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. 

Judge stops eviction of homeowner with disabilities

From Moratorium Now:

 

Detroit — S. Baxter Jones appeared before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Walter Shapero on April 4 in a desperate attempt to stop his eviction from his home. Shapero, in a move that stunned many attorneys, gave Jones a 30-day adjournment, thus keeping the homeowner with disabilities from becoming another victim of Wells Fargo Bank and the federal government’s Fannie Mae agency.

The courtroom was filled with supporters, who sat in hushed silence straining to hear Jones’ remarks. Activists in wheelchairs and with service dogs representing Warriors on Wheels; members of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs; It Takes A Village Y’all; and the Detroit Eviction Defense had rallied to an appeal to “pack the court” that had gone out over social media.

Jones had been severely injured in an accident in 2005. He was well known in Detroit as a school teacher who coached students in track and field. After his injuries, Jones fell behind on the mortgage for his Jackson, Mich., home while waiting for Social Security payments to begin. His appeal for a forbearance from his bank was callously ignored and foreclosure followed.

Jones addressed the judge with clear but labored speech. He explained the circumstances that had brought him to this point and appealed for the chance to keep his home. A written statement that Jones had prepared, appealing for justice that doesn’t benefit greed but rather those in need, was read to the court by a supporter.

Judge Shapero overruled the objections of the attorney for Fannie Mae, who listed all the “proper” legal steps taken by her client to put Jones out of his home. The judge agreed that the law was clear, but stated that “the law isn’t everything.” He ordered the 30-day adjournment until the court could appoint an attorney to assist Jones on a pro bono basis.

 

Community members denounce Wells Fargo & US Bank for their heartless treatment of cancer patients

Today actions in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and San Francisco will target Wells Fargo and US Bank, asking them to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month by halting foreclosures and evictions of cancer patients and others batting serious illness and instead negotiate fair and affordable mortgages that will allow families to stay in their homes.

The organizers are highlighting the cases of Jacqueline Barber of Georgia and Ana Casas Wilson in Los Angeles who are each battling cancer and working with housing activists to resist imminent evictions after facing foreclosure despite repeated pleas to the banks to renegotiate their home loans. Occupy Homes Atlanta activists have set up an encampment at the home of Jacqueline Barber, a retired police officer; the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) working to stop the eviction of Casas, a longtime advocate for the disabled.

More details on the campaigns, as well as the four events today, are below the fold.

Atlanta: JoSelf Freeman’s eviction was stopped today, but his fight goes on

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

Foreclosure Fraud Whistleblower Lynn Szymoniak Exposes Fraud in Fayetteville

Tim Franzen of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta has an update on a big development in Jacqueline Barber’s fight to keep her home. Famed robosigning and foreclosure fraud whistleblower Lynn Szymoniak has exposed evidence of fraud in Jacqueline’s mortgage assignments. Tim has a report back of Lynn’s event in support of Jacqueline:

Today Fayette County Woman Jacqueline Barber, who’s refused to leave her home despite battling cancer and being under threat of eviction fro US Bank and GMAC, got a visit from someone else who has experience fighting the big banks.

West Palm, FL resident Lynn Szymoniak is the reason “robo signing” is a nasty practice almost everybody has heard of. While Lynn was facing foreclosure she discovered serious problems with the assignments. Documents filled out wrong, missing or terribly incorrect information, and counterfeit signatures, all ways the big banks cut corners so they could foreclose and evict people faster. Lynn took them to task, and won!

Having exposed several serious problems with the assignments, and feeling a connection with Jacqueline, Lynn volunteered to fly to Atlanta to do a press junket at Jacqueline’s home and spend the day with Jacqueline’s supporters.

The settlement she helped the US government win cost the big banks over 25 billion dollars, which she admits should have been closure to two trillion. Lynn volunteered to take a look at Jacqueline’s paperwork and guess what she founds, “I look at the assignments and said, ‘Oh no, this isn’t right.’ Four different dates the trust acquired Jacqueline’s mortgage in 2007 and 2011. I know this is not correct,” Szymoniak said.

Go below the fold for more information about Lynn’s work in support of Jacqueline Barber.

Victory for Steve Boudreaux!

Great news from Steve Boudreaux & Occupy Our Homes Atlanta: Steve won! Here’s the email Steve sent out to supporters yesterday:

The short version (and a spoiler alert!): I am keeping my home!

Some of you already know much of my story- how I reached out to the Occupy Our Homes Atlanta in desperation, literally when all hope seemed lost. Despondent after a representative with Wells-Fargo refused to consider my loan modification, and with less than 24 hours before my home was to be auctioned as a foreclosure, I called Allie with Occupy Our Homes, Atlanta, and I was immediately amazed and heartened by the response- OOHA mobilized several people, none who knew me, who stood with me on the courthouse steps, showing potential buyers that buying my home would come with, well, “problems!” The support brought real tears to my eyes, and the results that day- no one bid on my home!- would prove to be just the tip of the spear.

