Homeowners Fighting Back
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.
Occupy Our Homes Atlanta is working with a Cobb County homeowner named Steve Boudreaux to help him get Wells Fargo to allow him to stay in his home. American Friends Service Committee/Atlanta has an update on their blog:
After battling unemployment and struggling to make payments on his mortgage, Cobb County resident Steve Boudreaux did what any diligent homeowner would do–he applied for an emergency home loan modification to stay in his home at a rate he could afford. Everything was all set to move forward until the IRS delayed in getting tax transcripts to his bank, Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo, rather than wait for the transcripts to come in, pushed forward with a foreclosure sale, even though the modification application was incomplete due to no fault of Steve’s own. To add insult to injury, the transcripts were delivered the day after the foreclosure sale.
Today Steve was joined by Occupy Our Homes ATL and Cobb United for Change at the Wells Fargo branch that Steve originally applied and received his home lone with one simple message, “You have all the information you need! Make a deal to keep Steve in his home!”
Cobb United for Change and Occupy Our Homes are ready to stand up with Steve to keep him in his home. Will you?
You can help Steve and call Luis Fortin of the Wells Fargo “Home Preservation” Team and demand he work to keep Steve in his home.
To reach Mr. Fortin call 877-458-8418. Once connected dial 0 until you are asked for an extension. Luis is ext. 31560.
Make sure to tell him that “Wells Fargo needs to work with Steve Boudreaux at 1525 Rubes Landing in Marietta. Set aside the foreclosure and make a deal to keep Steve in his home!”
Arizona Mother and Homeowner Lilly Washington returned home from visiting her injured son in a US Military Hospital in Germany, to find that despite written confirmation from Bank of America that they would suspend their foreclosure proceedings until she returned, the bank illegally sold her home to Fannie Mae in a trustee’s sale. Fannie Mae then changed the locks, and sent all of her belongings, including her son’s Purple Heart medal from his service in Iraq, to the city dump.
Despite this crushing setback, Lilly refused to give up. She moved back in and won a stay of eviction that granted the right to legally stay in her home as a renter. Now Lilly is fighting to recover ownership of her home and demand justice from Bank of America and Fannie Mae. And she needs your help.
For 23 years, Deborah Harris had the back of everyone in our nation’s Capitol. As a paramedic, or first responder as they are also known, she went to work everyday prepared to save anyone’s life.
She was injured on the job, causing her to lose wages and fall behind on her mortgage.
While she earned the right for everyone to have her back, three banks have pushed Deborah into foreclosure.
John Vinje and Lucinda Adams-Vinje bought their home in 2008 for 148,000. Their payment was roughly $1,300 per month on a 30 yr fixed term. It was the 1st home that either of them had ever purchased. John had been an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam war before working for many years as a security officer. Lucinda had a well established 10 year career as a TSA agent at the Minneapolis airport. Lucinda chose the home because she had grown up in the South Metro area and her work is nearby. She also happens to love the house. John says “I’m not sure why, she just loves it.”
If they do nothing they will lose their home in April of 2012. This Air Force veteran and his wife have worked their entire adult life and now stand to lose the only home that either has ever owned.
What US Bank doesn’t realize is that John and his wife are fighters. They, along with a growing number of Minnesota homeowners, have taken a pledge to stand with their community and fight for their home.
PLEASE CALL U.S. Bank Sr. Vice President Tom Joyce TODAY: 612-303-3167. Tell U.S. Bank to postpone John Vinje’s sheriff’s sale and come to the table with a reasonable modification offer that will allow he and his family can stay in their home.
On Friday January 27 at 3:30pm Occupy Atlanta will rally at 404 Glen Iris and march side by side with the Pittman family to Chase Bank where we will demand the deed to the home that is rightfully theirs, letting the bank know we refuse to work with them on their terms. Occupy Atlanta is one of many Occupy groups participating in this nationwide struggle against JPMorgan Chase, a corporation that treats the general public as no more than means to the ends of profit. Like many hardworking individuals across the nation, the late Ms. Eloise Pittman was victimized by predatory lending. The Pittman family has been fighting to save the family home since November 2011. This past week Chase gave the Pittman family an ultimatum: either buy back their home or accept the $2500 “cash for keys” offer. Occupy Atlanta will be escalating the campaign against these predatory banks beginning Friday. Friday’s action promises to be bold, diverse and unlike anything Occupy Atlanta has done yet. Pastors from multiple Churches will participate in the march and hold a prayer service outside the bank, while others with OA enact creative direct action.
