Home Defenders Take Action Against Wells Fargo in Support of 86 Year Old Grandmother Facing Foreclosure

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. 

Neighbors block eviction for Minneapolis homeowner who paid for house five times

150 neighbors and community supporters successfully prevented the scheduled eviction of Jaymie Kelly, a Minneapolis homeowner who has lived in her home 30 years, this morning.

Jaymie, who has paid the value of her home five times over, was scheduled to be evicted by Freddie Mac and the Hennepin County sheriff’s department at 10:30 this morning, on her daughter Sinead’s 23rd birthday–but a rapid community response forced the sheriffs’ deputies to reschedule.
 
“The government is shut down, but Freddie Mac evictions are still considered an essential service. But the power of community is too big to fail,” said Jaymie. “Today’s blocked eviction is the greatest birthday present I could give my daughter. I am not moving, and my neighbors stand with me.”
 
Freddie Mac, which operates under the federal agency FHFA, is continuing its evictions of Jaymie and others in spite of the government shutdown.
 
“Sheriff Stanek and the big banks don’t want to do their dirty work in front of 150 community members,” said Nick Espinosa, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN whose family successfully fought off foreclosure last year. “But we will be ready for them at any hour of the day or night. Jaymie’s not going anywhere, and neither are we.”
 
 

Occupy Chattanooga rallies to support homeowner facing foreclosure

Members of Occupy Chattanooga held a “Foreclosure Free Cookout” yesterday at the home of Filson Manley, a local homeowner who is now facing foreclosure. Supporters had been reaching out to neighbors for weeks, preparing for the cookout, which despite rain was a huge success! 

Fil’s home fell into foreclosure earlier this year. After suffering a loss of income after the 2008 economic crash, Fil applied for a loan modification through the HAMP program with his then servicer IndyMac. He was making his trial payments when his servicer was changed from IndyMac to One West. It’s all went downhill from there, with Fil going back and forth with One West attempting to restart the modification process. 

 

Desert Storm veteran Mark Harris and supporters defend his home after eviction by Fannie Mae

Early Friday morning, Desert Storm veteran Mark Harris was greeted at gunpoint by Dekalb County Marshals, there to evict him from his home of 18 years. ELS, a contracted eviction company, worked quickly to move all of the veteran’s belongings to the lawn as Harris and community members watched in dismay. As more people arrived at the scene, they  were able to pressure the police into backing down on Friday and assumed control of the property.


After helping Mark secure his belongings, community supporters and Occupy Our Homes Atlanta launched a 24-hour peaceful occupation of Mark’s property, calling out Fannie Mae for putting another veteran on the street and refusing to work out an agreeable loan modification. For 10 months Mark has been in negotiations with Fannie Mae to modify his mortgage, even traveling to Washington DC to meet with executives from the company. However, Fannie Mae made it clear last weekend that they were not willing to negotiate a deal to keep Mark in his home, despite his willingness and ability to pay if a modification were worked out. Instead, Fannie Mae has hired private security to monitor Mark’s home 24/7. 


 







Two arrests as community thwarts illegal eviction attempt at Ceballos home

75 community members with Occupy Homes MN turned back 30 sheriffs in their attempt to evict the Ceballos home in Minneapolis today. Two home defenders were arrested in acts of civil disobedience.

Under orders from sheriff Richard Stanek, deputies kicked in the door without warning at 12:40pm this afternoon. One home defender was cut out of a barrel filled with concrete by deputies wielding a jackhammer and saw. 

During the eviction attempt, community members drove sheriffs into the backyard, where they retreated after boarding up the property. The Ceballos family, friends, and neighbors removed the boards and returned into the home.

JPMorgan Chase Bank had told the Ceballos family that were considering them for a loan modification–but then filed for eviction at the same time. This process is known as dual tracking and is illegal under the national mortgage settlement. On Monday Chase asked for another loan modification application from the Ceballos family, which they accepted yesterday.
 

