JP Morgan Chase. Butler has fought to buy the home from Chase since 2010, but the bank has ignored her. 

    Over thirty Occupy Our Homes DC activists came to Butler's home yesterday as DC police and US Marshalls were poised to evict her on Chase's behalf. While Butler was in court trying again to stop the eviction, her mother was on hand as Occupy activists constructed a blockade at the front door of their home. US Marshalls and DC police eventually used brute force to remove the Occupiers who had peacefully sat down to defend Dawn's home. 

    Melissa Byrne of Occupy Our Homes DC sent this report following the action.

    Thanks for the support today. We set up our first hard defense against an eviction. The Federal Marshalls pulled us apart, dragged us downstairs,and knocked one person unconscious. We lost the house but the tenant is vowing to keep fighting.

    Most importantly, we showed that it is critical to resist evictions. We are continuing to work with our neighbors.

    While Dawn Butler was evicted, she's continuing to fight the bank through the legal system.

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  • Windom Bey Family Calls on City of Rochester to Stop the Eviction from their Home of 40 Years

    OccupyOurHomes on June 05, 2012

    Take Back the Land Rochester is fighting alongside the Windom Bey family to stop an unfair and unjust eviction from happening in Rochester, NY. From a release by TBTL Rochester:

    Eddie L. Windom Bey and Mary Windom Bey are facing a forceful eviction from their home of 40 years at 33 Bartlett St. Rochester, NY 14608 by the City Marshal and Rochester Police as early as Thursday, June 7, 2012. The City of Rochester is responsible for this unjust eviction and decades-long mistreatment of the Windom Bey family and asking the City to work with them to stop and eviction and get their house back.

    ...

    In 1994, before the City of Rochester formally deeded the property over to the Windom Bey family, the City, without explanation, landlocked the property by terminating the 1923 Driveway Agreement and the 1926 Driveway Privilege agreement which guaranteed 33 Bartlett access to the driveway in perpetuity. After the City terminated this right of way, a neighbor was allowed to put up a chain link fence blocking access to and from the driveway at the back of the house. This not only left the family without access to their driveway, but lost use of their car, truck, van cooking trailer and two boats which were all in the back driveway at the time the fence was installed. Even after persistent protest the City refused to take the fence down.

    ...

    In 2007, the City issued $30,000 in code violations to the Windom Bey family mainly for the cars and boats located in the backyard, which the family could neither use nor remove due to the City’s own act of terminating the right of way, allowing the driveway to be fenced in. Given the exorbitant cost of the code violations, which were more than the value of property, they fell behind on their taxes. Still they paid their taxes until 2011 except for the year of 2007 where they could not afford to pay for the violations. The City then sold the tax lien to a company in Florida, American Tax Funding (ATF), who aggressively foreclosed on the house. In October 2011, the house was auctioned off to an ATF front organization, also in Florida, REOCO, LLC, for $7,000. In March 2012, REOCO sold the house to the Sure Luck Homes for $10.

    Now that the City has washed their hands of the property and the ordeal they created the family is facing displacement from the current owner. The Windom Bey family is calling on the City of Rochester not to the enforce the eviction, assist them in getting the house back in their name, restore the right of way to the driveway, and remove the violations.

    Read the full story below the fold.

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  • MN: An Open Letter From Three Cruz Family Neighbors

    OccupyOurHomes on June 05, 2012

    Three neighbors of David and Alejandra Cruz have posted an open letter on Facebook in support of the Cruz family & efforts by Occupy Homes MN to keep their home.  Here is an excerpt:

    As a local resident and not as a member of any group or organization, I am requesting that the city cease providing this type of security. What would happen if they did? The occupiers would be inside, quiet as mice - just like they were for four weeks before the police marched in. Freddie Mac would then have incentive to work with the Cruz family on modifying their loan. The occupiers would call it a day and go to sleep in their own homes. With the Cruz family back home, we'd have our stable community once more.

    I urge the city of Minneapolis to serve the interests of its citizens - and not those of giant banking institutions. A first step would be considering the impact of the foreclosure crisis on our communities. This is what the occupiers have done, albeit in a somewhat spectacular fashion. By working with and advocating for homeowners facing foreclosure, they’ve done more to protect and serve their neighbors than any of our elected officials.

    The full open letter is 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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  • MI: Eviction order against Scott Binkley has been suspended!

    OccupyOurHomes on June 02, 2012

    Occupy Traverse City in Michigan and the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shutoffs have been fighting to stop the eviction of Scott Binkley, an Interlochen resident who is quadriplegic. We just got an update that they've succeeded in stopping the eviction by Bank of America and Deutsche Bank while a permanent solution is worked out.

    Scott has been notified by phone by a Bank of America representative that the eviction order has been suspended. Scott ask that we stop calling and emailing Bank of America and Deutsch Bank, while discussions between Scott and the BoA proceed. Scott is cautiously optimistic.

    Thanks to all those who called and emailed the banks on behalf of Scott.

    Congratulations to Scott and everyone who had fought on his behalf. More information is below the fold.

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  • MN: Cruz Home "Reoccupied" by Minneapolis Police, Supporters Pray for Justice

    on June 02, 2012

    On Friday afternoon the Cruz family, neighbors and supporters held hands and surrounded 30 police in the front yard of their home while Pastor Todd Mathison of Ebenezer Lutheran Church led a prayer for justice for the Cruz family and a swift return to their home.

    They then held a barbecue in the parking lot of the Ebenezer Lutheran Church, located directly across the street from the home, to celebrate the one-month anniversary of the occupation of their foreclosed home. As the occupation began, supporters declared they would not leave until PNC Bank and Freddie Mac negotiated with the family to keep them in their home.

    "We have continued to negotiate with PNC Bank and Freddie Mac to find a solution to keep our family in the home, but until we see action we are not giving up this struggle for our family and for the millions of families all over the country losing their homes because greedy banks would rather throw people out than work with them," said David Cruz.

    Supporters of the Cruz family were disturbed to find their home under occupation by a massive police force of over 30 Minneapolis police officers with batons, bicycles, over two dozen marked and undercover squad cars and a paddy wagon which blocked two alleys, preventing one neighbor from leaving his home. A mobile spy camera was also posted on the corner of 41st and Cedar.

    "The ongoing waste of thousands of public dollars by Mayor Rybak and his police to serve as taxpayer-funded private security for Freddie Mac shows that our city is more concerned with protecting banks than keeping families in their homes," said Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN.

    "If you look at the people protecting the Cruz home, it's average everyday people. It's regular folks who share a common interest in doing the right thing. The house has been occupied for weeks and they were quiet and respectful. It wasn't until the police arrived en masse that the problems started." Said neighbor Sasha Lindquist. "Everybody knows somebody who's going through this foreclosure mess, it's an epidemic."

    (More below the fold)

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  • Video: Occupy Homes MN & the 3rd eviction attempt at the Cruz home

    OccupyOurHomes on June 01, 2012

    Expect more updates from Minnesota today, as Occupy Homes MN will be re-occupying the Cruz home at 2pm Central today. More info here.

    We will reoccupy the Cruz home AGAIN tomorrow at 2pm on the one month anniversary of our 24/7 eviction blockade at the Cruz family home. Freddie Mac, PNC Bank, and Mayor Rybak have a choice to make: waste more city resources arresting peaceful protesters, or work to keep the Cruz family in their home. WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.

    This action comes on the heels of 5 eviction attempts and 23 arrests in the past week of Cruz family supporters defending the home and demanding the bank work with the family to keep them in their home.

    More info: http://www.occupyhomesmn.org/14-arrested-at-cruz-home-vowing-needless-foreclosure-stops-here/

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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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  • DC: Protect a Paramedic's Home! Stop Chase!

    May 30, 2012

    For 23 years, Deborah Harris had the back of everyone in our nation's Capitol. As a paramedic, or first responder as they are also known, she went to work everyday prepared to save anyone's life.

    She was injured on the job, causing her to lose wages and fall behind on her mortgage.

    While she earned the right for everyone to have her back, three banks have pushed Deborah into foreclosure.

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  • VICTORY: The Ward Family & Occupy Birmingham Stop a Bank of America Foreclosure

    OccupyOurHomes on May 29, 2012

    Great news from Birmingham, Alabama. After months of organizing and fighting to keep their home, the Ward family has won! Bank of America has stopped their foreclosure sale and has worked out a deal with the family that will keep them in their home. Left in Alabama reports: 

    The Ward family always made their payments on time.  They were the victim of fraud on the part of their real estate agent, but B of A was going to take their house anyway.  It's called wrongful foreclosure -- the homeowners hold up their end of the bargain but someone else in the long financial instrument chain drops the ball. 

    Last winter Occupy Birmingham stepped in, raised the profile of this case and now B of A has worked out a deal with the Wards.  The paperwork is being cleared up and Maurita and Steven Ward are thrilled to be able to make mortgage payments on their home.

    Congratulations to Maurita and Steven Ward, to Occupy Birmingham and everyone around the country who came together to support the Wards.

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  • Occupy Homes MN to Rally against Third Eviction Attempt of Cruz Home

    OccupyOurHomes on May 27, 2012

     

    Occupy Homes MN is continuing their effort to defend the Cruz family's home after the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) launched the third eviction attempt in less than a week Tuesday, arresting two protesters and a neighbor who was observing the eviction. 

    Around 4:00pm, nearly 40 police officers surrounded the home, blocked off Cedar Avenue between East 40th Street and East 41st Street, and spent over an hour removing and arresting a protester who had locked himself to a concrete barrel inside the home while over 100 protestors gathered to defend the home.

    When the protesters locked arms to try to non-violently reclaim the home, they were faced with violence from the police. Officers choked protesters by pushing against their throats, and sexually assaulted three female protesters grabbing their chests repeatedly despite their vocal complaints. Officer Lehner, who is currently being sued for destroying a KSTP camera at an Occupy protest in April, was photographed pepper spraying peaceful protesters. 

     

    After firefighters boarded up the home, demonstrators marched down Hiawatha Avenue occupying the highway between East 38th Street and Lake Avenue en route to the MPD 3rd Precinct to protest the raid. 

    All three arrestees were released at 1:20am, including one whose bail was lowered from $80,000 to $50.

    Occupy Homes MN has protected the home in a round-the-clock occupation for nearly one month and mobilized supporters through a text alert system.

     

     

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  • MN: Five Arrested As Occupiers Successfully Defend Home from Second Eviction Attempt

    OccupyOurHomes on May 25, 2012

     

    UPDATE: Community members will hold a 12:00pm press conference and march on Sheriff Stanek's office from the steps of City Hall to denounce him for authorizing the violent eviction of the home while the family is in active negotiations with the bank to peacefully resolve the situation, and to demand he stop trying to evict the home. 

    Platoons of sheriffs descended on the Cruz family home in a 4 am raid today, arresting five nonviolent supporters in the second failed eviction attempt in 48 hours. Fifty protesters mobilized to defend the home and outflanked the sheriffs by marching through the alley into backyard, causing the sheriffs to retreat without fully securing the home. Members of Occupy Homes MN remain inside the home as of 7 am this morning.

    “An army of sheriffs marched in military-style and busted down the door in the dead of night,” said Ben Egerman, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. “It’s unconscionable that Sheriff Stanek ordered the violent eviction of this home a second time, especially when he is fully aware of active negotiations between the family and the bank to resolve the situation peacefully.”

    Several protesters, who had locked themselves to structures in and around the home, sustained minor injuries as sheriffs forcibly removed them from the balcony and roof with jackhammers and electric saws. The condition of arrested persons remains unknown. 

