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)

Video: Fannie and Freddie 99: National Week of Action (Chicago)

Monday, September 10th, 2012 touched off a national week of action targeting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Led by the Fannie and Freddie 99, groups of fearless families from across the country marched through Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York to defend their homes.

In Chicago, the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, the Centro Autónomo of Albany Park (Chicago), Occupy Our Homes Minnesota and Moratorium Now! (Detroit) participated.

Fannie and Freddie own 59% of all mortgages in the US. American taxpayers bailed out Fannie and Freddie in 2008, and now we own 79% of these financial institutions. However, these behemoths refuse to take positive steps to end the housing crisis. Ed DeMarco, the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (which oversees Freddie and Fannie) would rather steamroll through the eviction and foreclosure process and sell vacant homes to the same investors that caused the crisis than take measures to keep families in their homes. The Fannie and Freddie 99 demand that Obama fire DeMarco and replace him with someone who will stop all evictions of Fannie and Freddie properties, carry out principle reduction on mortgages, and stop selling vacant homes to investors.


‘Occupy Homes’ foreclosure fighters reaching millions with crowd-funded ad campaign in Florida & Nationally

This week, a 30-second TV ad featuring six real-life foreclosure fighters will air on national television. The spot advertises ‘Occupy Our Homes,’ an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement that has empowered thousands of people in housing crisis to fight back against fraudulent foreclosures, to demand fair treatment by mortgage lenders, and, in many cases, to keep their homes. The ad ends with a plug for the movement’s website, OccupyHomes.org, where people can find helpful resources and success stories of communities that have fought back against the banks.

The spot opens with Monique White, a north Minneapolis resident who was the first resident to approach an Occupy group for help in fighting foreclosure. Activists with Occupy Minneapolis occupied her front lawn with tents and banners, and kicked off a seven-month campaign that led to US Bank renegotiating her loan. Five out of the six people featured—including an Atlanta pastor who joined with Occupy to fight the foreclosure of his historic Vine City church—have won their campaigns and fended off foreclosure.

“We’re all in this together,” said Marine veteran and longtime Minneapolis resident Bobby Hull. “Even after we bailed out the banks, they’re stilling trying to take the homes of millions of Americans. I hope this ad will inspire people to fight back like I did, and join forces with the Occupy Homes movement.”

Read more below the fold.

Help Save Rain and Summer’s Home

Update August 3: Great news! Rain was able to raise enough money to keep her home. She writes:

I have great friends and they have great friends and we were able to do it. …Thank you so much.

Rain was supported by over 475 people on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org, which in turn helped her raise the money she needed to keep her home. This is a great win for Rain and Summer. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a reality.

* * *

Last week, when we launched Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org, one of the first people to create a campaign was Rain Burroughs. In her campaign targeting the Virginia Housing Development Authority, Rain wrote:

Dear VHDA folks, I admit to my shortcomings, and want to make things right. My 12 year old daughter has been sick for some time and was finally diagnosed correctly with juvenile arthritis. I suffer from depression and have not dealt with a lot very well. I am employed full time and Summer is finally getting the help she needs. Now that bankruptcy court is not protecting us, I have three hundred twenty dollars more dollars with which to pay you.

Once she set up her campaign, Rain started organizing. In just a few days, almost 400 people have signed her petition. She’s now recorded a video to thank the people who have joined in her fight to save her home. Rain is also asking for donations to help pay to keep her home.

Please take a moment to sign Rain’s petition to the Virginia Housing Development Authority. She’s building power to make sure she can keep her home and we are trying to help her win. Let’s make sure she and her daughter get to keep her home!

Occupy Bernal/ACCE foreclosure fighter Ross Rhodes wins loan modification from Wells Fargo Bank

Check out this inspiring video of Occupy Bernal and ACCE Foreclosure Fighter Ross Rhodes talking about how he organized to pressure Wells Fargo to give him a modification on his mortgage and keep his home. From the video’s description:

Democracy is dying. Corporate campaign contributions are simply legalized bribes, and the most powerful corporations of all are the banks. They foreclose and evict people with no protection from the government and hold the courts in their pockets. Ross Rhodes knows what it’s like, but fortunately for him, he found the super heroes who can bring the banks to their knees. Don’t give up hope! Instead, listen as he tells you his secret to staying in your home and making the banks come to you.

Buck from Occupy Bernal writes:

Wells Fargo Bank agreed to give Ross an affordable loan modification, with a $259,000 principal forbearance in the form of a sleeping, no interest second mortgage. They have also agreed to negotiate with Occupy Bernal/SF ACCE/Occupy Noe on August 3, 2012 over loan modification for 23 foreclosure fighters. We’ll see if they produce. We’ll keep the pressure on in any case, and increase it if they don’t. Thus far, in 2012, we have forced Wells Fargo to postpone almost 120 property auctions for about 30 foreclosure fighters, and won loan modifications for some, but not yet all.

