VICTORY! Mildred Garrison-Obi wins her home back after Occupy Our Homes Atlanta moved her back in!

On March 18, Mildred Obi-Garrison, joined by Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, as well as dozens of supporters and community members, moved back into her home in an act of civil disobedience. Mildred had been evicted from her home in Stone Mountain, Georgia by Bank of America last November, despite years of fighting in the courts. 

After securing her property back from the bank, supporters set up a 24-hour eviction defense at the home to fend off any possible eviction attempts by the police, and mounted a public pressure campaign against Bank of America, the servicer who had carried out the foreclosure and eviction. After holding a sit-in at a local branch, and gathering thousands of petition signatures online, Bank of America promptly reached out to Mildred and began negotiations. 

Today, Mildred can claim victory as those negotiations have finally resulted in a deal that will keep her in her home permanently. Her fight for housing justice has just begun however, as she pledged today to continue the fight alongside the millions of others who are facing housing crisis. Today’s win marks a historic victory for the movement, proving that solutions can be worked out, even after eviction. 

VICTORY! Retired police officer and cancer fighter Jacqueline Barber wins her home back from the bank!

Occupy Our Homes Atlanta annouced a major victory today for Jacqueline Barber, a retired police detective who has been battling cancer and fighting for her home since October of last year. 

More from OOHA: 

After an almost year long fight, we’re elated to announce that Jacqueline Barber has worked out a deal that will keep her and her family in their home for good! Jacqueline, a retired police detective who has been fighting a rare form of bone marrow cancer, was facing eviction when she first reached out to Occupy Our Homes Atlanta last October. Jacqueline was dual tracked and her mortgage documents were filled with forged signatures, and like millions of Americans she was now faced with losing her home. But after fighting for a year, Wall Street backed down and agreed to let Jaqueline and her family keep their home

 

Victory! Springfield family wins unprecedented rental agreement!

After seven months of negotiations, the Mendez family in Springfield, MA has secured an affordable rental agreement with Aurora Bank! 


From Springfield No One Leaves:


It is with great joy and power that we report that Ana, Jose and Yocelyn Mendez have secured an agreement to keep them in their home!  

 

Following seven months of negotiations since an October 12, 2012 eviction blockade that forced Aurora Bank to back down, the Mendez family and Aurora Bank have agreed to one of the first, post-foreclosure, former-owner rental agreements allowing them to stay in their home at an affordable price! It is not only a victory for the family, but a precedent for future former-owner rental agreements post-foreclosure.

The Mendez Family sent their first payment in for September 1st and now have gained significant rights as tenants. Their hope is that they will be able to buy the home back again eventually.
 
 

VICTORY! Latonia Wilson negotiates a deal with investor to keep her family in their home!

Atlanta resident Latonia Wilson negotiated a deal last week to stay in her home. Latonia, who lives in the home with eight of her nine children, fell behind on her mortgage after losing her job earlier this year. Her attempts to reach out to her lender, a small investor with a shady past, were unsuccesful until she joined forces with Occupy Our Homes Atlanta last month. 

Latonia and her family had lived in their Southwest Atlanta home for over 5 years when her landlord sold the home to another investor. The new investor, Performance View LLC approached Latonia and offered her an opportunity to purchase her home. Alhtough Latonia had never imagined herself as a homeowner, she jumped at the opportunity to provide long-term stability for her family. When hard times hit and Latonia found herself unable to keep up with the mortgage, she attempted to contact Dan West, the owner of Performance View LLC, to no avail. The phone number listed for the company was disconnected, and their registered address only led to a Publix grocery store. 

When Latonia received a foreclosure notice in July, she reached out to Occupy Our Homes Atlanta who mobilized at the monthly foreclosure auction and successfully prevented a third party from purchasing Latonia’s home. After weeks of investigation, they were finally able to track down Dan West, and presented him with an offer from Latonia which would allow her to remain in her home with her family at a price she could afford.

 

Victory for Parkwood Farms!

Parkwood Farms, a therapeutic riding center for children with disabilities in Snellville, GA, has claimed a major victory today in their fight against the bank to save the farm from foreclosure. 

More from Occupy Our Homes Atlanta: 

Parkwood Farms Therapy Center reached out to Occupy Our Homes Atlanta last November on the same day that Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputies were attempting to enforce an eviction.

When the economic crisis hit in 2008, some of the children who receive the very unique therapy that Parkwood Farms provides could no longer afford the fees Parkwood Farms asks for. Parkwood Farms made the decision to put people over profit and work with those that needed their services. Around the same time their monthly monthly payments shot up dramatically. Doctor Marilyn Peterson immediately began working with the bank on a loan modification. Dr. Peterson faced the same struggle that millions of Americans faced, having to resend modification packets, broken promises from the lender, and eventually a refusal to work with her.

After holding multiple heartfelt press conferences attended by parents, children, volunteers, and all of Snellville’s City Council the bank decided to negotiate.

VICTORY!! Atlanta woman wins home back after wrongful eviction

Atlanta homeowner Sherrye Calhoun has won a major victory this week from Chase Bank! After Sherrye was wrongfully evicted from her home of 30 years last summer, neighbors and supporters helped her move her belongings back in and pledged to defend her from further actions by the bank. 

Watch the video from Sherrye’s eviction.

More on the victory from Occupy Our Homes Atlanta: 

Around 8:30 AM on Friday August 5th 2012 Sherrye Calhoun woke 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 dispossessory 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. Sherrye Calhoun decided that she wouldn’t leave her home regardless of the risk.

 

 

 

 

 

VICTORY! South Minneapolis Grandmother Wins Loan Modification Through Support of “Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone”

After a public pressure campaign through Occupy Homes MN’s Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone, Gayle Lindsey, a nursing assistant and grandmother in South Minneapolis who was facing imminent eviction, has won a modification of her mortgage from M&T Bank. Gayle’s victory marks the seventh for Occupy Homes MN and the first in the Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone, a project that brings neighbors in the Central and Powderhorn neighborhoods together to refuse to leave their homes without a fair negotiation.

Gayle, whose renegotiation came a month after her redemption period ended, is the first victory in “the Zone.” With the help of Occupy Homes MN, she organized a series of actions, community potlucks, and press appearances.  Gayle got a call sitting at her kitchen table from an executive at M&T Bank, who offered to write Gayle a new affordable mortgage.  “It shows that Occupy Homes MN works,” says Gayle. “I want to move on to more victories for the community.”

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

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.

Occupy Our Homes Victories

Homeowners, renters, and the homeless joined forces to fight the banks and reclaim our communities. All over the country, we declared that housing is a human right. We came together, occupying our homes to prevent eviction, disrupting foreclosure auctions, restoring vacant homes to community use, and protesting the banks that caused this mess in the first place. And we showed time and again that when people fought for their homes, they could win.

Here is a partial list of some of the victories of the Occupy Our Homes movement over the last year.