    (More below the fold)

     

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  • LA: Occupy Fights Foreclosures Forces Bank of America to Rescind Foreclosure

    OccupyOurHomes on May 25, 2012

    Occupy Fights Foreclosures (OFF), a subcommittee of Occupy Los Angeles, successfully won the home back of a Los Angeles homeowner whose home, they say, Bank of America fraudulently foreclosed on and sold, even after dutiful payments on a temporary loan modification for over a year.

    Earlier this week, Bank of America rescinded the sale and foreclosure of Dirma Rodriguez' West Adams home — the title is now appropriately back in Ms. Rodriquez's name. BofA assured Ms. Rodriquez— a widowed mother—and her family which includes a severely disabled daughter with toxoplasmosis cerebral palsy, they are now safe from any future threat of eviction.

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  • MN: Take Action To Help the Cruz Family

    OccupyOurHomes on May 24, 2012

    (Updated below the fold)

    Yesterday over 100 community members successfully forced the sheriffs and police to retreat after they tried to evict the Cruz family's home

    While the house is secure for now, it is still under threat of imminent eviction.

    We urgently need your support to demand a negotiation on the Cruz family’s mortgage.The Cruz family home fell into foreclosure after PNC Bank failed to withdraw a monthly payment, then demanded two months’ late payment for their own mistake. For over three weeks, Occupy Homes has occupied the Cruz family home in a round the clock eviction blockade at 4044 Cedar Avenue in South Minneapolis. After failing to clear the house of Occupy Homes activists and lockdown devices, they left.

    Please support the Cruz family, and supporters continuing to risking arrest in the house by calling these numbers with the following demands. Together, we can put the pressure on banks and authorities to support the Cruz family and set a new precedent in the anti-foreclosure movement.

    Please take five minutes to call these five people:

    1) Fred Solomon, PR executive for PNC Bank at (412) 762-7544

    -Demand PNC 1) to renegotiate the Cruz’s mortgage AND 2) to tell Freddie Mac to halt the eviction

    (More below the fold)

     

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  • Occupy Homes MN Successfully Defends Foreclosed Home From Sheriffs, Police

    OccupyOurHomes on May 23, 2012

     

    Sheriffs and police retreated today after over 100 community members surrounded a foreclosed home while others locked themselves to half-ton concrete barrels to prevent the eviction. Six sheriffs attempted to evict the Cruz family home around 3:30 this afternoon, which members of Occupy Homes MN have been defending in a round-the-clock eviction blockade for over three weeks. 

    "Sheriff Richard Stanek should be ashamed of himself for authorizing the eviction of the Cruz family's home just days after we sent a delegation to his office to inform him that PNC was negotiating with the family. It appears he would rather throw families on the street at the banks' request than work with our communities," said Martha Ockenfels-Martinez, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. 

    When sheriffs arrived to evict the home, protesters locked themselves to structures inside the home with bike locks. Sheriffs attempted to cut them out, but within 30 minutes over 100 supporters had arrived, and sheriffs retreated from the home. Police blocked traffic at either end of the street for over an hour, then also left the home to the activists who had gathered to defend it.

    Shortly afterward PNC Bank contacted Occupy Homes MN to request the necessary documents for a loan modification for the Cruz family. However, the home remains under threat of imminent eviction.

     

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  • Atlanta: Newton Co. Resident Moves Back Into Home After Wrongful Eviction, Faces Imminent Second Eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on May 21, 2012

    Newton County resident Eddie Jones was illegally evicted on Thursday, May 17th. Instead of just rolling over and letting his house get taken away like so many other Americans, Eddie decided to fight back. Eddie got a few friends together and did something very few have been brave enough to do—he moved back into his home.

    This past Saturday, Sheriff’s deputies showed up at Eddie’s home to evict him for a second time. After  allowing Eddie to show them paperwork that proves his foreclosure--and therefore eviction--is wrongful, the officers decided to leave and give Jones until Monday, May 21st, to vacate his home.

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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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  • Minneapolis: Monique White talks about her landmark victory

    OccupyOurHomes on May 15, 2012

    Victorious Minneapolis home occupier Monique White talks with The Uptake about her victory and what it means for her to keep her house.

    White will now pay approximately $200 less per month on her home. Last week, she received a phone call from US Bank Vice President Bill Parker informing her that the bank had found a sum that would work for White to keep her North Minneapolis home. “He said, ‘Will $616.36 work for you?’ And I said ‘yes’. I am just so happy.” Days after confronting CEO Davis and landing a promise that Vice President Parker would help her, White had a scheduled court date that was to determine her fate: eviction or loan modification. Now she has a new loan term that begins in July.

    “US Bank set the bar really high for all the other banks who say they cannot re-negotiate loans to families facing foreclosure,” said Anthony Newby, an organizer with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. “Occupy Homes has said all along that this is what we want: to figure out a way to keep families in their homes and communities.”

    Monique White's story is an inspiration and shows how homeowners who are fighting back against unfair and unlawful foreclosures can win victories that keep them in their homes. Monique was the first homeowner to approach an Occupy group and ask for help occupying her home and resisting foreclosure. Her campaign lasted more than six months and was a focus of energy not only in Minneapolis, but around the country.

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  • Atlanta: Update on Chris Frazer & her family

    OccupyOurHomes on May 13, 2012

    Tim Franzen of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has an update on Chris Frazer and her family's situation following the brutal and inhumane 3am eviction by 40 Dekalb County sheriffs:

    Today, on Mothers Day, several of us came out to visit Chris Frazer, her mom Daisy, and Grandson Malachi at their new house, which is temporary. We brought Mothers Day flowers and offered our labor as there's still much moving around that needs to be done.

    It's been just over a week since the Frazer family was evicted at gunpoint by Sheriff Thomas Brown and 40 of his officers at 3am. The trauma that the unprecedented action caused the Frazer family undeniably lingers strong. It was a tough scene to observe for anyone, but one can only imagine what it's like having you doors knocked in, physically forced out, and see all you belongings carelessly tossed onto the lawn.

    Given the circumstances the Frazer family is making the best of the situation. The family's first priority was getting everyone under the same roof again.

    Read more about how you can help below the fold.

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  • Minneapolis: Cruz family rallies to save their home

    OccupyOurHomes on May 08, 2012

    The Uptake reports on a bold and courageous action by Alejandra and David Cruz, whose parents are facing foreclosure and responding by occupying their home. They are using cement buckets at the front and rear of the property to peacefully block entry by chaining themselves to it.

    My parents had to work so hard for this house,” teary-eyed Alejandra Cruz told an Occupy Homes rally this week. “It’s unjust for the banks to take away our dream. My parents brought us here really young, and we’ve learned how to fight against injustice ever since we came to this country. It’s been a struggle for us every single day since we got here.”

    Alejandra and her brother David, two Minneapolis college students and activists for the Dream Act, took the Occupy Homes pledge this week to stay in the house which their Mexican immigrant parents purchased and are in danger of losing to foreclosure. They are among the first Latinos in the Twin Cities to take the Occupy Homes pledge and defy the banks.

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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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  • Inhumane 3am Eviction In Dekalb County, GA

    OccupyOurHomes on May 04, 2012

    The scene early on the morning of May 2nd at 3662 Wellhaun Road in Decatur, Georgia resembled that of a major drug bust with officers sneaking around in the middle of the night. Instead of a bust however, 50 officers stormed the property of 62 year old Christine Frazer’s house at 3 AM to serve her with an eviction notice.

    Chris’ house was foreclosed on fraudulently by Investors One Corporation in October 2011, and she has been fighting it in court ever since (see the video above). In January, activists with Occupy Atlanta set up camp on her lawn and committed to stay to defend Chris’ home from eviction.

    Using what sheriff Thomas Brown himself referred to as “intelligence,” Dekalb County law enforcement waited until activists were not present at the home, and the neighbors would be asleep, to serve an unprecedented eviction after hours, putting 4 generations including her 85 year old mother, and 3 year old grandson out on the curb. They refused to allow Chris to shower or for her mother to get dressed; they told Chris to behave as if it were a fire drill. They even rounded up her dogs and took them to the pound.

    The police blockaded the neighborhood and wouldn’t allow anyone to help secure the family’s valuable personal belongings from the side of the road.

    Once again, it is clear that the government and our law enforcement officials are being used to serve and protect the interest of the 1% and not of ordinary people or even the laws that they have put in place. Occupy Atlanta is more committed than ever to the fight for Chris Frazer’s home, and the thousands of other homeowners just like her who are being disrespected every day.

    Read more below the fold.

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  • Portland: Neighborhood leads May Day foreclosure defense, reclaims property and home of woman unjustly evicted by the bank

    OccupyOurHomes on May 04, 2012

    On May Day, the Portland Liberation Organizing Council, the Black Working Group, and dozens of allies and community partners helped Alicia Jackson re-occupy her home which was unjustly evicted from last July. Here's part of the report from the PLOC:

    Today, the community of NE Portland rallied and reclaimed the home of Alicia Jackson, longtime Portland resident, who had been driven from her home last July. Approximately 400 people gathered in Woodlawn at 9am and marched with banners, music, and chanting the four blocks to Alicia’s home. The Portland Liberation Organizing Council and the Black Working Group, along with a dozen allies and partners, organized this home defense.

    The neighborhoods hosted a press conference on the steps of the house with Alicia, Ahjamu Umi of the Black Working Group, Father Jack Mosbrucker, retired from St Therese Catholic Church , and Rain Crowe of PLOC. The community then cut a yellow ribbon to enter the house and begin cleaning out the accumulated dust. Other community members began carting in soil, garden tools, and supplies. The neighbors brought out food dishes, spaghetti, pizza, and snacks to share with the crowd.

    “Home is where the heart is,” Alicia said during the reclamation.

    The home defense went forward without incident and appeared be broadly supported by the neighborhood, many of whom already had “Support your neighbors, stop foreclosure” signs in their front yards. The sun came out as community members shared food, played games, and danced a Maypole together.

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  • VICTORY: Monique White Wins Negotiation to Save Her Home!

    OccupyOurHomes on May 03, 2012

    After a 7 month campaign led by Occupy Homes MN, Monique White has been offered a new loan by US Bank. In October of 2011 Monique was perhaps the first homeowner in the nation to approach the Occupy movement and ask for help in defending her home from an unlawful foreclosure . The 6 month campaign to save her home set an historic precedent in the Bank and foreclosure reform movement. The new loan was offered some 15 months after the end of the Redemption period and with a payment in keeping with the homes current value.

    Supporters have camped out in and around her home, led over a dozen marches on US Bankcollected over 6,500 petition signaturespacked the courtroom, shut down Bank branches, and even marched to the homeof US Bank CEO Richard Davis. Occupy Homes MN has worked with White and her family since October 2011, making national and international news in the process.

    "I'm so thankful for all of the support during this process." Said White, "Through it all I kept my faith in God and fought for what's right. Right now I'm just thankful that my family and I will get to keep my home." 

    "Monique is truly a hero of the Occupy movement," Said organizer Anthony Newby with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), "Monique may have been the first in the country to invite the Occupy movement to defend her home from an unfair eviction. This deal sets an historic precedent for what communities can accomplish when they unite around this issue. The new loan offer came some 15 months after the end of the Redemption period and involves a payment in keeping with the home's current value. If this deal can work for Monique White, it can work for homeowners around the country."