This is amazing, inspiring work! Keep it up Occupy Bernal, ACCE and Occupy Noe!

MN: Bank of America Week of Action for the “Minnesota 5”

Bank of America created the mortgage crisis and economic recession by betting on our homes like poker chips. As millions of homeowners became victim to foreclosure and bankruptcy, Bank of America received $45 billion dollars in government bailouts and used it to reward each of their 172 executives with $1 million bonuses. It is time that American homeowners receive their bailout.

Frank Clark, Kristina Darrington, Ruby Brown, Gerrardo Cajmarcas, and Paul Lelii are five homeowners facing foreclosure with Bank of America who have taken the pledge to fight with Occupy Homes MN. They are the “Minnesota 5.” Stand with us during the Bank of America Week of Action from July 15-22 and help keep them in their homes!

South Minneapolis Woman to Defy Sheriff’s Eviction Orders After Bank Backs out of Negotiation


Occupy Homes MN:

Anita Reyes-Reley planned on moving out of her South Minneapolis home last Tuesday when she received an eviction notice from Hennepin County Sheriffs. Now she is unpacking her boxes, planting a garden, and building community support to stay in her home.

“All that I am asking is for Woodlands National Bank to sit down and negotiate with me, so I can stay in my community,” said Anita.

Ms. Reyes-Reley, who has owned her home for 17 years, fell behind on her mortgage when her hours were cut and vertigo prevented her from making the 100-mile one-way drive to work. She reached out to Cindy Koonce, Vice President at Woodlands National Bank, to find a solution to stay in her house. Ms. Koonce told Anita she would do everything she could to help her. The Attorney General offered to look over Anita’s loan documents for the bank. Anita returned to work, earning more than enough to afford her mortgage. To Anita’s shock, however, on the end date of her redemption period, Ms. Koonce called Anita and told her she needed to leave her home.

With the help of Occupy Homes MN, Anita began building a public pressure campaign, including call-ins and a petition, for Woodlands National Bank to renegotiate her mortgage so she could stay in her home. That same day, Ms. Koonce called Anita and made a concrete offer to keep her in her home. But the following day, when Anita showed up to negotiate, she was told that the offer was off the table due to a minor technicality: she had called the bank four minutes too late.

“This is not about four minutes,” said Occupy Homes MN organizer Chris Gray. “The bank’s erratic behavior is disturbing. I can’t imagine a world where the difference between 11:59 and 12:04 should mean a woman gets thrown into the street.”


Take Back the Land-Madison East Side Liberation

From Take Back the Land Madison:

Here is new video from Take Back the Land Madison about a housing liberation of a vacant foreclosed Bank of America home. The duplex was liberated 9 months ago and has served as a home for a total of 11 adults and 7 children, some of whom have saved up enough money to move out and rent their own place. Bank of America will be making attempts to move the remaining people out in August and we are getting ready for the struggle. We are demanding they turn the home over to the community land trust so it can be used as affordable housing rather than kick people out. We feel they have foreclosed on enough people unjustly, done enough predatory lending, and gotten enough of our tax payer dollars through ongoing bailouts that this is public housing and should be owned by the community.

Help us get the voices of front-line foreclosure fighters on national TV

Occupy Our Homes has entered a 30-second TV ad in a contest to get crowd-sourced funding for the ad—with real voices of homeowners fighting foreclosure and winning—to appear on national television. We hope to raise awareness about the #OccupyHomes movement, and connect more people facing foreclosure with the resources to organize for justice.

Click here to watch the ad, and and help us reach hundreds of thousands of viewers.

The 30-second ad, produced during Occupy Our Homes field visits to Minneapolis and Atlanta, features Monique White, Bobby Hull, and Colleen McKee Espinosa, all of whom fought foreclosure and won, with support from Occupy Homes MN. It also features Pastor Dexter Johnson of the Higher Ground Empowerment Center—a baptist church in Atlanta—and highly-decorated Army veteran Brigitte Walker of Riverdale, GA. Occupy Our Homes Atlanta fought alongside Pastor Johnson and Brigitte Walker, to save a church and a veteran’s home. Lastly, it features Christine Frazer, a 62-year old irrepressible and generous grandmother who was evicted in the middle of the night from her home in Dekalb County, GA., along with her 85-year old mother, and 3-year old grandson. Chris Frazer has filed suit over the fraudulent foreclosure and eviction, and Occupy Our Homes is still standing with her.

Their stories, and that of the growing #OccupyHomes movement, is told in an article on Alternet, by behind-the-scenes Occupy Our Homes organizer Han Shan.

After you watch the ad, please chip in whatever you can afford to help us put it on national TV and make sure that hundreds of thousands or even millions of people have a chance to see it. Support Occupy Our Homes PSA fundraiser at LoudSauce.com.