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.
Update (original post below the fold):
Home Defenders Win Temporary Stay on Eviction
With Public Pressure High, Sheriff Drops Eviction for the Day
St. Louis citizens succeeded today in temporarily halting the eviction of homeowner Angelia Williams after a year of negotiating, going to the Attorney General’s office and doing a petition. With neighbors and solidarity activists prepared to defend the home, the eviction has been cancelled for Friday, September 21st.
“I am happy for the victory today and for the support from my community. We need to continue these efforts because today clearly shows that when we stand up to the banks, we win. I owned this house before the bank ever did,” said homeowner Angelia Williams, with fierce determination.
Angelia’s victory, however, is temporary, as she is still under threat of foreclosure. Angelia, and many other homeowners throughout St. Louis, could avoid foreclosure if an automatic foreclosure mediation bill is passed in the city. Automatic mediation, which recently passed in St. Louis County, requires the bank and the homeowner to sit down with an independent mediator to negotiate the case before the bank can foreclose. Currently, in St. Louis City, banks can foreclose on a homeowner without any oversight from a neutral mediator, putting homeowners at an enormous disadvantage when it comes to gaining a fair process for keeping their homes. Foreclosure mediation legislation would help keep many city residents facing foreclosure in their homes.
Although Angelia’s eviction was stopped today, Wells Fargo and FHA still have not agreed to give her a fair loan modification. Angelia, her neighbors, and community activists will continue to pressure Wells Fargo so Angelia can stay in her home and demand that the sheriff’s office stands with people, not with banks.
More information below the fold
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.
Occupy Homes MN reports on the latest on activist Nick Espinosa and his mother Colleen McKee Espinosa:
Citibank Refuses to Accept Minneapolis Mom’s Mortgage Payments; Home to be Auctioned Wednesday
Minneapolis—For months, Colleen McKee Espinosa, a single mother of three—including Nick Espinosa, a volunteer organizer who has helped other homeowners fight foreclosure—has repeatedly asked Citibank officials to allow her to catch up on her mortgage and keep her home. But Citibank still has the home scheduled to be auctioned off at a sheriff’s foreclosure sale this Wednesday, June 13th, at 9am.
McKee Espinosa, a registered nurse, has been in her home for 16 years. Last year, she attempted to pay her Citibank mortgage to catch up on two past-due payments on the indicated due date. The bank told her the home had already been sent into foreclosure.
“I’ve come up with the money I owe them but they refuse to take it,” McKee Espinosa said.Colleen’s son Nick Espinosa is a volunteer organizer for the group Occupy Homes Minnesota, a group that has waged successful campaigns that saved the homes of Monique White and US Marine veteran Bobby Hull.
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta:
For months Occupy Atlanta has stood alongside Christine Frazer in her fight to save her home. At 3 am May 2nd Dekalb County Sheriff Deputies raided the house and put the family on the street with the belongings they accumulated over the 18 years they lived there.
The property of 3662 Wellhaun Rd. and that of the neighbors was littered with discarded furniture by the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Department. On May 7th people that fought to defend the Frazer home cleaned up the remains and brought it to the Sheriff’s office.
We will be presenting Dekalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown with a citations for littering, disorderly conduct, and creating hazardous and offensive conditions for the actions he took against the Frazer family.
We have been told that Sheriff Brown plans on accepting the citation and sitting down, face to face, with Chris Frazer in his boardroom. We invite the media to be in the room when this happens.
More below the fold.
Expect more updates from Minnesota today, as Occupy Homes MN will be re-occupying the Cruz home at 2pm Central today. More info here.
We will reoccupy the Cruz home AGAIN tomorrow at 2pm on the one month anniversary of our 24/7 eviction blockade at the Cruz family home. Freddie Mac, PNC Bank, and Mayor Rybak have a choice to make: waste more city resources arresting peaceful protesters, or work to keep the Cruz family in their home. WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
This action comes on the heels of 5 eviction attempts and 23 arrests in the past week of Cruz family supporters defending the home and demanding the bank work with the family to keep them in their home.
Today marks the beginning of a week of actions to stop the sales of foreclosed homes at auction in New York City.
According to Organizing for Occupation (O4O):
Every week, foreclosed homes are sold at auctions throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Many of the families who live in these homes were victims of predatory loans and deceptive banking practices, but now face imminent evictions from some of the biggest culprits of financial fraud in the banking and mortgage industry. Others will have their house bought out by speculators, who are looking to flip properties, or gentrify new neighborhoods.
Watch the powerful new ‘call to action’ video and if you’re in New York, join O4O and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists to occupy the forecluse auctions:
MONDAY, April 16th, 2pm
Bronx Supreme Court, Rm 600. 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx
Who: Organizing for Occupation (O4O), OWS
THURSDAY, April 19th, 3pm
Kings County Supreme Court, 360 Adams St, Brooklyn
Who: Occupy Faith, Catholic Worker, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)
FRIDAY, April 20th, 11am
Queens Supreme Court, 8811 Sutphin Boulevard, Queens
Who: Occupy Queens, Columbia University students, Occupy the New School
For more information, see the press release about the week’s actions from OWS’ press relations working group:
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.”
We have a great report from Causa Justa:Just Case in Oakland, California. Hundreds of supporters turned out to help stop the auction of Nell Myhand and her partner Synthia Green’s home. The auction will be delayed until next month. Read more below the fold.
Occupy Cleveland’s Rally on March 5, 2012 of Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Sale – Including an inside Mic Check and arrests.