    "We couldn't be more proud of Monique and the example she has set for homeowners around the country. Her victory gives hope to the millions of American's around the country facing foreclosure by showing that the banks can and must enact a grand bargain that would help every homeowner to stay in their home, whether they are in foreclosure or underwater on their mortgage, by reducing the principal on their homes to the actual market value." Said Nick Espinosa, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN whose family's home is also in foreclosure.

    Occupy Homes MN is currently working with dozens of other families in the Metro area and around the State to bring Big banks to the table to negotiate a reasonable solution to the foreclosure crisis.

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  • Fort Lauderdale: Good news for the Delvas

    OccupyOurHomes on May 03, 2012

    A great update from Susan Howai of Occupy Homes Florida/Occupy Fort Lauderdale about the Delva family:

    The Delva family will remain in their home for the foreseeable future.  Mr. Gomez, the attorney for the Third Party Bidder, ILN Management, LLC., claimed that the Delvas are making a "cynical attempt to distract the Court" and that he would like the Delvas to make a monthly rental payment of $1,200.00.  Mr. Delva after deliberation with his counselor, Theresa Bland Edwards, Esquire, it was agreed, by all the parties involved, that the Delvas would pay $600.00 per month beginning on May 10, 

    Read more below the fold.

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  • A Victory for Lesliane Bouchard

    OccupyOurHomes on May 03, 2012

    Last December Lesliane Bouchard and her daughter Kristiane Chappell called on the Occupy Our Homes movement to help the disabled and bedridden school teacher keep her home in Murrietta, California. Lesliane was facing foreclosure from First Mortgage Corporation, despite her being qualified for federal modification programs which would allow her to stay in it if First Mortgage participated in them. Along with Occupy Our Homes activists, Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy San Diego, Occupy Wall Street, ACCE, the Urban League of San Diego and local elected officials joined together with over 41,000 petition signers at Change.org to work with Kristiane on behalf of Lesliane and help her stay in her home. After months of hard work and campaigning, Kristiane has posted great news on her blog.

    The loan for the new house funded today. My mom's situation has officially been resolved, we just need to move her to the new house. Not exactly how I wanted, but I'll take this and be good with it.

    I want to say thank you to everyone who helped. Thank you doesn't cover it really, I spent the last year or so fighting this, and in the beginning often times I was discouraged, tired, angry, and just feeling like there was never going to be an end that wasn't bad. That all changed about 9 months ago, after months of following up every lead, every shot in the dark, calling, writing and emailing every office of every elected official or government agency I could, I started to see glimmers of light in the form of people who cared enough to step in and help. One person would segue to another lead, who knew someone in a group, who could tell me where to call about something else. This has been a winding and crazy road, and I couldn't have gotten to this point in it without all of the amazing support I received.

    This is an outcome which happened because of how hard Kristiane and Lesliane and the community around them fought for a just solution. Lesliane will have a home, where she will be near her family and be able to get the care she needs. Thank you to all the Occupy Our Homes activists who supported Lesliane's fight and congratulations to Lesliane and Kristiane.

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  • MN: Monique White Update

    OccupyOurHomes on May 02, 2012

    Quick update: Yesterday Monique White's son Demarlo handed off package of updated income docs to a US Bank courier. The docs were requested and received by the Vice President of Us Bank (Bill Parker). He left Monique a voicemail saying that he had received the documents and would be "reaching out to Freddie Mac over the next day or two", presumably to work out terms of a new deal and to call off the pending eviction. It seems that we're well on the way to achieving the impossible.

    If we do not hear back from US Bank by this afternoon we will proceed tomorrow with the 4th Court hearing as originally planned. Thank you for all the support and we'll keep you posted.

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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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  • Minneapolis: Citibank Moves to Foreclose on Occupy Homes MN Organizer!

    Han Shan on April 23, 2012

    Citibank is messing with the wrong family. Over the weekend, Occupy Homes MN announced that it was launching a campaign to defend a home some of the local activists know very well; for 16 years, it's been the home of local Occupy Homes organizer Nick Espinosa. [Watch the video to meet Colleen & Nick, and see their home.]

    According to an Occupy Homes MN press release:

    Nick's mother, Colleen McKee Espinosa is a single mother of three who owns the property and is facing foreclosure after Citibank refused to accept a payment on her mortgage, having moved up the due date for her payment without her knowledge. They then added thousands of dollars in attorney fees because the home went into foreclosure, making it impossible for her to catch up. Colleen has worked as a registered nurse for over 25 years, serving and caring for others, and now she needs our support. 

    Dozens of local Northeast Minneapolis community members, as well as activists with Occupy Homes MN and Occupy Minneapolis gathered at their home on Saturday for a Foreclosure Free Barbeque. They shared stories and food, and vowed to work together to keep the family in their home.

    Nick Espinosa said, "We announced our goals today—to put up 300 yard signs and get 1,000 signatures from our Northeast neighbors demanding a negotiation to keep us in our home. We hope that other Northeast homeowners, both going through foreclosure and underwater, will join us in this fight." 

    In a video about Colleen's story made by Occupy Homes organizers, she says:

    "I have decided that I'm not leaving my home until we get a good faith negotiation. I'm fighting to send the message to other people not to give up, because if you're isolated you can't fight these people. I'd tell the banks they better watch out because people are catching on to their game and a lot of people are going to fight back now."

    Colleen is a hard-working single mother of three—Nick, Connor, and Alana—who was reluctant to call attention to her plight, but is now committed to fighting back. Please stand with her and her family by signing the online petition to demand that Citibank negotiate to keep the family in their home and sharing her video-story.

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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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  • Chicago: An Eviction Story

    OccupyOurHomes on April 12, 2012

    Dena Killacky, her husband & four children were evicted April 4, 2012 from the Will County (western suburbs of Chicago) home built by her father over 30 years ago. This video tells the story of that eviction and the brave stand taken by the Killacky family.

    The Killacky family is still fighting to get their home back and Occupy Our Homes is doing everything it can to support. Their story gives yet another example of why we need an immediate nationwide moratorium on foreclosures & economically-motivated evictions.

    The western & southern suburbs of Chicago have thousands of homeowners fighting individual battles against banks trying to snatch their land- we must organize to unite them.

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  • Atlanta: Occupy and Vine City Residents Take On Bank Of America

    OccupyOurHomes on April 11, 2012

    The foreclosure crisis hit Vine City hard. Now, only 15% of residents own their homes and many of them are facing hardship, like resident Pamela Flores whose property backs up to Martin Luther King III and City Councilman Michael Julian Bond’s home.

    Pamela bought her home at an inflated amount in 2006, the height of the crime spree at the hands of American banking institutions. In 2009 she attempted to get a loan modification with Bank of America through the “Making Homes Affordable” program. The bank told her that in order to qualify she needed to miss 3-4 mortgage payments; this is a scam that has already put countless Americans out of their homes. During the time she missed payments, at the banks request and in order to meet the loan modification criteria, she fell into foreclosure. By qualifying for the “Making Homes Affordable” program foreclosure was temporarily avoided. Pamela began to pay trial period monthly payments for the “Making Homes Affordable” program. When it was time for Bank of America to grant her the promised modification, they instead mailed her a notification alleging that she failed to make four out of five payments. Her home, unknowing to her, was slated for auction at the Fulton County courthouse during the time the bank claimed to be researching their records for the “missing” payments. The thing is, Pamela Flores never missed a payment, in fact she was never even late, and has all the records to prove it.

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  • Occupy Raleigh Home Defense Against Illegal Foreclosure

    OccupyOurHomes on April 10, 2012

    On 4.9.2012 Occupy Raleigh along with Occupy Greensboro, Take Back The Land, Save Our Homes, and Mortgage Fraud NC attempted to defend the home of a family illegally foreclosed on in Southeast Raleigh. This is a recap of the day's events including the eventual arrests. IMPORTANT NOTES: This was not an attempt by Occupy to squat. This was an attempt to allow the family access to their belongings before they were trashed, and to hopefully allow them some way to stay in the home and/or bring attention to the reality of mortgage fraud. Occupy's assistance was in fact requested by the homeowner!

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  • Occupy Homes MN: Attempt Halt of Sheriff Sale of Foreclosed Home

    on April 09, 2012

    Community supporter of Occupy Homes MN will join with John Vinje and Lucinda Williams Monday morning to protest US Bank auctioning off their family’s home at a sheriffs sale planned for 11am. US Bank has failed to respond to John’s request for a sit-down meeting to discuss a reasonable renegotiation of his overpriced mortgage.

    John Vinje explained: “If US Bank won’t come to me with a reasonable offer, we’re going to them. We’re going to attend the sheriff’s sale and demand to speak to the US Bank representative, and say this sale has got to be postponed until a real negotiation happens, until they give me a reasonable offer that can keep my family in our home.”

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  • Occupy Greensboro joins Occupy Raleigh to reclaim an evicted family’s foreclosed home

    OccupyOurHomes on April 09, 2012

    Updates from today's action are below the fold.

    Occupy Greensboro joins Occupy Raleigh to reclaim an evicted family’s foreclosed home

    A family in Raleigh has been evicted and forced from their home through an illegal foreclosure. They have been ordered to remove all personal property from their home by Sunday April 8, 2012. The family has bravely chosen to fight eviction and foreclosure and is requesting community support. Evidence of robo-signing by the bank, which is a fraud, has been uncovered and the entire foreclosure process is under attorney review.

    It is up to us to send a clear message that we will not allow this to happen.

    On Monday, April 9th, community participants will enter the house and refuse to leave as an act of civil disobedience. Another 10 families in this predominantly African-American neighborhood are facing similarly illegal foreclosure and eviction.

     

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  • Atlanta: New Foreclosure & Eviction Prevention Hub Launching

    OccupyOurHomes on April 09, 2012

    Monday, April 9th, at 11AM Occupy Atlanta will host a Press Conference on the lawn of Vine City resident Pamela Flores’ home at 245 Griffin Street. Councilman Michael Julian Bond, Ralph David Abernathy III, Pastor Dexter Johnson, and representatives from Communication Workers of America will join. This is part of the Occupy movement's 99% spring offensive.

     

    Pamela bought her home at an inflated amount in 2006, the height of the crime spree at the hands of American banking institutions. In 2009 she attempted to get a loan modification with Bank of America through the “Making Homes Affordable” program. The bank told her that in order to qualify she needed to miss 3-4 mortgage payments; this is a scam that has already put countless Americans out of their homes. During the time she missed payments, at the banks request and in order to meet the loan modification criteria, she fell into foreclosure. By qualifying for the “Making Homes Affordable” program foreclosure was temporarily avoided. Pamela began to pay trial period monthly payments for the “Making Homes Affordable” program. When it was time for Bank of America to grant her the promised modification, they instead mailed her a notification alleging that she failed to make four out of five payments. Her home, unknowing to her, was slated for auction at the Fulton County courthouse during the time the bank claimed to be researching their records for the “missing” payments. The thing is, Pamela Flores never missed a payment, in fact she was never even late, and has all the records to prove it.

    Since she reached out to Occupy Atlanta a few weeks ago, we were able to work with the Rainbow Push Coalition to put off her home auction for one month--but that’s not good enough. Occupy Atlanta and the newly formed Occupy Our Homes - Atlanta will begin a full scale occupation of Pamela’s home until Bank of America makes a deal to keep her in it. Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Our Homes will work with her community to establish a base for defending other homes at risk of foreclosure and eviction. We plan to target private and public institutions that continue to disrespect Vine City residents.

