On the eve of Wells Fargo’s annual shareholders meeting in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, home defenders, students, community groups, and activists in ten cities took peaceful action against the bank. Petitions signed by thousands of people were delivered to Wells Fargo branches and offices across the country calling on CEO John Stumpf to change the bank’s predatory practices.
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.
As a new housing bubble fueled by Wall Street speculation is forming, it’s clear that the financial industry didn’t learn their lesson from the last mess. It’s more important than ever for us to take action to demand meaningful relief for homeowners and prosecutions for the criminals at the top.
Occupy Our Homes, the Home Defenders League, and others are joining fed-up homeowners who are ready to demand action!
Join us the week of May 20th! Wall Street Accountability Week of Action May 18 – 23
This morning a small delegation delivered a letter from Rose McGee to Fannie Mae headquarters in Washington, D.C., demanding a fair deal with principal reduction.
The delegation was led by Caylin Crawford, a St. Paul homeowner who recently won an unprecedented settlement with Freddie Mac over her own foreclosure. Fannie and Freddie are both administered by FHFA, a federal housing agency led by Ed DeMarco, who has consistently stood in the way of principal reduction–reducing mortgages to their market value. Occupy Homes MN has partnered with New Bottom Line and Right to the City’s campaign to Dump DeMarco. Caylin was in D.C. for a court hearing over her recent arrest after interrupting DeMarco’s testimony in front of Congress.
Click through for the text of Rose’s letter to Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos.
Over the last few years, homeowners and residents around the country have taken a stand against the banks and fought foreclosures and evictions. The growing network of Occupy Our Homes supporters have signed petitions, made phone calls, and showed up to events to help families stay in their homes. Dozens of homeowners around the country have won their fights, but the crisis is far from over.
Communities have been destroyed as millions of families have already lost their homes to foreclosure, while millions more are still underwater on their mortgages. The big banks are bigger and more powerful than ever. To date, no high level Wall Street executives have been prosecuted for their crimes, such as mortgage fraud and predatory lending. US attorney general, Eric Holder even admitted recently that in the administration’s eyes, the banks are not only ‘too big to fail,’ they’re now ‘too big to jail.’
Mark Harris created a campaign to fight for his home on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org and is now working with Occupy Our Homes Atlanta to stay in his home. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta put out this statement in advance of a press conference tomorrow as they work to help him stop his eviction.
Desert Storm veteran and retired UPS worker Mark Harris purchased his home in 1996 with a VA backed home loan and refinanced it in 2004.
In 2005 he started a trucking business, and then the economy crashed. His illnesses related to his service in Desert Storm became an issue, and he fell behind on his mortgage.
He’s been trying to catch up ever since; recently he applied for the HomeSafe program here in Georgia. While his application was being processed his VA benefits kicked in, which meant he could afford to make my payments. Greentree(loan servicer) and Fannie Mae(Loan owner) decided to foreclose despite Mark’s willingness and ability to pay.
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta looked over the assignment documents and discovered that some of the country’s most famous robo signers signed the mortgage assignment that was used to foreclose on Mark.
Fannie Mae is aggressively moving forward with an eviction, and it could happen as soon as November 15th. Mark Harris states, “As a veteran, I thought the toughest battles were behind me. “I never thought I’d be struggling to keep a roof over my head. I fought for this country, so I know I have a right to fight for my home!”
Read more about Mark’s fight and how OOH Atlanta, Atlanta Jobs With Justice & Teamsters Local 728 are helping him.
Occupy 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
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
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.
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)