Join us:

Posts in Inspirations

All Categories

  • Judge stops eviction of homeowner with disabilities

    on April 07, 2013

    From Moratorium Now:

     

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

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

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

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

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

     

    » More
  • Foreclosure fighters in MN look to change the law to protect struggling homeowners

    Becky Dernbach on January 24, 2013

    Occupy Homes MN and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change were front and center at the State Capitol in St. Paul last week as the "Minnesota Homeowner Bill of Rights" was introduced to the housing committee. Modeled after similar legislation that passed in California last year, the bill aims to end the most egregious of foreclosure abuses. Powerful testimony began inside the press conference room as foreclosure fighter and dual-tracking victim, Rose McGee shared her support of this bill, "I want to see this particular bill passed so that people who don't even know yet that they're going to have to deal with something like this, won't have to deal with something like this. People who are poor, people who are renting, people who are being kicked out on the street because their particular dwelling is being foreclosed...this is not just my fight, this is a fight for people of all classes. This is something that is about humanity."

    The committee heard from several community members including a powerful statement from Rabbi Michael Adam Latz directly addressing legislators. "You have the power to stop such unnecessary suffering, to liberate our neighbors from the shackles of the foreclosure crisis and uncertainty, desperation and financial ruin. You can end this immoral and outrageous behavior of dual tracking by proclaiming what it is: an illegal depraved toxic scam destroying the soul of the Minnesota we love!"

    » More
  • Foreclosure Fighter Loses Battle With Cancer

    Shab Bashiri on January 10, 2013

    After an extensive battle with stage four breast cancer, homeowner and disability rights advocate, and ACCE Home Defenders League leader Ana Casas Wilson passed away on the night of December 21, 2012. 

    Ana was in the midst of a fight to reverse the unfair foreclosure on her childhood home, where she lived with her husband James, mother Becky, 18-year-old son, and 21-year-old daughter. Ana was set to be evicted in October, but after she and supporters set up an encampment at the house, lender Wells Fargo halted eviction proceedings and had been talking with Ana about a long-term solution for her to stay.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

     

    » More
  • Atlanta: Make A Call for Steve Boudreaux

    OccupyOurHomes on October 05, 2012

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • ‘Occupy Homes’ foreclosure fighters reaching millions with crowd-funded ad campaign in Florida & Nationally

    OccupyOurHomes on August 14, 2012

     

    This week, a 30-second TV ad featuring six real-life foreclosure fighters will air on national television. The spot advertises ‘Occupy Our Homes,’ an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement that has empowered thousands of people in housing crisis to fight back against fraudulent foreclosures, to demand fair treatment by mortgage lenders, and, in many cases, to keep their homes. The ad ends with a plug for the movement’s website, OccupyHomes.org, where people can find helpful resources and success stories of communities that have fought back against the banks.

    The spot opens with Monique White, a north Minneapolis resident who was the first resident to approach an Occupy group for help in fighting foreclosure. Activists with Occupy Minneapolis occupied her front lawn with tents and banners, and kicked off a seven-month campaign that led to US Bank renegotiating her loan. Five out of the six people featured—including an Atlanta pastor who joined with Occupy to fight the foreclosure of his historic Vine City church—have won their campaigns and fended off foreclosure.

    “We’re all in this together,” said Marine veteran and longtime Minneapolis resident Bobby Hull. “Even after we bailed out the banks, they’re stilling trying to take the homes of millions of Americans. I hope this ad will inspire people to fight back like I did, and join forces with the Occupy Homes movement.”

    Read more below the fold.

     

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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!

    » More
  • Atlanta: Victory! Tacco and Family Find Secure Home

    OccupyOurHomes on July 28, 2012

    Great news from Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:


    Just one month ago Tacco Cullins, single mother of 11, faced homelessness after being scammed into substandard and dangerous living conditions by a fake landlord. With no public housing in Atlanta, a moratorium on section 8 housing vouchers, and no organizations able or willing to take on a family of 12 in crisis, Tacco had almost nowhere to turn. After reaching out to Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, Tacco decided to fight for fair housing for her children and for herself.

    Countless press interviews, phone calls, fundraisers, and community meetings later, enough money was raised to get Tacco into quality, safe housing that she and her family deserve. After much public pressure it also looks like the Atlanta Housing Authority might temporarily end the section 8 freeze in order to grant the Cullins family an emergency voucher.

    Occupy Our Homes Atlanta is excited about this new start for Tacco and her family, but we are even more ecstatic that she committed to join our ranks for the long haul. Tacco is ready to give back to her community by fighting with others to defend their homes. The Cullins family will host a victory party on Saturday, August 4, at 2:00pm at their new home at 2259 Polar Rock Terrace.

    Read more below the fold.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • Help us get the voices of front-line foreclosure fighters on national TV

    OccupyOurHomes on June 25, 2012

    Occupy Our Homes has entered a 30-second TV ad in a contest to get crowd-sourced funding for the ad—with real voices of homeowners fighting foreclosure and winning—to appear on national television. We hope to raise awareness about the #OccupyHomes movement, and connect more people facing foreclosure with the resources to organize for justice.