     

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  • Maui: Urgent Action to Stop Eviction of the Phillips-Tehiva Family on Easter

    OccupyOurHomes on April 08, 2012

     

    Update: Wells Fargo has agreed to a postponement of eviction until after the pending hearing on May 1st. 

    Wells Fargo Please Wait Until The Case Can be Heard on May 1st – You Do Not Have to Evict the Family on EASTER SUNDAY!!!!!!!

     

    PLEASE STOP THE EVICTION OF THE PHILLIPS-TEHIVA FAMILY HATOTA TEHIVA, JAYDENE PHILLIPS TEHIVA, and JOYCELENE PHILLIPS
    Hana, Hawaii 96713
    Loan # 111003400

    We support the Phillips-Tehiva `Ohana and the right for them to remain on their property at 5305 Hana Highway in Hana, Maui, Hawai`i. The nine family members, including 6 children and an ailing grandmother, are about to be evicted from land that has been in the family since the Great Mahele. The family has a reconsideration hearing in Second Circuit District Court scheduled for May 1, 2012.

    HOWEVER, their eviction is scheduled for EASTER SUNDAY morning at 10:00 am. EASTER SUNDAY!

    EVERYONE PLEASE : EMAIL and CALL WELLS FARGO: (and post this to your Facebook and Twitter)

    John.G.Stumpf@wellsfargo.com; mary.coffin@wellsfargo.com; mark.oman@wellsfargo.com; kovacedm@wellsfargo.com; Todd.M.Boothroyd@wellsfargo.com; sharon.cecil@wellsfargo.com; Richard.D.Levy@wellsfargo.com; David.M.Carroll@wellsfargo.com; kevin.a.rhein@wellsfargo.com; AVID.MODJTABAI@wellsfargo.com; BoardCommunications@wellsfargo.com; bkaanehe@rcolegal.com

    I ask for your assistance in preventing a gross miscarriage of justice.

     

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  • Minneapolis: Take Action to Save John Vinje's Home!

    April 05, 2012

     

     

    John Vinje and Lucinda Adams-Vinje bought their home in 2008 for 148,000. Their payment was roughly $1,300 per month on a 30 yr fixed term. It was the 1st home that either of them had ever purchased. John had been an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam war before working for many years as a security officer. Lucinda had a well established 10 year career as a TSA agent at the Minneapolis airport. Lucinda chose the home because she had grown up in the South Metro area and her work is nearby. She also happens to love the house. John says "I'm not sure why, she just loves it."

     

    If they do nothing they will lose their home in April of 2012. This Air Force veteran and his wife have worked their entire adult life and now stand to lose the only home that either has ever owned.

    What US Bank doesn't realize is that John and his wife are fighters. They, along with a growing number of Minnesota homeowners, have taken a pledge to stand with their community and fight for their home.

    PLEASE CALL U.S. Bank Sr. Vice President Tom Joyce TODAY: 612-303-3167. Tell U.S. Bank to postpone John Vinje's sheriff's sale and come to the table with a reasonable modification offer that will allow he and his family can stay in their home.

     

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  • Fraud-based eviction in Lauderdale Lakes imminent; activists plan to defend home

    OccupyOurHomes on April 04, 2012

    Delina Pierre and family, apparent victims like millions nationwide of foreclosure fraud, are facing eviction today from their home of seven years at 4441 NW 36th Court, Lauderdale Lakes. Pierre had been foreclosed several years ago by US Bank, a financial institution which has no standing in the case at all based on a perusal of Pierre's documents. The home, appraised at over $150,000, was sold at auction last week for about $97,000. The case, like the vast majority, wreaks of fraud.

    This will be the second action in less than a week in which Occupy Ft. Lauderdale Foreclosure Mobilization has called on local activists to defend a family from eviction. Last week, the group galvanized an eviction defense on behalf of Jessie Museau in North Miami Beach, though ultimately the court granted a 30-day stay before the eviction could be enforced

    OFLFM has been part of or led the stoppage of four evictions in south Florida over the past three-and-a-half months, all of them based on fraudulent loan and other documentation. But the case of Ms. Pierre is particularly heinous in that no evidence seems to exist proving that the foreclosing bank, US Bank, held title to the home at the time of foreclosure.

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  • Chicago Southwest Suburbs: Support a family vowing to resist eviction from their home under threat of arrest by Will County Sheriff's Deputies

    OccupyOurHomes on April 04, 2012

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 8:00 a.m., Dena Killacky, her husband Patrick and their four children (ages 9-to-18) will be evicted from the home that Dena's father built in 1978.

    The family lost their home to foreclosure by Eastern Standard Bank of Maryland and faces what their lawyer calls an unlawful eviction full of irregularities in the way the case was handled by the Will County Circuit Court.

    Using manipulation & deceit, Eastern Standard Bank foreclosed and made off with their money by selling the house at auction to DG Enterprises of New Lennox, Illinois. DG Enterprises originally offered to rent the home to the Killacky family, but then decided to press ahead with the eviction at the advice of their lawyers.

    Go below the fold to see how you can help.

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  • Pompano Beach, FL: The Delvas are fighting eviction

    April 03, 2012

     

    Amos and Claudine Delva bought their home on a quiet little street in Pompano Beach, Florida approximately 15 years ago. They signed the mortgage and note with IndyMac Federal Bank, FSB. In 2008, when the construction industry crashed, Mr. Delva, a construction worker, sensing that he might be in trouble if the downslide in the industry continued began actively working with IndyMac to modify his loan. Soon thereafter IndyMac Federal Bank, FSB filed its foreclosure Complaint, January 3, 2009.

    The Delva’s are asking and what they have always asked for, is that IndyMac Federal Bank, FSB return the funds to the investment company, ILN Management, LLC and renegotiate the loan. Help us keep this family in their home by delivering this message:

    "We, Amos and Claudine’s neighbors, friends, citizens of Broward County and the state of Florida demand that Amos and Claudine Delva of 270 NE 27th Street, Pompano Beach, FL (Broward County Case # CACE 09-000519 (05) be granted the right to stay in their home, the Summary Judgment be vacated, that the title be returned to the Delvas and for IndyMac to return the funds to the investor and to renegotiate the loan in good faith!"

     

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  • Occupy Our Homes DC helps save Dawn Butler from eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on April 02, 2012

    Update: Here's the latest from Occupy Our Homes DC:

    Occupy Our Homes DC wins another victory. At 9 AM, Monday, April 2nd, J.P. Morgan Chase directed U.S. Marshals to evict Dawn Butler from her home on Maryland Avenue NE in Capitol Hill. With a strong show of force over 40 activists were present and determined to defend Ms. Butler's home from eviction. Metro Washington Police and the moving crew had arrived while activists sang songs and blocked the staircase. At the same time, Ms. Butler was at Landlord and Tenant court in Northwest Washington and successfully requested that the judge call off the eviction.

    Representatives from other housing activist groups including City Life/Vida Urbana and the Backbone Campaign spoke out against unfair evictions at the home. Bertina Jones, who joined with Occupy Our Homes DC to get her house back from Freddie Mac in February, also spoke at the home and expressed solidarity with Ms. Butler's case. The movement for housing for all is growing in the District of Columbia. Ms. Butler has been a tenant since 2006 and following the foreclosure of her landlord has tried to exercise her rights as a tenant. There will be a court date this spring where the merits of the case will be heard. The spring offensive is underway.

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  • LA: Occupy Fights Foreclosures sets up encampment of in yard of family with disabled daughter

    OccupyOurHomes on March 27, 2012

    Occupy Fights Foreclosures (OFF), a sub-committee of Occupy LA, joined neighbors in the South Adams community to help a widow who fell victim to foreclosure fraud by at least three companies.

    Monday evening, dozens of anti-foreclosure protesters responded to an emergency eviction appeal from a Dirma Rodriguez, a widow, and her 27-year old daughter, Ingrid Ortiz, who is disabled with a condition called toxic plasmosis cerebral palsy.

    Ortiz has special needs and the family has the home build to accommodate her needs with wheelchair ramps and other accessibility alterations. Mrs. Rodriguez has been unable to find a place to rent that could accommodate her daughter’s special needs. Eviction could mean separation of this family and possible institutionalization of Ingrid.

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  • San Francisco: Dexter Cato vs Wells Fargo

    March 27, 2012

    Dexter has lived in the Bayview-Hunter’s Point community in San Francisco his whole life and has watched the foreclosure crisis devastate his neighborhood. While mourning his wife’s death and struggling with only one income, he worked to get a loan modification. Instead, Wells Fargo gave him lost paperwork, contradictory answers, or simply ignored his phone calls altogether. And then they wrongfully foreclosed, evicting Dexter and his four kids.

    So last week, with the support of his neighbors, his longshoreman union brothers and sisters (ILWU Locals 6. 10 and 91), SEIU Local 1021 and a large group of supporters, he reoccupied his home and announced that if Wells Fargo comes, he won’t go. Standing in solidarity with him were Monica Kenney, an Excelsior homeowner to whom Wells Fargo offered a forbearance agreement and then sold her home the very next day. and Archbishop Franzo King, a Bayview community leader who was fraudulently qualified for an unaffordable pick-a-pay loan and is now fighting the sale of his home. They were also joined by the rest of the Wells Fargo 8: Maria Villareal, Donna and Nuno Vieira, Victor Granada, Ernesto Viscarpa, and Alberto Del Rio.

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  • Chicago: Pat Hill Home Eviction Blockade/Occupation

    OccupyOurHomes on March 26, 2012

    As of Monday, March 26, the eviction blockade/occupation of the Hill family home, located at 3811 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago enters Day 18. A number of developments demonstrate the effectiveness of resistance to attempts by the banks to "grab the land" in our communities:

    - the real estate broker hired by Bank of New York Mellon (BoNYM) has decided to call it quits. Chicago Realty Partners (CRP) coordinated the attempt to evict the Hill family on March 9- they have now told us they will inform BoNYM & their agents that they will no longer act as brokers for this property. CRP cited the public pressure campaign (phone calls from our supporters, media coverage and a visit to the CRP office by Campaign supporters) as a factor in their decision.

    - a hearing in Cook County Circuit Court last Friday (March 23) has established the first legal ground for us to reverse the eviction order and challenge the legal basis for both the eviction & foreclosure. Judge Leonard Murray granted a continuance to the motion filed to reverse the order over the objections of the bank's lawyer. Another hearing is scheduled for next Friday (March 30).

    Momentum is in our favor, but victory is far from clear until we are certain that the Hill family is secure in their home of 17 years. While we can assume there will not be another eviction attempt until after next week's hearing, the round-the-clock occupation of the Hill family home remains alert. We're asking all those who want to help us fight BoNMY:

    - to continue to contact BoNMY and demand they resume negotiation with the Hill family & their lawyers based on the actual current value of their home.

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  • Video of Occupy Fights Foreclosures holding community meeting in Ingrid's House


    Video streaming by Ustream

    OccupyOurHomes on March 25, 2012

     

    Occupy Fights Foreclosures, a sub-committee of Occupy LA, held a special community meeting in the living room of Ingrid Ortiz, a disabled woman who suffers from Toxic Plasmsis Cerebral Palsy. Her family fell victim to a predatory loan from Countrywide.

    She hired a Golden Globe Investments to help with the foreclosure. She paid $4,500.00 and gave them her documents. They refused to give her money or documents back. Members of Occupy LA/Occupy Fights Foreclosures got her money and documents back.

    This family has also been victimized by Maxim Property too. They had moved a "security guard" into the second unit. He called the cops on us but the LAPD said we could be there to protect the families belonging that were thrown out of the house. We scare the security guard away. And the LAPD left too.