UPDATE (5-29-2012): The Ward family won! With the help of Occupy Birmingham and activists around the country, the Wards forced Bank of America to the table and negotiated a deal that will let them keep their house. Learn about it here.
UPDATE (1-17-2012): As a result of the hard work and participation of people like you, we have been successful in opening communication with Bank of America. The Wards received a phone call from Bank of America corporate offices, and they have moved the foreclosure sale date to March 29, 2012. Communication lines are open, and this is a first step toward potential negotiations. As a direct result of your participation, YOU have given the Wards a voice in standing up to Bank of America’s wrongful foreclosure.
This is not the end. We demand that Bank of America commit to a negotiation where the Wards gain ownership of the home that is rightfully theirs.
Occupy Birmingham is taking a stand against Bank of America by moving into local communities to help those under the threat of wrongful foreclosure. Our first “Occupy Our Homes” action is on the behalf of the Ward family. Due to a real estate agent’s fraud, the Wards are on the brink of losing their home even though they’ve NEVER MISSED A SINGLE PAYMENT. While they have the ability to continue paying their mortgage, Bank of America refuses to allow them to keep their home (which they’ve already paid over 35,000 dollars on) after a real estate company pocketed 2 years of payments made on the property. Rather than allow the family to pay on the home, the bank prefers to lose money and offer it up for auction on January 12 January 26. Not only will this cost the Wards’ their home, but the entire neighborhood is devalued by rising number of foreclosures.
January 02, 2012
Update: Wells Fargo has has agreed to delay the eviction of the Tehiva/Phillips’ family until February 15th. Read more at 4closurefraud.org.
The Tehiva family is asking for you to take action and fax the Hana Sheriff’s Department and Police Department to stop their eviction.
We are literally crying out to all that can be on our property on Jan. 2nd to make a silent stand for what is right and protest against the fraudulent act of the bank.
On Jan. 2, Monday our entire family will be wrongfully evicted off of our property. Our family will not leave this property that we live on. Please come to our house at 5305 Hana Hwy on Jan. 2nd to help us support this cause. Our goal is to try and get as many people on our property to make a silent stand. If you know of any individual or group that can help with this stand, please call us. If any changes occur, we will let everyone know. We presently have our family attorney working hard in stopping this act of eviction from happening.
Mahalo, the Tehiva/Phillips ‘Ohana
Update: Lesliane has won a victory that will allow her to have a good home. Read about it here
A disabled and bedridden schoolteacher has vowed not to leave her home if evicted. After gathering over 3000 supporters on a change.org petition and gathering press coverage of her plight, the Lesliane Bouchard has now called on the Occupy Our Homes movement to support her plight. Facing foreclosure, there is a simple solution. Ms. Bouchard has approved by the Hardest Hit States Fund principal reduction program. If First Mortgage Corporation opts into this program, she will have the funding to keep her house.
Eloise Pittman passed away last week. Her family is now left with a mountain of debt, and is trying to save a home that’s been in their family for over 50 years. Chase bank has been unwilling to find a solution that keeps them in their home.
Brigitte Walker is a decorated Iraq War veteran. She entered the army right out of high school and served for 21 years. In 2007 she was medically discharged. As a result she is now living on a fixed income and struggling to find work. Now she is facing eviction. After putting her life on the line for her country, it’s time that someone step up to defend her from this injustice.
Debbie Henry tells the story of what she and her husband Robert are facing with their foreclosure and why they are occupying their home:
“Our home was our future, and we thought that we’d invested wisely. We were making our payments, even though now it’s worth a third of what we paid for it. But after I had my stroke, we just couldn’t keep up. We tried to work with the banks to get a fair deal, but they gave us the run-around for years. Now they want to throw us out. I thought they got all this taxpayer money so that families like us could have a second chance,” said Debbie, a former manager at a food services company.
Read more and take action to help Debbie and Robert keep their home.
Bobby Hull says:
“If people start getting together we may have a chance. I’ve served my time in Vietnam and I’m not afraid to fight again.”
Ms. Mary Lee Ward:
“You gotta put up a hard fight for the faith. You have to stick with it, when you know that you’re right, you know you have the evidence, you know you have the facts. Don’t let nobody walk over you. Don’t let nobody make you a slave.”
“It got cold in here one night. The next morning I called the gas company to have them light my furnace. The billing department told me that Century 21 (the real estate agency) had called them and told them they’d be the realtors for the house.” So White called U.S. Bank and found out that as of January 26, 2011 her house was sold. “I didn’t find out until October 24,” White said, “I just feel betrayed. I feel like US Bank strung me along until the redemption period ran out and then they stole my house out from under me.”