13 arrested in Minnesota, as 200 march on Wells Fargo demanding fair banking practices

Thirteen people were peacefully arrested in Minneapolis Wednesday afternoon as they marched on Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, demanding turnover of vacant homes to community control and fair banking practices.

The march, organized by Occupy Homes MN, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, and allies from faith and labor communities, began at the home of Gayle Lindsey, fighting her foreclosure with Occupy Homes and her neighbors in the Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone. It proceeded to Jessica English’s reclaimed vacant home, which had been abandoned by Wells Fargo and turned into a drug house. Jessica, a single mom of four experiencing homelessness, has rehabilitated the house with Occupy Homes as a place to raise her children.

“As a homeless mom, it’s sickening to see all the vacant homes Wells Fargo owns that attract crime in Minneapolis,” Jessica told the crowd. “Wells Fargo abandoned this home, letting it turn into a drug house that brought blight on the community. Now the community has come together to welcome my family home and demand that Wells Fargo turn over vacant homes to community control for affordable housing. We are restoring what Wells Fargo destroyed.”

Minneapolis: Evicted Veteran to Move into Vacant Home on #D6

After a year-long Occupy Homes campaign for a renegotiated loan, Vietnam veteran John Vinje and his wife Lucinda Adams chose to peacefully leave their home on their October eviction date. US Bank and Freddie Mac sent 24 sheriff’s deputies to make sure they didn’t change their minds. John, Lucinda, and their adult children are now living in unstable, uncertain circumstances.

But this experience has only strengthened their resolve to fight back. As Lucinda says, “This is not over yet.” On December 6, we will reclaim a vacant home and move in a family made homeless by the foreclosure crisis. Join us on Thursday to escalate our fight for housing justice.

Occupy Our Homes Atlanta to Host Town Hall Meeting at Historic Wheat Street Baptist Church to Address Historic Housing Crisis and Misuse of “Hardest Hit Funds”

Georgia continues to be battered by the foreclosure crisis. It is consistently rated as one of the most affected states. Despite this fact, there seems to be little to no relief for the people who are struggling the most. From Governor Nathan Deal’s remarks that responsible homeowners don’t need assistance, to Edward DeMarco’s recent statement against principle reduction to prevent intentional default, it is clear that our politicians are out of touch and unwilling to do what it takes to help solve the problem.

In 2010, the federal government designated billions of dollars to be used in “Hardest Hit Funds” to help homeowners in states like Georgia. To date, that money is not being used to help those who need it most. It’s time we stop waiting for this help to come around, and start coming together to demand it. At the Town Hall event on Saturday, we’ll figure out ways to do just that.

Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has been successfully defending families and Churches from eviction and foreclosure, but we realize that we need a movement on a scale that brings relief to not just a few people, but to everyone.

At the Town Hall home owners in distress and community leaders hope to launch a campaign against what have emerged as the two greatest obstacles to mass principle reduction and more community control over the neighborhoods we live in, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

More details below the fold.

Rochester: Rally and Protest to Call the City to Divest from Chase

The people of New York State are fed up.

After a complete financial melt down and massive bailout of taxpayer money, the major banks are still not playing fair with out lives. JP Morgan Chase, in particular, has made it a practice of foreclosing on homeowners without even the most standard processes that would give people a chance to stay in their home.  Only 6% of people with Chase mortgages looking for help were able to get permanent loan modifications, and 80% of people who asked for one did not receive an offer. With the understanding that this is the best way to work out an agreement between the homeowner and bank so that a person can stay in their home, it is easy to say that Chase is one of the worst banks to work with in New York State.

Beyond this they have a poor performance under the federal Home Affordable Modifications Program and even the modifications they do give homeowners have not provided the type of help they are intended for.

To add insult to injury, a large sum of the City of Rochester’s finances are held in JP Morgan Chase.  This is public money held in a bank that is refusing to help working families in our community, which contributes to this climate of mass foreclosure and displacement.  In an effort to finally tell Chase that we are not going to participate in their assault on our communities, we are asking the City of Rochester to divest from Chase Banks because of their unfair mortgage practices.

Join us in front of the city’s central Chase Bank for a protest and press conference to deliver the message that we are always cleaning up after Chase, and now we want them out!

This event is co-sponsored by the Metro Justice Housing Committee, Take Back the Land Rochester, Band of Rebels, Rochester Red and Black, and others!

WHAT: Rally to Ask for the City of Rochester’s Divestment from JP Morgan Chase

WHEN: Monday, August 27th, 12pm

WHERE: Downtown Chase Bank, at 1 Chase Square

 

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

Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:

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

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

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

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

Atlanta: Cobb County Home Owner Stands Up To Wells Fargo

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Updates from today’s action are below the fold.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

After Second Occupy Our Home-DC Action, Freddie Mac Meets with Homeowner and Her Lawyer

 

Occupy Our Homes-DC held it’s second successful action against Freddie Mac today. Yesterday, we sent a clear message to Freddie Mac when we gathered outside their offices to stop the eviction of Bertina Jones. As Ms. Jones said, they can hear us now. Today we continued our actions, with a rally that resulted in Freddie Mac arranging an emergency meeting between Ms. Jones her lawyer, and a representative from Bank of America. The banks said they would work with Ms. Jones towards a positive solution.

While we are cautiously optimistic about this meeting, we know that the banks have lied before. We are interested in actions, not promises.

Ms. Jones will continue fighting with Occupy Our Homes to keep the pressure up on Freddie Mac until she is secure in her home. We plan continue next round of actions to let Freddie Mac know that the public is watching.

We call on Freddie Mac to move quickly to return the home to Ms. Jones.

We are confident that this will be the first of many victories for people in the region who are facing foreclosure.

Ms. Jones said, “I’m feeling hopeful.”

 

Occupy Our Homes Calls for National Week of Bank Protest Actions

In solidarity with families across the U.S. resisting foreclosures and evictions, the Occupy Our Homes movement is announcing that March 12th-16th will be a National Week of Action to protest the criminal foreclosure practices of the nation’s largest banks.

The housing system built by Wall Street banks and for the 1% has utterly failed the 99%. The banks’ criminal foreclosure practices have cost millions of Americans their homes already. Millions more homeowners are at risk of foreclosure in the coming years. And while hun