    Then 2 more Maxim employees came to deal with us but we dealt with them. They called the police again. But after much talk and one occupier being handcuffed and detained in the back of a cop car. The police left and the employee of Maxim opened the door, turned on the lights, and let the family into the house.

    We helped the family to move back in and now we have an encampment at their house. We will help them with the rest of the fight. Please join us.

     

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  • Occupy Atlanta: Fighting to stop an eviction in DeKalb

    OccupyOurHomes on March 23, 2012

    At the home of a 62 year old woman threatened with eviction, Occupiers are fighting to keep a roof over her family’s head.

    Today, March 22nd, everyone working to save this home from illegal eviction was greeted by multiple police cars and helicopters looming overhead. Rather than investigating the clearly evident fraud perpetrated by Investors One Corporation, the company attempting to claim Chris Frazer’s home, the DeKalb Sheriff’s Department has turned a blind eye on those who need it most.

    There is currently a lawsuit being filed against all parties who had a hand in these clandestine business practices. The Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office still didn’t hesitate to send multiple squad cars to be stationed outside of the Frazer residence. Despite severe budget cuts the county is facing police were told, “bring a book or a movie.” There were also several instances where a helicopter was circling the house, hovering for about 10-15 minutes at a time costing the county thousands of dollars. Tomorrow we are expecting an even more blatant show of force on the part of the Dekalb County Sheriff.

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  • Washington: Save Linda James' Home

    OccupyOurHomes on March 21, 2012

     

    While Linda James was in the hospital receiving her cancer treatment on March 19, 2012, Freddie Mac removed all of her belongings from her home and put them in the street. This was an illegal foreclosure and we are demanding her home back. We demand that Freddie Mac and foreclosure mill Routh Crabtree Olsen allow Linda to remain in her home so that she may fight her cancer without fear of illegal eviction.

     

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  • Signal Hill, CA: Occupation of Rachel New's Home Begins

    OccupyOurHomes on March 20, 2012

     

    Tents will be erected at 6PM Tuesday by Occupy Long Beach and other supporters of Rachel to kick off the 24 hour plus Vigil at Rachel’s home to stand up to the banks and send a clear message, "What you are doing is wrong and we are not leaving."

    Occupy Long Beach has been working with Rachel and her family to organize community support. At a protest rally at Wells Fargo in Signal Hill Friday, March 16th, Rachel talked with the Bank Manager and again asked for help while fifty members of Occupy Long Beach, Occupy Santa Ana, Occupy LA, Good Jobs LA, Service Employees International Union, Long Beach Area Peace Network, and Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and A Healthy Community pledged to stand witness at her home.

    At a Monday Press Conference, flanked by 20 supporters and her aunt and brother, Rachel forcefully declared, “I put all of my life savings into this home. I am asking Wells Fargo and CEO John Stumpf to sell me my house back for the price they purchased it. I am not leaving until they work with me or make me leave.”

    Recently several of her Signal Hill neighbors have contacted her to commiserate. Some are in a similar plight. Public records show that 98 residences in Signal Hill are in some stage of default and foreclosure. One asked, " Imagine what 100 more empty homes will do to our community?"

     

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  • Signal Hill, CA: Rachel New is not leaving!

    OccupyOurHomes on March 19, 2012

     

    Rachel New and her family—two young daughters, disabled mother, a disabled aunt, and brothers—are threatened with eviction Wednesday March 21 or soon after despite trying for over a year to negotiate a loan modification with her bank.

    Rachel came to this country as an immigrant from the killing fields of Cambodia, where she was beaten and starved and saw people shot. She worked hard, graduated from CSU-LB, where she has worked for over 17 years. By the time her dream home was completed, it was underwater.

    A year after being run around by the bank on almost daily calls, Wells Fargo finally informed her they were not approving the modification 20 hours before selling the home to themselves at auction for half of the mortgage price. We believe they should sell it back to her for that same price and keep the New family in their home.

     

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  • M16: San Francisco Family to Re-Occupy Home After Eviction by Wells Fargo

    OccupyOurHomes on March 16, 2012

     

    In a strategy that is a growing trend for homeowners that have been wrongfully evicted from their homes, a Bayview family will re-claim their home from Wells Fargo. In the last month, more and more homeowners across the country have re-occupied their homes from big banks after being evicted. Foreclosure Fighters, community members and supporters are announcing the family is refusing to leave the home and will continue to take back homes until the banks instill a moratorium and work with borrowers.

    “I had submitted the paperwork to the bank (Wells Fargo) for a modification,” says family who will re-claim their home this Friday, ”and while their modification department was saying they were working with me, their foreclosure department sold my home from underneath me. I didn’t find out our home was sold until the Sheriffs came with a notice to vacate. I want Wells Fargo to rescind the sale of my home and offer me an affordable modification.”

     

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  • Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign Successful Eviction Blockade March 9

    OccupyOurHomes on March 16, 2012

    On Friday, March 9, Cook County Sheriff officers and agents from Bank of New York Mellon attempted to evict a Chicago family from their home of 17 years. After a seven-hour standoff- Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign & Occupiers on one side, Chicago Police Department officers & bank agents on the other- the eviction was halted. The family gets to stay in their home- for now.

    Please sign the petition to demand that Bank of New York Mellon make a fair agreement with the family to stay in their home based on the actual current market value.

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  • Ohio: Take action to stop the Bayless family's eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on March 14, 2012

     

    Today March 14th, 2012 we ask American Citizens along with any and all Concerned Citizens, Homeowners, and activist Occupy members to take direct action. Please email, phone and/or fax ALL the 1% (entities) listed below which have participated in the fraudulent attempts to steal the home from the Bayless Family in Delaware Ohio, (North Columbus). THEY ARE COMING….AGAIN…THURSDAY March 15th at 9:00am…unless we STOP THEM.

    We ask you “Take Action” to protest any further eviction attempts on this family. Homeowners & citizens across America and in Ohio – Please contact the 1%: US BANK Corporate Trust, their profiteering servicing partner Wells Fargo and the two Ohio based Predator Drone foreclosure mill firms Lerner, Sampson, Rothfuss (LSR) and Thompson Hine LLP, hired to execute criminal acts in our courts. The behavior of the 1% - if allowed to go unchecked - will exacerbate the foreclosure crisis, affecting millions of families, and continue to destroy the lives, families & economy for the remaining 99%.

     

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  • San Francisco: Tell Bank of America: Negotiate with 75 year old Josephine Tolbert

    March 14, 2012

    Josephine Tolbert has lived in her home in the city's Portola District since 1975, opening a daycare business there in 1995. After running into financial trouble a few years ago, Tolbert was sued and her daycare temporarily shut down. When she fell behind on her payments, Bank of America sold Tolbert’s home in a short sale to real estate company True Compass, who evicted the 75-year-old great-grandmother two weeks ago. The company changed the locks on the house while Tolbert was out. But Josephine, with the support of her neighbors stood up and fought back and got True Compass to back off from this eviction attempt.

    Now Josephine is calling upon Bank of America to give her a permanent modification. You can help. Call Bank of America official Monica Lozano, and tell her to negotiate with Josephine.

    Call Bank of America official Monica Lozano at 866-214-2430 and tell her (politely) that you are making an emergency call about Josephine Tolbert. Ask her to do the right thing and negotiate a permanent modification that will allow Josephine to stay in her home

    If you get a voicemail leave a message.

     

    Report the results of your call here.

     

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  • M13 Atlanta: Take action with the Pittman Family against Chase

    OccupyOurHomes on March 13, 2012

    The Pittman Home at 404 Glen Iris is currently under occupation by members of the Atlanta community. Eloise Pittman was a retiree of Atlanta Public Schools who was given a predatory loan, now owned by Chase Bank, and fell behind on her mortgage payments due to the interest rate of 10.8%. The increased stress of unaffordable payments combined with cancer led to her death in November. The story of the Pittman family brought the occupiers to move in December 6th, 2011 to prevent the eviction of her surviving family.

    Our country is being systematically destroyed by the corrupt banking system that held the entire country hostage in 2008. While the banks received unimaginable amounts of money to stabilize their institutions, they continued their criminal practices that have destabilized our neighborhoods. There are millions of empty homes and evictions continuously underway while bank profits increase.

    Across the country, people live in constant fear of not being able to pay for housing. This doesn't have to be this way. Housing is essential to human life.

    Jamie Dimon, we demand the release of the Pittman home deed in Atlanta, as well as the discontinuance of the foreclosure on the home of Alma Counts in Detroit. Until there is a permanent moratorium on all evictions there will be no "business as usual" for Chase Banks nationwide.

    Take action by signing this petition to Chase in support of the Pittman family.

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  • Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign Stops an Eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on March 11, 2012

     

    Incredible work by the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign has succeeded in defending Patricia Hill from being evicted from her home.SpringAction.org has a full update:

    On 24 hour eviction watch; calls on New York of Mellon Bank to negotiate in good faith with Patricia Hill

    After an 8 hour standoff with police on Friday, March 9, the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign (CAEC) successfully defended Patricia Hill's South side Chicago home from eviction. The CAEC also filed a motion to reverse the eviction order, the hearing for which is set for Monday, March 12th at the Cook County circuit court. Until then, the CAEC is calling on all occupiers and human right to housing supporters to defend the family through a 24-hour vigil at the Hill's Bronzeville home of 17 years.

    Patricia Hill is a retired Chicago police officer living in a single family brownstone with her daughter and renting the 'in-law' unit to Iraqi war veteran John Neuman. After falling behind on her mortgage, New York Bank of Mellon, recipient of a $3 billion bailout and selected to oversee the controversial TARP, foreclosed on Hill in 2011 while negotiating a new mortgage for her.

     

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  • Today: Monique White foreclosure trial live stream

    Watch live streaming video from theuptake2 at livestream.com

    OccupyOurHomes on March 09, 2012

    The Uptake is live streaming Monique White's eviction hearing from inside the courtroom today, Friday March 9, at 1:30 PM Central Time.

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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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  • Video: Occupy Atlanta's Press Conference With Chris Frazer

    OccupyOurHomes on March 07, 2012

    Via American Friends Service Committee Atlanta.

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  • Occupy Atlanta Fights for the Home of Four Generations of a Family

    OccupyOurHomes on March 06, 2012

    Ms. Christine Frazer, a 62 yr old widow, along with four generations of the Frazer family are being threatened with eviction from the place they have called home since 1994. Mrs. Frazer refinanced her home in 2001; but after losing her husband in 2002, taking in her elderly mother in 2003, losing her job in 2009 due to a “no-fault, one-minute-late tardy policy,” and being denied unemployment after two appeals, she was left with no way to pay her mortgage.

    The very same crumbling economy that caused the value of Chris’ home to depreciate left her hopeless in today’s highly competitive job market. Mrs. Frazer’s home was foreclosed on in October of 2011 after faithfully paying her mortgage for over 15 years! Investors One Corporation sent her a statement claiming she had to pay $176,000 on a house that the very same document stated is only worth $40,000.This foreclosure is wrongful and Occupy Atlanta will assist Ms. Frazer in the fight to expose the fraudulent actions that have taken place. Many other families and individuals across America have fallen victim to these unlawful practices and Occupy Atlanta is fighting against such injustices case by case.

    At 11 am. on the morning of March 6, 2012, Occupy Atlanta will hold a press conference at the Frazer family home located at 3662 Wellhaun Rd, Decatur GA 30034. Christine Frazer and Occupy Atlanta will address the circumstances of this wrongful foreclosure and will announce immediate steps they will be taking.