    Click here to watch the ad, and and help us reach hundreds of thousands of viewers.

    The 30-second ad, produced during Occupy Our Homes field visits to Minneapolis and Atlanta, features Monique White, Bobby Hull, and Colleen McKee Espinosa, all of whom fought foreclosure and won, with support from Occupy Homes MN. It also features Pastor Dexter Johnson of the Higher Ground Empowerment Center—a baptist church in Atlanta—and highly-decorated Army veteran Brigitte Walker of Riverdale, GA. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta fought alongside Pastor Johnson and Brigitte Walker, to save a church and a veteran's home. Lastly, it features Christine Frazer, a 62-year old irrepressible and generous grandmother who was evicted in the middle of the night from her home in Dekalb County, GA., along with her 85-year old mother, and 3-year old grandson. Chris Frazer has filed suit over the fraudulent foreclosure and eviction, and Occupy Our Homes is still standing with her.

    Their stories, and that of the growing #OccupyHomes movement, is told in an article on Alternet, by behind-the-scenes Occupy Our Homes organizer Han Shan.

    After you watch the ad, please chip in whatever you can afford to help us put it on national TV and make sure that hundreds of thousands or even millions of people have a chance to see it. Support Occupy Our Homes PSA fundraiser at LoudSauce.com.

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

    OccupyOurHomes on June 20, 2012

    More great news from Occupy Homes MN:

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

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

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

    » More
  • 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)

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • CA: Rolling Hunger Strike to Stop Illegal Foreclosures

    OccupyOurHomes on April 09, 2012

     

    Join us in a chain hunger strike to demand the banksters be held accountable for systematic foreclosure fraud against hundreds of thousands of homeowners. On April 6, 2012, Donna Vieira ended her 16-day hunger strike. Tim Nonn (Occupy Petaluma) is continuing the hunger strike, to protest the lack of prosecution of the banks for foreclosure fraud. Tim began on April 6 and will end his leg of the hunger strike on April 13.

    We invite others to participate in the rolling hunger strike by signing up for one or more days. If you are interested in participating, please email Brenda (brendahreed@sbcglobal.net) to be placed on the schedule of hunger strikers.

    Join with members of the Occupy Movement by standing in solidarity with the millions of homeowners who have already been foreclosed or are facing foreclosure. The banks have been given a license to steal our homes by the government. We must demand accountability and criminal prosecutions for these massive crimes that are wrecking families’ lives and our communities. (Pictured above in SF AG’s office: Tim Nonn second from the left and Donna Vieira second from the right, along with supporters from Oakland and Sacramento.)

     

    » More
  • 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.

     

    » More
  • 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. 

    » More
  • 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."

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • Detroit: “Victory!”- 1515 Broadway is saved

    OccupyOurHomes on January 26, 2012

    Earlier today, faced with intense community pressure Citibank dropped its plan to evict 1515 Broadway and the Jaszczak Family. The settlement puts an end to Chris Jaszczak’s months-long ordeal.

    Chris Jaszczak is a Vietnam veteran, father, and small business owner. He founded 1515 Broadway in 1987. Over time, the café and theatre has become one of Detroit’s community cornerstones. Along with other local small businesses, 1515 has been key to revitalizing Downtown Detroit. The building is also Chris' home, where he lives with his young son.

    » More
  • Occupy Our Homes MLK Day Canvassing Chicago

    OccupyOurHomes on January 18, 2012

    On January 15 and 16, 2012, a coalition of Chicago housing-rights organizers did a city-wide day of canvassing under the banner of Occupy Our Homes. From five different locations in all parts of Chicago about 150 volunteers went out into the neighborhoods knocking on doors.

    In all, canvassers across Chicago connected with over 100 homeowners & tenants.

    Participating groups included the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, Communities United Against Foreclosures & Evictions, the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, the Albany Park Autonomous Center/Centro Autonomo, and other faith-based & community groups.

    » More
  • Occupy Atlanta and HGEC Strike a Win for the 99%

    OccupyOurHomes on January 17, 2012

    Occupy Atlanta released the following press statement today:

    It was just six days ago the Pastor Dexter Johnson of Higher Ground Empowerment Center (HGEC) reached out to Occupy Atlanta in the 11th hour of the congregation's fight to stay in the 108 year old Vine City Church. Late Wednesday(1/11/12) Occupy Atlanta rolled out tents and within 12 hours BB&T retreated from their attempt to evict the church.

    After several hours of negotiations with between BB&T Bank, Occupy Atlanta, HGEC, and Joe Beasly with Rainbow PUSH, we have a deal that HGEC can more than live with. HGEC is going nowhere, not only did they get their deed to the land back, they have been given back the nine lots surrounding the Church for development, and a commitment from BB&T to meet again, with in 30 days, to discuss ways they can justly invest in the Vine City Community.

    Today is a victory for HGEC, Occupy Atlanta, Vine City, and all the 99%. This victory was facilitated not by experts but by everyday folks working together to fight for their communities.