Over the next several months, OOHA would organize on-the-ground protest actions at Wells-Fargo branches, and even at the Atlanta Regional Fannie-Mae office, have over 1,400 people sign an on-line petition, many who don’t know me personally but heard my story and recognized in it a similar plight their family members or friends were facing, and organized call-in drives to Wells Fargo. My spirits sagged, several times- but OOHA kept at it, as if they knew something I dared not believe. Those actions made the powers that be at Wells-Fargo and Fannie Mae realize that the Occupy Movement, far from being “no longer relevant” as some misguided people had been lead to believe, is a force to be reckoned with. We- and that includes YOU- have achieved the almost unheard-of feat of having Wells-Fargo and Fannie-Mae approve a load modification well AFTER the foreclosure sale.

That is almost NEVER done, but WE have done it! You should all congratulate yourselves, and each other, on a job VERY well done. I could not have done it without all of you! Everyone who signed my petition, called the bank on my behalf, everyone who organized and participated in direct actions, I owe you debt of gratitude, this is truly our victory!

I won’t let fight to stop with my home, I’m committed to pay it forward and help the next person. And the next. I’m asking everyone if they can do two things to support this important work:

Read more from Steve below the fold.

Jacqueline Barber’s Stay Struck Down By The Court, Jacqueline Vows To Resist Eviction Press Conference and Launch of Occupation

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)

Atlanta: Jacqueline Barber APD veteran and cancer patient faces eviction hearing

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)

Keep 20 Year Atlanta Police Veteran and Cancer Patient In Her Home

Jacqueline Barber’s story struck a chord with the American people as it became one of the most reposted stories in the country.

This morning Occupy Homes Minnesota delivered a letter to U.S. Bank’s headquarters in Minneapolis. U.S. Bank downplayed their role in Jacqueline’s crisis and passed the blame on to GMAC. Like many loans originated in the height of the housing bubble, Jacqueline’s mortgage was bundled with other mortgages and sold to investors. U.S. Bank claims responsibility solely for dealing with investors in the trust (RASC 2006-emx2). According to U.S. Bank, GMAC is responsible for dealing with the other side of the trust, the homes and homeowners whose monthly payments are treated as poker chips to be amassed and turned over to investors.

While U.S. Bank may state that GMAC is the servicer of the trust, it is undeniable that U.S. Bank bought the home on the courthouse steps. It is also impossible to deny that attorneys hired by and representing U.S. Bank will be present in a Newnan courtroom on Thursday aggressively seeking to evict a 20 year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department whose cancer has just come out of remission.

Today Occupy Our Homes ATL will launch a national call in day to U.S. Bank and GMAC with two simple requests, stop attempts to evict, and make a deal that keeps the family in the home.

Please call CEO Richard Davis of U.S. Bank at 612-303-0840 and Elizabeth Desilva 214-874-6821 at GMAC and urge themto call off the eviction and make a deal to keep the family in their home!

(More information below the fold)

US Bank Set to Evict Atlanta Police Department Veteran and Cancer Patient

Active and retired APD officers will join Jacqueline Barber, her four Grandchildren, and Occupy Our Homes ATL to send the message to US Bank that she will not be evicted.

Jacqueline Barber is a retired Atlanta Police Department detective who was injured on the job and forced into early retirement. After purchasing a home big enough for her, her daughter, and four children tragedy struck.

Jacqueline was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer. While undergoing aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, her son helped start the long process of applying for a loan modification with Wells Fargo. After almost a year of treatment, including a bone marrow transplant, Jacqueline’s disease went into remission.

Like millions of American’s Jacqueline had a bad loan. Her payments shot up by $1,500 a month as her property value plummeted.

Over the next two years Jacqueline sent in document after document to the bank, attended countless seminars with housing counseling agencies, and tried everything she could to obtain a loan modification, all while still in a wheelchair from the pain she was suffering. Her family even fell victim to so called “foreclosure rescue” groups, paying them over $3000 for modification assistance. Finally in early 2012, Jacqueline received a letter from the executive VP of Wells Fargo assuring her that they were working on her case. I felt a sense of hope at the prospect of finally getting some relief.

Much to her surprise, Jacqueline received a letter a few weeks later from US Bank, claiming they had purchased her home at auction, and demanding that she vacate the property. Despite their assurances that they were working on her case, it seems Wells Fargo had moved forward with the foreclosure.

US Bank is now demanding that the family vacate the property immediately, even refusing to sell it back to Jacqueline’s friends and family members who were more than willing to purchase the home back from them. Desperate to put off the eviction and find a way to stay in her home, Jaqueline filed for bankruptcy in August which granted her a temporary stay from the eviction. The stress has caused Jacqueline’s cancer to come out of remission, and she now has to resume aggressive treatment to fight it. Now US Bank is taking Jacqueline to court to demand the judge lift the stay, allow them to evict the family, and force Jacqueline to pay their legal fees on top of it.

Take action below the fold.