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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 Homes MN and North Minneapolis Clergy Rally to Support Homeowner Monique White at Eviction Hearing

    OccupyOurHomes on March 05, 2012

    A broad coalition of faith leaders and community organizations will again call on Freddie Mac to halt the eviction of North Minneapolis resident Monique White, and ask US Bank to modify her loan so she and her children can stay in their home. 

    Congressman Keith Ellison released a statement supporting the Minnesota Attorney General Office’s request that the Monday March 5, 2012, eviction be postponed for Monique White. Congressman Ellison stands with the Attorney General and other local elected officials in requesting time for a full review of Ms. White’s case.

    “I encourage US Bank and Freddie Mac to act in good faith and negotiate a solution that works well for all parties and allows Monique and her children to keep their home.” Said Congressman Ellison

    "We will not stand by as Freddie Mac tries to railroad through an eviction process for a single mother in North Minneapolis while they ignore a request from Minnesota's Attorney General to investigate her case to make sure she has been treated fairly." Said Occupy Homes MN Organizer Nick Espinosa.

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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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  • VICTORY: Marine Veteran Bobby Hull's Home Saved from Foreclosure

    OccupyOurHomes on February 27, 2012

    On Monday, February 27th at noon, South Minneapolis homeowner Bobby Hull, supporters from Occupy Homes MN and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change and will publicly declare victory in their fight to save Hull’s family home from an unfair and avoidable foreclosure. Following a three-month public campaign, Hull’s lender has agreed renegotiate his mortgage so that he and his family can keep their home!!

     

    "We hope that Bobby's story will inspire communities around the country to stand up and fight against unfair and immoral foreclosures. His success is proof that we can win if we rally our friends and neighbors and stick together. Rather than a miracle, we look at this deal as one that's appropriate for necessary if we're going to get the American economy back on track." -Anthony Newby, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change

    Hull says he will continue to support others facing foreclosure. “We won't stop until all Americans across the country get the same deal that I did.” said Hull.

     

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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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  • Occupy LA helping a Rowland Heights Family

    OccupyOurHomes on February 22, 2012

    In a last-minute attempt to save his family home, Eduardo Acosta contacted Occupy Long Beach Monday asking for help, after the Sheriff had posted an eviction notice effective Tuesday. This morning, an Occupy L.A. group called Occupy Fights Foreclosures (OFF), has issued a call asking supporters to assemble at the Acosta house.

    In a judgment earlier this year, the Acosta family won their case due to fraudulent foreclosure paperwork. The judge ruled in that case that Green Century Investment Group / IndyMac did not have legal standing to evict the family or foreclose on the house. The banks simply waited a month and five days and sent another eviction notice.

    “It’s been stressful since we got the letter,” said Eduardo Acosta. “We couldn’t sleep. We were up late hours thinking, what are we going to do with our family?”

    Occupy activists rally in support of Acosta family less than a week after the San Francisco County Recorder released an audit report of foreclosures that shows systematic legal violations and questionable activities on 99% of the files they reviewed.

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  • Fighting Foreclosure: Bertina Jones

    OccupyOurHomes on February 21, 2012

    Via OccupyWallSt.org, who have a great roundup of the Occupy Our Homes movement activities.

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  • Ms. Bertina Jones & Occupy DC are fighting to stop her eviction

    February 20, 2012

    MEET BERTINA: A familiar story to millions of Americans, Bank of America used the financial crisis to take advantage of Bertina Jones. Bertina did everything right. Like millions of Americans, she fell behind on her mortgage after losing her job in wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Hoping to take responsibility for missed payments, she met with Bank of America to renegotiate her mortgage, and was offered a modification in January of 2009. She kept making payments, and while the bank acknowledged it had received her money, it told her that her paperwork was lost. In the Summer of 2010, she was informed that the modification was off the table, and in September, Bank of America sold her mortgage to Freddie Mac which continued with foreclosure.

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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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  • Fred Shrum & Occupy Detroit stand up to Wells Fargo

    February 15, 2012

     

    Fred Shrum bought his house in 2007 and began working on it. “I had hoped to lay down some roots and become part of this community,” he said. “I’ve been fixing up the house since then, installing new windows and insulation. I think I’ve put about $20,000 into it in renovations, altogether.”

    Shrum isn’t ready to let go. As he said at the press conference, he and his family are prepared to stay in the house as an act of civil disobedience and in protest of how bailed-out banks treat U.S. homeowners. With the help of Occupy Our Homes and groups including Occupy Detroit, People Before Banks, Moratorium Now, and UAW Local 600, they will fight the eviction.

    “I don’t expect anyone to give me the house,” Shrum said. “I just want to be treated fairly. I want Wells Fargo to come back to the table and see if we can find an arrangement that works in both our interests.”

     

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  • Victory: Occupy Idaho Falls Stops Wells Fargo

    OccupyOurHomes on February 14, 2012

    Occupy Idaho Falls helped stop Wells Fargo from foreclosing and evicting Karla Covington. The foreclosure would have violated a court order and the bold action by Karla and Occupy Idaho Falls to occupy her home and resist Wells Fargo enabled Karla to keep her home. 

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  • Minneapolis: Foreclosure Free Block Party!!

    OccupyOurHomes on February 14, 2012

    On the anniversary of the Minnesota Moratorium of 1934, passed during the last great depression, we'll be throwing a massive block party to celebrate the defense of the home of Bobby Hull. He's a former Marine and Vietnam era vet who's been in his home since 1968 and is facing foreclosure. Feb 17th is the last day of his Redemption Period after which he could face eviction. On this day we'll pitch a tent and a stage, invite friends, neighbors and supportive community members to Bobby's home and block. 

    We'll treat the event like a celebration-Either be celebrating a good faith negotiation by the Bank (US Bank or Bank of America) or we'll be celebrating the fact they we're not leaving anyway. Come stand in solidarity with Bobby and help to send a strong message to the big Banks: We will NOT be moved from our homes without a good faith negotiation and fair resolution to the foreclosure crisis.

    Come and join hundreds of community members in solidarity. Enjoy some amazing artists, great food, and the warmth and protection that only comes when neighbors stand together in unity. We'll be live streaming the event to our friends around the country as we proclaim; Who's House? Bobby's House! 

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  • VICTORY: With Support of Thousands, Occupy Nashville Saves 78-Year-Old Civil Rights Activist's Home

    OccupyOurHomes on February 14, 2012

    Buoyed by overwhelming support from the community of Middle Tennessee and around the world, Occupy Nashville has saved grandmother Helen Bailey’s home from foreclosure.

    Bailey wanted nothing more than to live out her years among her neighbors, just two doors down from the church she loves.

    “I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders," Bailey said. "I love my home and my community and I am so blessed to be able to stay here. I am thankful for the support of my neighbors and the nation."

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  • Occupy Homes MN Pledges to Defend Third Home in Response to National Mortgage Settlement

    OccupyOurHomes on February 11, 2012

    In response to yesterday's 26 billion dollar settlement between the nation's 5 largest banks and both state and federal governments, Occupy Homes MN will rally on Monday, February 20th to defend another military veteran homeowner who has decided to stand up and fight their foreclosure. Organizers say the settlement demonstrates the need for grassroots pressure now more than ever to hold big banks and CEO's accountable for massive fraud that caused the crash of the housing market.

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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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  • Video: Arturo de los Santos Is Fighting Back

    OccupyOurHomes on February 09, 2012

    In 2008, Arturo de los Santos, a former Marine who lives with his wife and four children in Riverside, CA, fell victim to the economic crash caused by the greed of those on Wall Street. Like millions of Americans, he faced the prospect of mortgage default. Arturo was then encouraged by JPMorgan Chase & Co. to deliberately fall behind on his payments in order to modify his loan. A loan owned by Freddie Mac. Thinking the bank had his best intentions in mind, Arturo followed their instructions. Instead, JPMorgan greedily foreclosed on him, evicting Arturo and his family. Since then, Arturo has decided to fight back and re-occupy his home, even as he faces the possibility of arrest!

    Arturo could be forcefully removed from his house at any time. Cuéntame and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) are working together to spread Arturo's story as wide as possible and tell JP Morgan and Freddie Mac that the abuse must end today! We need your help.

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  • Riverside, CA: Stop the eviction of Arturo de los Santos

    February 07, 2012

    ACCE is calling for action to help Arturo de los Santos and his family.

    Arturo de los Santos has lived in his Riverside, CA with his wife and four children for over ten years. When the economic crisis hit in 2008, the factory he works at reduced his hours. Like millions of hardworking Americans, the reduced income forced him to pursue a modification in his mortgage, which is owned by Freddie Mac. The mortgage servicer, JP Morgan Chase, informed de los Santos that in order to negotiate a loan modification he had to be in default on his loan. De los Santos was caught in the Catch-22 that proved to be profitable for Freddie Mac but devastating for his family.

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  • Detroit: Evicted Homeowner & Community Members Confront Bank of America

    OccupyOurHomes on February 07, 2012

    Dave Kirby, with the support of 35 friends, families facing foreclosure and members of and the local community confronted mortgage giant Bank of America to demand accountability and a stop to the bank’s abusive business and lending practices.

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  • Riverside: Protesters Help Homeowner and Family Launch around the Clock Encampment

    OccupyOurHomes on February 02, 2012

    Demonstrators will be demanding a halt to the eviction by Freddie Mac of ex-Marine Arturo de los Santos and calling on Freddie Mac to re-invest in its mission "to expand opportunities for homeownership" by supporting and promoting mortgage reductions to fair market value for underwater homeowners, which according to a recent study, would create over 1 million jobs and inject over $70 billion into the economy.

    Arturo de los Santos, who lives in Riverside, CA with his wife and four children, is the face of the American homeowner that Freddie Mac is betting against. An ex-marine, Arturo has lived in the home for about ten years with his wife and four kids. When the economic crisis hit in 2008, the factory he works at reduced his hours. Like millions of hardworking Americans, the reduced income forced him to pursue a modification in his mortgage. Freddie Mac’s mortgage servicer, JP Morgan Chase, informed de los Santos that in order to negotiate a loan modification he had to be in default on his loan. De los Santos was caught in the Catch-22 that proved to be profitable for Freddie Mac.

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  • Victory: William and Bertha Garrett can keep their home in Detroit

    OccupyOurHomes on February 01, 2012

    Great news! The eviction of William and Bertha Garrett of Detroit has been stopped! Occupy Detroit activists have an update on Facebook:

    The Garretts have been victorious in their struggle to keep their home. The bank agreed to let the Garretts purchase their home for the previously agreed upon price of $12,000. The contract has yet to be signed. We must maintain our vigilance.

    Supporters are encouraged to be at the home of the Garretts by 7 am to prevent the confront any appearance of a dumpster. Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company has gone back on it's word in the past. But a realtor at O'Conner Real Estate Development, the firm that apparently wanted so badly to list the property as soon as possible, also assured us that the eviction has been called off.

    There's more information at Huffington Post.

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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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  • Occupy Minneapolis: Every Tuesday, call US Bank to help home occupiers

    OccupyOurHomes on January 17, 2012

    Occupy Minneapolis is calling for activists around the country to make calls on behalf of home occupiers Monique White and Bobby Hull every Tuesday in January. Call US Bank and ask them to stop stealing homes from our communities.

