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.’
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.
Marc Simon recently created a petition on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org, asking Fannie Mae and JP Morgan Chase to stop the eviction of him and his 86 year old mother Pearl from their home. Despite their efforts, Marc and Pearl are facing eviction today, November 9th. Marc has issued a plea for support and a call to action. He writes:
This is Marc Simon again in regards to the pending eviction situation of me and my mother Pearl. Chase Bank, in a postal letter, stated that it would get back to us by November 6, but instead have still not gotten back to me or my local attorney, Matt McKeever, who has repeatedly tried calling Scott Pullins at Chase, the designated contact mentioned by Chase in its letter. Fannie Mae has been highly aggressive in wanting to evict us — instead of the normal approach of the Sheriff coming and telling the occupant(s) that they have ten days to leave their home, Fannie Mae tried to get an eviction immediately at the time the Sheriff arrived Tuesday. This is highly unusual — local evictions are quite rarely carried out this way. (There was a humanitarian bone in the attorney for Fannie Mae [who came along with the Sheriff], who did grant us three additional days to vacate, despite Fannie Mae wanting it otherwise.)
Read Marc’s full letter below the fold.
Please take action for Marc and Pearl right away by signing their petition to Chase and Fannie Mae, then please ask your friends to do the same.
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.
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
Here’s a press statement from Occupy Fights Foreclosure in advance of actions today in support of Fort Lucero and against Deutsche Bank:
Home owner protection organizations and community members will be meeting at the Lucero residence at 4748 Hammel St. in East Los Angeles at 9:30am and leaving at 10am for a series of direct actions targeting Deutsche Bank. These direct actions will expose the fraudulent business practices of this foreign bank against the citizens of Los Angeles, serve as a show of solidarity between homeowners and activists internationally. We call on law enforcement and city officials to represent their constituents, not the interests of foreign bankers.
#FortLucero is a home defense that was created to stop Deutsche Bank from fraudulently foreclosing on the Lucero’s home. The Luceros hold a federal court-ordered stay through the 30th of November. Deutsche Bank promised to investigate the case, however, during negotiations their attorneys issued a second eviction. At 6am on Halloween morning, five squad cars of the Norwalk Sheriffs department arrived at #FortLucero issuing the Luceros and their children a five day notice to vacate. This bank action is a direct response to Deutsche Bank’s continued lack of ability to negotiate in good faith and respect both domestic laws and court orders.
According to U.S. Attorney Bhara: “Deutsche Bank ignored every type of red flag and breached every duty of due diligence before underwriting thousands of federally insured mortgages,” but after paying a 202 million dollars settlement to the federal government, state authorities fail to prevent Deutsche Bank from illegally possess American homes.