Call to action: Former Chicago police officer faces imminent eviction

After more than a year of seeking to resolve a dispute with her mortgage modification, former Chicago police officer Pat Hill is now facing imminent eviction for the second time. The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, which has been fighting alongside Pat, has put a call out to supporters, asking them to call Ocwen CEO, Ronald Farris, and demand a halt to eviction proceedings immeditately. 

More from CAEC: 

21-year Chicago Police Department veteran. Educator. Longtime community activist. Educator. Elder Foreclosure fraud victim. Patricia Hill is all those things, but most importantly, she’s a fighter. And right now she’s fighting for her home.

Sister Pat spent 21 years on the Chicago police force, during which she spent many years fighting discrimination and corruption. In 2009, Bank of New York Mellon purchased her mortgage and had its servicer increase her mortgage payments by $600 for insurance. When she disputed the increase, they deemed her delinquent and foreclosed on her.

 

 
 

 

Minneapolis community launches eviction defense & calls for national day of action against Chase Bank

Over 100 community members rallied in south Minneapolis last week in support of the wrongfully foreclosed Ceballos family, who now face imminent eviction at the hands of Chase Bank. Occupy Homes MN has pledged a full-scale eviction defense, a tactic that drew widespread attention and 39 arrests during the Cruz house evictions last year, if JPMorgan Chase fails to negotiate. They have also called for a national day of action against Chase Bank on July 10. 

“For me it’s important to stay in my home because my kids grew up here,” said Sergio Ceballos, the homeowner. “I’m just asking for a modification, not to stay in my house for free.”

After the Ceballos family launched a public Occupy Homes MN campaign in April with two neighboring families fighting their foreclosures with Chase Bank, Chase agreed to review their case for a loan modification. But even as Chase was reviewing their case, they moved forward with eviction–dual tracking illegal under the national mortgage settlement. A judge refused to allow a Spanish-speaking advocate to assist the Ceballos family in court, and ordered a writ of recovery for June 30–meaning they could now be evicted any day.
 

Michigan family fights to save home from Bank of America

By the time Michael Bentin, a homeowner in Portage, Michigan reached out to Occupy Our Homes for help, he had just 10 short days until his family was scheduled to be evicted from his home. 

Michael had been trying unsuccessfully for years to obtain a loan modification from Bank of America. After getting the runaround from different representatives, his options started to run out. Last year, Bank of America sold Michaels home in a foreclosure sale, and didn’t even bother to notify him that they had done so. The only notice he got was a letter from the bank’s attorney letting him know his 6 month redemption period had ended. 

Determined to keep his home, Michael started a petition on Start2.occupyourhomes.org:

Like many in Michigan, we were hit hard by the economic crisis, and have yet to pull out lives and finances out. Soon, we started to fall behind on our mortgage payments. Bank of America representatives called to try and find out why we were falling behind, and I explained our situation. I gave them all my income and expense information, and had hope as they claimed I was being reviewed for a modification. 


 

MN: Take action today to support residents in Eviction Free Zone

Occupy Homes MN is holding a call-in campaign to Chase Bank today in support of three residents in the “Eviction Free Zone” fighting to save their homes. 

In South Minneapolis, eight families have declared their neighborhoods an Eviction Free Zone, pledging to support neighbors facing foreclosure and eviction, and demanding that vacant properties be turned over to community control. They’ve already had one victory, as Gayle Lindsey recently won a modification from M&T Bank last month. Now three residents are joining forces against mega-bank Chase, to see what happens when they ask for negotiations together. 

Occupy Our Homes Atlanta reclaim foreclosed home for former owner

Yesterday, Occupy Our Homes Atlanta help move Mildred Obi-Garrison, a disabled senior citizen, back into her home after she was evicted last November. 

Organizers wrote a first hand account of the action, originally published on Alternet.org: 

 

Twenty miles east of Atlanta, about 35 people gathered in a church parking lot in Stone Mountain, Ga on Monday. Despite the fact that the rain was pouring down, spirits were high and the excitement was visible on many faces. They were there to help Mildred — a neighbor, community member, and friend — move into her home.

There were no leases signed or keys obtained from a landlord though. Instead, the group was reclaiming the home back from the bank.