    To take action, call and ask for US Bank Senior Vice President, Tom Joyce: 612-303-3167

    Ask that he come to the table with a reasonable solution that will allow Bobby and Monique to stay in their homes and in their community.

     

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  • Occupy Nashville: Tell Chase, Don't foreclose on Helen Bailey

    January 16, 2012

    Update: We won! Helen Bailey's home was saved and she'll be able to keep it!

    Tell Chase that in Nashville, in America, we don’t throw elderly ladies out on the street. In Nashville, in America, we fight for what’s right. Helen Bailey marched for civil rights. It's our turn to march for Helen Bailey.

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  • Occupy Birmingham: Occupying with the Wards

    OccupyOurHomes on January 13, 2012

    An update from Occupy Birmingham. The Wards' auction date was pushed back 2 weeks. The new date is now January 26th. In the video above the Wards and members of their community talk about why they are occupying their home and fighting to stop their eviction by Bank of America.

    Occupy Birmingham has a petition targeting Bank of America. You can take action and help support the Wards here: http://occupybirmingham.org/sign-the-petition-tell-bank-of-america-the-wards-wont-go/.

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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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  • Baltimore: Occupy Our Homes Rally Stalls Scheduled Eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on January 10, 2012

    On Tuesday, January 10th, 2011 members of the local branch of Occupy Our Homes, a working group of Occupy Baltimore, stood alongside homeowner Lila Kara, who is facing eviction from her home at 1433 W. Lombard Street. The Sheriff's Department was scheduled to evict Ms. Kara between 10am and 12pm despite a pending appeal due to fraudulent foreclosure proceedings.

    A crowd of up to 100 people gathered in front of Ms. Kara's house to protest the eviction and send a message to the Sheriff's Department and Deutsche Bank, who initiated the foreclosure process, that housing is a human right and the community will stand up to defend the rights of homeowners and tenants who are the victims of predatory lending practices and fraudulent foreclosures.

    The Sheriff's Department and representatives from Deutsche Bank did not show up for the scheduled eviction today. According to the Baltimore Sun, the Sheriff's Office postponed the eviction due to the protest. Occupy Our Homes is counting this as the first victory in Baltimore in a long struggle to keep residents in their homes.

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  • Occupy Baltimore: Rally to Save Lila Kara's Home (Video)

    OccupyOurHomes on January 09, 2012

    Lila Kara's home at 1433 W. Lombard Street is the subject of a foreclosure proceeding. On Saturday, Jan. 8, 2012, a rally was held in front of her home. Her case is pending in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Nevertheless, the bank is pushing to have the Sheriff of Baltimore City evict her this Tuesday, January 10, 2012, at or around 10 AM. To learn more, go to: http://occupybmore.org/event/occupy-our-homes-rally-and-move-event-1.

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  • Occupy Birmingham: Help the Ward Family Save Their Home

    January 06, 2012

    UPDATE (5-29-2012): The Ward family won! With the help of Occupy Birmingham and activists around the country, the Wards forced Bank of America to the table and negotiated a deal that will let them keep their house. Learn about it here

    UPDATE (1-17-2012): As a result of the hard work and participation of people like you, we have been successful in opening communication with Bank of America. The Wards received a phone call from Bank of America corporate offices, and they have moved the foreclosure sale date to March 29, 2012. Communication lines are open, and this is a first step toward potential negotiations. As a direct result of your participation, YOU have given the Wards a voice in standing up to Bank of America’s wrongful foreclosure.

    This is not the end. We demand that Bank of America commit to a negotiation where the Wards gain ownership of the home that is rightfully theirs.

    Occupy Birmingham is taking a stand against Bank of America by moving into local communities to help those under the threat of wrongful foreclosure. Our first “Occupy Our Homes” action is on the behalf of the Ward family. Due to a real estate agent’s fraud, the Wards are on the brink of losing their home even though they’ve NEVER MISSED A SINGLE PAYMENT. While they have the ability to continue paying their mortgage, Bank of America refuses to allow them to keep their home (which they’ve already paid over 35,000 dollars on) after a real estate company pocketed 2 years of payments made on the property. Rather than allow the family to pay on the home, the bank prefers to lose money and offer it up for auction on January 12 January 26. Not only will this cost the Wards’ their home, but the entire neighborhood is devalued by rising number of foreclosures.

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  • Occupy Baltimore: Eviction Defense for Lila

    OccupyOurHomes on January 04, 2012

    Occupy Baltimore's branch of Occupy Our Homes is acting in solidarity with other branches of the Occupy Our Homes movement by uniting local communities against foreclosure and eviction. Baltimore has been particularly hard hit by the big banks’ predatory lending and fraudulent foreclosure practices. Now it is time to take a stand. As our first action, we will be helping Lila, a woman from the West side of Baltimore, fight back against her January 10 eviction.

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  • Occupy Miami: Miss Angela Samuels Eviction Victory Announcement

    on January 04, 2012

    Great news from Miami - yesterday's action to stop the eviction of Angela Samuels was a success! 

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  • Occupy Columbus: Bayless Family Calls for Action

    OccupyOurHomes on January 03, 2012

    Brian Bayless of Delaware, Ohio took action last month and with the help of Occupy Columbus, Occupy Cleveland, the Ohio Fraudclosure Blog, and his attorney were able to temporarily stop the eviction. But now the Bayless family needs help to permanently stay in their home. Brian Bayless released this statement asking for help from the Occupy community and housing activists nationwide:

     

    Hello All, 

    If there ever was a time in which we needed your help and the help of your network of friends, it is right now.  Our foreclosure battle has grown so much bigger than just our family, and we feel that we could be very close to helping to turn the tide on the FRAUDclosures that are occurring in our town, our state, and our country.  We’re ready to step out on faith and make another push to "right the wrong" and remain in our home. 

    Since the “moratorium” has officially ended, we are concerned that US BANK and/or Wells Fargo thugs will be on the hunt again at any time to kick us to the curb, despite our continuing legal battle in the courts.   I’m sure that most of us will be sleeping very lightly tonight, wondering what the morning will bring. 

    I can never fully express my thanks for what you have all done, and what you, with the help of your friends and contacts, will continue to do on behalf of my family.  We didn’t choose this battle, it chose us.  That being said, we want to continue to stand strong in the face of adversity on behalf of not only our family, but others in similar situations…and those who are yet to be served by bailed out banksters.    

    God willing, and with a strong surge of public outcry, we can change the course of the foreclosure fraud pattern for everyone.  Thanks for coming alongside us in this critical moment.   

    Blessings,

    Brian Bayless and Family  

     

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  • Occupy Harrisburg: Urgent Action Needed to Save Satori Farm

    OccupyOurHomes on January 03, 2012

    Update (January 4): Great news - Judge Mariani has granted a Temporary Restraining Order and stopped the eviction of the Conklin family from the Satori farm until January 18th. This will give the Conklin's time to continue the legal process to stop the eviction for good.

    Urgent action is needed to help the Conklin family save their farm in the face of eviction. More details are below, but we urgently need people to write Judge Robert D. Mariani through this free fax tool. You can also call Judge Mariani at (570) 207-5750.

    Here's the text of the letter we are faxing to Judge Mariani:

    Dear Judge Robert D. Mariani:

    I'm writing you in support of Stephen Conklin Sr., his 84 year old father, and his family. I am requesting a Temporary Restraining Order and give Mr. Conklin a fair trial.

    You were generous enough to grant a 2 week Temporary Restraining Order on December 7th but if you fail to act by 2PM Thursday the family will be evicted. The case number is 1:10-CV-2501

    It's a shame that this veteran, who fought in WWII to defend the American Dream, is having it stolen from him with fraudulent documents from several banks. Lynn Szymoniak verified the fraud. Judge Arthur Schack of NY has thrown out cases with just a fraction of the fraud Mr. Conklin has discovered.

     

     

     

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  • Tuesday: Occupy Miami Emergency Eviction Defense in Solidarity with Angela Samuels

    OccupyOurHomes on January 02, 2012

    Around Thanksgiving, Occupy Miami organized in solidarity with Angela at the courthouse and accompanied her to her house. Read more here.

    Joseph & Simone Dahan, of Greatest Enterprises, are going to evict Angela Samuels, long-time resident of Liberty City, THIS TUESDAY. GE has refused to grant Angela more time to prove she is a victim of mortgage fraud. We will be there at 10AM TUESDAY to make sure the Dahans know they are active agents in violating Ms Samuels human rights! This injustice will not stand!

    Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012
    10:00am until 1:00pm
    1740 N.W. 46th St, Miami

    More details for Tuesday's event are on Facebook.

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  • Urgent Occupy Maui Fax Action to Save Tehiva Family's Home

    January 02, 2012

    Update: Wells Fargo has has agreed to delay the eviction of the Tehiva/Phillips' family until February 15th. Read more at 4closurefraud.org.

    The Tehiva family is asking for you to take action and fax the Hana Sheriff's Department and Police Department to stop their eviction.

    We are literally crying out to all that can be on our property on Jan. 2nd to make a silent stand for what is right and protest against the fraudulent act of the bank.

    On Jan. 2, Monday our entire family will be wrongfully evicted off of our property. Our family will not leave this property that we live on. Please come to our house at 5305 Hana Hwy on Jan. 2nd to help us support this cause. Our goal is to try and get as many people on our property to make a silent stand. If you know of any individual or group that can help with this stand, please call us. If any changes occur, we will let everyone know. We presently have our family attorney working hard in stopping this act of eviction from happening.

    Mahalo, the Tehiva/Phillips 'Ohana

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  • When the Sheriff's Come: Video Inside An Eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on December 31, 2011

    This video was posted by Ohio Fraudclosure Blog and includes footage from when sheriff's officers came to evict the Bayless family in Columbus, Ohio. Fortunately the actions of Occupy Columbus, Ohio Fraudclosure Blog and the Bayless family's attorney stopped their eviction at the time. But this is a look inside the terrifying and common experience of what happens when the banks send the police to take a family's home.

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  • Occupy Maui Fighting to Stop the Eviction at the Tehiva/Phillips' Home

    OccupyOurHomes on December 30, 2011

    Update: Wells Fargo has has agreed to delay the eviction of the Tehiva/Phillips' family until February 15th. Read more at 4closurefraud.org.

    On Monday, January 2nd community groups including Occupy Wall St/Maui will hold a silent vigil at the Tehiva family home in Hana. They hope to block the foreclosure eviction with this nonviolent action. They request that members of the community join them to stand up against what they say is Wells Fargo Bank's illegal action.

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  • Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, Occupy Chicago & Occupy Judaism Host Hannukah in Reclaimed Home

    OccupyOurHomes on December 27, 2011

    In Chicago, Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction, Occupy Chicago and Occupy Judaism helped Sabrina Morey and her seven children celebrate Hannukah this week in a home they are occupying. 

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  • Home for the Holidays With Occupy Atlanta, Gwinnett, and Los Angeles

    OccupyOurHomes on December 25, 2011

    Occupy Atlanta celebrates key victories that kept families around the country home for the holidays.

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  • Occupy Fort Lauderdale stops the Bien-Aimé family's eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on December 22, 2011

    Great news out of Florida! Occupy Fort Lauderdale has helped stop the eviction of the Bien-Aimé family in Coconut Creek.

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  • VICTORY: Occupy Atlanta "Occupy Our Homes" Turning Point

    OccupyOurHomes on December 20, 2011

     

    A decorated Iraq War veteran, in danger of losing her house to foreclosure received the best Christmas gift she could have hoped for. She'll get to stay in her home.