    » More
  • Occupy Atlanta Stands Against Foreclosure of 108 Year Old Vine City Church

    OccupyOurHomes on January 17, 2012

    Pastor Dexter Johnson reached out to Occupy Atlanta on the eve of a court date in which BB&T bank had hoped to force the eviction of the 108 year old Vine City Church. Higher Ground Empowerment Center has been a lifeline in this underserved community, so it was with no hesitation that we committed to fight alone side the church.

    » More
  • Occupy Homes Takes Fight to MN Capitol and Nationwide

    OccupyOurHomes on January 12, 2012

    Via The Uptake, here's a great video of Occupy Minneapolis and the homeowners, organizers, and activists who are coming together to fight for homes. Included in the video are home occupiers Bobby Hull and Leslie Parks. It's an inspirational look at how the Occupy Our Homes movement is growing and moving forward.

    » More
  • Occupy Atlanta occupies 108 year old church facing eviction

    OccupyOurHomes on January 12, 2012

    Higher Ground Empowerment Center(HGEC) is a neighborhood church in the heart of Atlanta's Vine City. For the past 108 years, Higher Ground Empowerment Center has been a pillar in the historic Vine City community, one of Atlanta’s most under-resourced communities. HGEC has offered an array of much-needed programs and services including free healthcare screenings, a food pantry, job fairs, an annual Vine City Thanksgiving dinner, Karate classes for youth, Saturday tutorials, and summer camps for students.

    In 2008, the church suffered a major blow in the form of a disastrous tornado that ripped apart the property. In order to rebuild, the church was forced to take out a loan, one that became increasingly difficult to pay back and unrepresentative of the resale opportunities as donations and property values fell during the recession. The church repeatedly attempted to refinance the loan to be more representative of the property’s value, but BB&T, a company whose CEO, Kelly King, claims that their “foreclosure process is a values based on an approach where [they] work with our clients,” has not responded. The cruel irony is that BB&T bank spends about 5 million dollars a year on teaching positions and research on what they refer to as “the moral foundations of capitalism.” We find these morals and values suspiciously absent when the opportunity to profit off of the very people who bailed out BB&T to the tune of $3.1 billion comes about.

    HGEC’s Pastor Dexter Johnson stated, “108 years of history, we don’t want to see it disappear, be lost in foreclosure. 2012 is the year of triumph. Though we may be down, we are not broken, we will not be moved.”

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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. 

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • 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.

     

    » More
  • East New York: Inside a day of action

    OccupyOurHomes on December 12, 2011

    The National Day of Action to stop and reverse foreclosures was an incredible and inspiring launch of the Occupy Our Homes movement. Around the country, thousands of activists turned out to support dozens of home actions around the country. The occupation of homes in East New York, organized by Occupy Wall Street, VOCAL-NY, Organizing for Occupation, New York Communities for Change and countless supporters has continued to inspire us as their occupations have continued. Here is a series of videos which take us through the December 6th Day of Action to show how the day unfolded. Go below the fold to see the videos.

    » More
  • 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.

    » More
  • Inspiring Videos from the Day of Action

    OccupyOurHomes on December 07, 2011

    Incredible actions happened around the country yesterday. Below the fold are some of the inspiring videos which have been edited from these actions. 

    » More
  • We Are Occupying Our Homes

    OccupyOurHomes on December 07, 2011

    A housing system that only serves Wall Street banks and the 1% hasn’t worked. Yesterday the 99% stepped up and said, “We are reclaiming our homes.” The banks have heard this message loud and clear.

    From Southgate, Michigan to South Gate, California, from East New York to the steps of the Fulton County Courthouse in Georgia, members of the 99% took action to Occupy Homes.

    The banks noticed - Bank of America warned their employees nationwide about the 99% standing up for their homes. Banks came to the negotiating table with home occupiers in West Oakland, Seattle, and San Jose. Foreclosure auctions were blocked in Georgia and California, stopping the sale of dozens of homes.

    The media noticed - major programs like Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, and Keith Olbermann highlighted stories from Occupy Our Homes, along with hundreds of other outlets.

    And perhaps most importantly of all, homeowners and people fighting for housing around the country noticed. Local communities and 99% movement participants have committed to escalating this movement to Occupy Homes because everyone deserves a home — and to stop the bailed-out and fraudulent big banks that are stealing our homes.

    The movement to Occupy Our Homes got this kind of attention by taking action for forty homes and 5,000 activists. Imagine how the country will respond if we occupy 1,000 homes and 200,000 people taking action.

    Please keep taking action, keep occupying and bringing the fight for our homes and our neighborhoods to the banks.

    PS - Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @OccupyOurHomes

    » More
  • "We must Occupy Our Homes"

    OccupyOurHomes on December 05, 2011

    Marcella Robinson founded the blog MortgageFraud in North Carolina and began organizing homeowners in her community. She shared her story with us and it's truly an inspiration for all homeowners who are fighting to keep their homes. Read her story in the full post.

    » More