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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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  • Judge stops eviction of homeowner with disabilities

    on April 07, 2013

    From Moratorium Now:


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

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

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

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

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


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  • 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 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 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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  • Evicted Family Moves into Vacant Home for the Holidays

    Becky Dernbach on December 23, 2012

    This Christmas, there will be one less vacant home and one less family on the streets. In a season when home and family take priority over greed for Scrooge, the Grinch, and even major banks, Occupy Homes MN has moved a homeless family, evicted after US Bank refused to negotiate their mortgage, into a vacant home for the holidays.

    They are asking Minneapolis-based US Bank, who also refused to modify the mortgage for the vacant home, to turn over the home to community control through a nonprofit to provide housing for families in need.

    “Whatever happens, we’re just grateful not to be living out of our car and to have somewhere warm to spend our holidays with our 12-year-old son and two dogs,” said Carrie Martinez, whose family was evicted by 24 sheriffs in October after a 9-month campaign by her in-laws, veteran John Vinje and his wife Lucinda Adams, asking US Bank to negotiate a reasonable solution to keep them in their home. "We are asking US Bank to turn this home over so it can benefit the community instead of sitting vacant, attracting crime, and lowering the property values for the neighborhood."

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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 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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  • 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, 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 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


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

    Han Shan on September 02, 2012

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

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

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

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

    * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • 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, 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, 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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  • A New Tool:

    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: 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.



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