    Brigitte Walker said it's all thanks to Occupy Atlanta, "I know because of them I am still in my home," Walker said.

     

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  • Occupy Fort Lauderdale fighting to stop an eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on December 17, 2011

    Occupy Fort Lauderdale and Occupy Miami are fighting to stop the eviction of the Bien-Aimé family in Coconut Creek, Florida. The blog 4closurefraud.org has this unfortunate update:

    Breaking!: Despite having been informed today by a Wells Fargo representative earlier today that they would be able to stay in their home until January 3, Occupy Ft. Lauderdale has just learned that the Bien-Aimé’s were delivered notice late this afternoon to vacate their home as of this coming Monday, December 19. Occupy Ft. Lauderdale will follow up with information about any planned action very soon.
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  • Occupying Lesliane Bouchard's Home in Murrieta

    OccupyOurHomes on December 16, 2011

    Update: Lesliane has won a victory that will allow her to have a good home. Read about it here.

    Yesterday members of Occupy San Diego, Occupy Oceanside, ACCE and Occupy Temecula joined Lesliane Bouchard and her family at their Murrieta, CA home and occupied it! Lesliane Bouchard has declared that she has joined the Occupy Our Homes movement and is pledging not to leave her home if foreclosed and evicted. She is hosting a one-night occupation at her home and will be asking the occupy movement to stand by her side to resist eviction if First Mortgage Corporation refuses to work with her.

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  • East New York: Donate to support the occupation of #702 Vermont

    OccupyOurHomes on December 14, 2011

    The occupation of 702 Vermont in East New York has continued strong since December 6th. The home is being readied for the family of Alfredo Carrasquillo, Tasha Glasgow, and their 9-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. To prepare the house, there a bunch of supplies that we all feel we need to make this place more homey and organized. See the list of supplies and how to make a donation below.

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  • Disabled teacher brings Occupy Our Homes movement to Murrieta

    December 14, 2011

    Update: Lesliane has won a victory that will allow her to have a good home. Read about it here

    A disabled and bedridden schoolteacher has vowed not to leave her home if evicted. After gathering over 3000 supporters on a change.org petition and gathering press coverage of her plight, the Lesliane Bouchard has now called on the Occupy Our Homes movement to support her plight. Facing foreclosure, there is a simple solution. Ms. Bouchard has approved by the Hardest Hit States Fund principal reduction program. If First Mortgage Corporation opts into this program, she will have the funding to keep her house.

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  • Oakland: Home Reclaimer Gayla Newsome is still in her home

    OccupyOurHomes on December 13, 2011

    Thanks to members of ACCE and the San Diego Labor-Council for mobilizing on 12 hours notice to send an emergency delegation in support of Occupy Our Homes reclaimer Gayla Newsome of Oakland. The San Diego based-CEO of her second lender has said he is not pursuing legal action while he is reviewing the paperwork of the case (that we have evidence is fraudulent). This is a victory for now, but we must remain vigilant and will be pushing Chase to modify her loan. That's solidarity: community and labor in San Diego working to stand behind a family in need 500 miles away. We have only begun!

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  • Atlanta: Take action to save two homes

    December 12, 2011

    Eloise Pittman passed away last week. Her family is now left with a mountain of debt, and is trying to save a home that’s been in their family for over 50 years. Chase bank has been unwilling to find a solution that keeps them in their home.

    Brigitte Walker is a decorated Iraq War veteran. She entered the army right out of high school and served for 21 years. In 2007 she was medically discharged. As a result she is now living on a fixed income and struggling to find work. Now she is facing eviction. After putting her life on the line for her country, it’s time that someone step up to defend her from this injustice.

    Update: Brigitte Walker got a loan modification!

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  • Columbus, OH: Powerful actions save a family from eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on December 12, 2011

    Due to the efforts of Ohio Fraudclosure Blog, Attorney Bruce Broyles and Occupy Columbus, the Bayless family in Central Ohio is spared an eviction during the holiday season. The power of social media comes full circle when three powerful groups convene on the plight of a 4 year foreclosure battle when it seemed that all hope was lost and the family would be kicked to the curb to put their lives back together.

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  • Southgate, MI: Help the Henrys occupy their home

    December 10, 2011

    Debbie Henry tells the story of what she and her husband Robert are facing with their foreclosure and why they are occupying their home:

    “Our home was our future, and we thought that we’d invested wisely. We were making our payments, even though now it’s worth a third of what we paid for it. But after I had my stroke, we just couldn’t keep up. We tried to work with the banks to get a fair deal, but they gave us the run-around for years. Now they want to throw us out. I thought they got all this taxpayer money so that families like us could have a second chance,” said Debbie, a former manager at a food services company.

    Read more and take action to help Debbie and Robert keep their home.

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  • East New York: Re-occupying a home

    OccupyOurHomes on December 09, 2011

    Cari Mitchell has a post up sharing the story of the re-occupation of 702 Vermont Street in East New York. She's been taking part with Occupy Wall Street since its first week. Her post tells the story of a movement and a community coming together to help a family in need get a home.

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  • Occupy Atlanta occupies the Pittman home

    OccupyOurHomes on December 09, 2011

    Occupy Atlanta began two Occupations of homes being foreclosed upon as a result of irresponsible banking practices. The have been fielding dozens of phone calls and emails over the last month from struggling home owners. It just so happens that Chase bank keeps coming up. Whether it's 103 year old Vita Lee, wounded Iraq war veteran Brigitte Walker, or the bereaved family of Eloise Pittman, Chase bank seems to be especially callous in their pursuit to put hard working Americans out of their homes this Holiday season.

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  • Southgate, MI: Debbie & Rob Henry are occupying their home

    OccupyOurHomes on December 08, 2011

    Debbie Henry tells her story:

    “Our home was our future, and we thought that we’d invested wisely. We were making our payments, even though now it’s worth a third of what we paid for it.,” said Debbie, a former manager at a food services company. “But after I had my stroke, we just couldn’t keep up. We tried to work with the banks to get a fair deal, but they gave us the run-around for years. Now they want to throw us out. I thought they got all this taxpayer money so that families like us could have a second chance.”

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  • Occupy Atlanta defending homes from foreclosure

    OccupyOurHomes on December 06, 2011

    In addition to multiple actions to disrupt foreclosure auctions at court houses in and around Atlanta, Occupy Atlanta is working to keep two families in their homes. Read more below.

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  • We’re Not Leaving: Michigan Family Announces Public Campaign to Resist Foreclosure

    OccupyOurHomes on December 06, 2011

    Surrounded by friends, neighbors, and community supporters, Debbie and Robert Henry explained their situation.

    “Our home was our future, and we thought that we’d invested wisely. We were making our payments, even though now it’s worth a third of what we paid for it. But after I had my stroke, we just couldn’t keep up. We tried to work with the banks to get a fair deal, but they gave us the run-around for years. Now they want to throw us out. I thought they got all this taxpayer money so that families like us could have a second chance,” said Debbie, a former manager at a food services company.

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  • National Day of Action to Stop and Reverse Foreclosures

    OccupyOurHomes on December 06, 2011

    Today is the Occupy Our Homes National Day of Action to Stop and Reverse Foreclosures. Actions are taking place in over twenty-five cities around America, as the Occupy movement joins with homeowners and people fighting for a place to live. Our system has been serving Wall Street, big banks, and the one percent. Clearly this has not worked. We are the 99% and we are reclaiming our homes.

    Follow this post for updates from around the country today. Go below to see videos from the day of action.

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  • VICTORY: Bobby's Story: Veteran Facing Foreclosure, Fighting Back

    December 05, 2011

    Bobby Hull says:

    "If people start getting together we may have a chance. I’ve served my time in Vietnam and I’m not afraid to fight again.”
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  • Stand with Ms. Ward

    December 02, 2011

    Ms. Mary Lee Ward:

    "You gotta put up a hard fight for the faith. You have to stick with it, when you know that you're right, you know you have the evidence, you know you have the facts. Don't let nobody walk over you. Don't let nobody make you a slave."
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  • Scrooge Strikes 75 Year Old Great Grandmother

    OccupyOurHomes on December 01, 2011

    Home defenders are coming together in San Francisco today to help Josephine Tolbert, a 75 year-old great grandmother and childcare provider. Read more about her story below.

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  • Help Maria Save Her Home

    November 29, 2011

    Maria says:

    “I’m not hiding. I’m not running away. I want to keep my home.”
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  • Video: Homeowners Speak Out

    OccupyOurHomes on November 29, 2011

    New York Communities for Change produced this fantastic video to help promote the December 6th National Day of Action.

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  • Victory for the Steidel Family in Rochester

    OccupyOurHomes on November 26, 2011

    With assistance from Occupy Rochester and Take Back the Land Rochester, the Steidel family was able to get their eviction canceled by Freddie Mac and are now in negotiations with Wells Fargo to achieve a permanent settlement.

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  • Occupy Minneapolis Forms Human Chain to Defend Foreclosed Home, Police Retreat

    OccupyOurHomes on November 20, 2011

    This is an incredible video from an action by Occupy Minneapolis to help protect Sa'ra Kaiser's foreclosed home. The video is on YouTubeand is described as follows:

    November 19th, 2011: Occupy Minneapolis encountered a bit more resistance from the authorities on day one of #Operation Occupy Southside than expected. Following two arrests and an incident in which a police officer tried to run down an occupier with a squad car, Occupy Minneapolis formed a human chain around Sa'ra Kaiser's foreclosed home, preventing the officers from boarding it up, and ultimately forcing the police - who had no legitimate legal pretense for preventing occupiers from being their in the first place - to give up and leave.

     

     

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  • Sa'ra's Story: Facing Foreclosure

    OccupyOurHomes on November 19, 2011

    Occupy Minnesota is working with Sa'ra to help her in her fight to stop foreclosure. In this video, Sa'ra tells her story of her fight with US Bank and why she's standing up to save her home.

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  • Help Monique White Save Her Home

    November 08, 2011

    Monique says:

    “It got cold in here one night. The next morning I called the gas company to have them light my furnace. The billing department told me that Century 21 (the real estate agency) had called them and told them they'd be the realtors for the house.” So White called U.S. Bank and found out that as of January 26, 2011 her house was sold. “I didn't find out until October 24,” White said, “I just feel betrayed. I feel like US Bank strung me along until the redemption period ran out and then they stole my house out from under me.”
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  • Carolyn Gage Re-Occupies A Home Her Family Lived in for 50 Years

    November 01, 2011

    Carolyn says:

    My family has been in this neighborhood for 50 years, and since I've been evicted, the place has been vacant, like so many homes in the Bayview. Families have been ripped off by banks, scammed by brokers and nothing's done to them. It's time for the families and the community to stand up and take back what's theirs.
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  • VICTORY: Dixie Mitchell Gets To Keep Her Home!

    October 28, 2011

    Dixie says:

    “It’s not just about me. Millions of families across the country are going through this as well. We won’t stop fighting until we’re able to make the big banks pay their fair share.”
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  • VICTORY: Rose Gudiel over OneWest & Fannie Mae

    October 06, 2011

    Rose Gudiel issued this statement claiming victory on October 26th, 2011:

    “I’d like to announce that the bank called me today to arrange a meeting, to discuss a modification proposal from Fannie Mae.  I have also learned that my eviction has been canceled.  We are very happy that they have finally come to the table, and I hope they are serious about negotiating a reasonable modification, which is what I have been requesting for over two years. And I hope that they will change their policies to stop taking the homes the thousands of hardworking families facing preventable foreclosure.  Thank you.”

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