Minneapolis: Evicted Veteran to Move into Vacant Home on #D6

After a year-long Occupy Homes campaign for a renegotiated loan, Vietnam veteran John Vinje and his wife Lucinda Adams chose to peacefully leave their home on their October eviction date. US Bank and Freddie Mac sent 24 sheriff’s deputies to make sure they didn’t change their minds. John, Lucinda, and their adult children are now living in unstable, uncertain circumstances.

But this experience has only strengthened their resolve to fight back. As Lucinda says, “This is not over yet.” On December 6, we will reclaim a vacant home and move in a family made homeless by the foreclosure crisis. Join us on Thursday to escalate our fight for housing justice.

Jacqueline Barber Goes to Minneapolis to Deliver Petition to US Bank

American Friends Service Committee/Atlanta reports on an amazing trip by retired police officer and cancer patient Jacqueline Barber to Minneapolis, Minnesota to deliver the signatures of thousands of people who have signed a petition standing with her on Start2.OccupyOurHomes.org. Jacqueline was joined by friends and members of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta on the trip and once they arrived in Minneapolis, they were supported by the fine people of Occupy Homes MN.

Here’s more of Jacqueline’s story:

After joining Occupy Our Homes Atlanta and standing up publicly to GMAC and US Bank against her eviction, Ms. Barber was told by representatives of GMAC to make an offer to buy back her home, which she can afford at current market value.

Following their direction, Jacqueline put in an offer and GMAC sent an appraiser to her home. After saying they would report back about the appraisal, they instead backed away from negotiations, built a wall of silence, and have since pushed strongly ahead in the process to get Ms. Barber evicted.

The stress of facing eviction has already brought Jacqueline’s cancer out of remission. Recently, Ms. Barber went to her doctor who told her that she will have to resume aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments if she is unable to relax and stay stress free while undergoing her current treatment.

Jacqueline and OOH ATL joined up with Occupy Homes MN and the Home Defenders League to make this powerful action possible:

Today Jacqueline marched on US Bank and GMAC-RFC with allies from Occupy Homes MN, and the Home Defenders League. The solidarity in the emerging housing justice movement was amazing and inspiring !The goal was to keep Jacqueline in her home, in good health, and to shine a light on the unjust illegal fraud at the hands of the financial institutions that continue to hold our communities and our economy hostage.

We were able to force meetings with both US Bank and GMAC and deliver over 20,000 signatures on petition urging US Bank and GMAC to do the right thing and make a deal that would keep Jacqueline and her family in the home. We also delivered pay stubs and bank account statements that prove Jacqueline could afford the home.

Debbie & Ron — One foreclosure in a thousand

Debbie and her husband had both been diagnosed with cancer and Ron lost his second job. The bank erroneously claimed they missed a payment, and even though they tried valiantly to make up the payments, but the bank refused them and requests for modification. 11 months after vowing to keep her home, Debbie has finally exhausted the possibilities in the courts, and is standing her ground, with a standing eviction order, on the moral claim that families’ homes are more important than bank profits.

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.

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‘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!