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ACTION Coverage: Shut Down Bank of America, Stop Fraudclosure!

Exclusive coverage of our protest, "Shut Down Bank of America, Stop Foreclosures" from independent photo journalist, Natasha Petrosova

Article, Videos & Photos by Natasha Petrosova

Soledad Corona, a recent victim of fraudulent foreclosure holds the sign.

Occupy Fights Foreclosures Protests in front of Bank of America on Wednesday, February 20.

Los Angeles, CA- Occupy Fights Foreclosures activists and homeowners gathered in front of Bank of America branch on North Vermont Street at 12:00pm on Wendesday, February 20. The activists and homeowners held their signs and marched in a circle chanting "B.O.A how many homes did you steal today…. Bank of America, Bad for America". The demonstration lasted for about two hours. 

Josephina Perez, a recent victim of fraudulent foreclosure came to participate in a protest with her 3-year-old grandson, Jesus and her husband, Jose Perez. Mrs. Perez said that she was trying to modify her loan with Bank of America but Bank of America repeatedly claimed that they never received her paperwork. Eventually, Bank of America foreclosed on a house and Mrs. Perez and her family, including two small children, Jesus, 3 and Nalanie, 5 were forced to live on the streets. Mrs. Perez said that they lived on the streets for three weeks. "We slept on the street, we used public bathrooms . I even gave children a bath right on the street. Many times the children wanted to go to the bathroom and could not wait for us to drive around to find one, so they would end up going to the bathroom right on the street" Mrs. Perez added crying.

Sherry Hernandez, another victims of bank's fraudulent practices also came to participate in a protest this Wednesday afternoon. Mrs. Hernandez is still fighting to keep her home. "We bought a house in 2006. It had to be our retirement home. We did not plan to make low payments. We wanted a conventional loan, but Countrywide pushed us to take 2% loan. After 4 months our payments got raised by $800" she said. "We were trying to get a loan somewhere else but Countrywide would not release our loan saying that we have 3 year repayment penalty that we never signed for" Mrs. Hernandez added. Eventually Mrs. Hernandez was able to get a new loan with City Mortgage, but two moths later her loan got sold to PennyMack and her troubles started again. Mrs. Hernandez is still fighting to keep her house.

Occupy Fights foreclosures activists and homeowners stood in front of Bank of America this Wednesday afternoon demanding justice. They called for Bank of America to start working with the families and end fraudulent foreclosure practices. "Housing is a human right !" activists shouted.

Protesters march in circle in front of Bank of America branch on North Vermont Street in Los Angeles, CA.

Visit photography-journal.com for more photographs from the scene!

Also, here's our own original photo slideshow from this action (Flash plug-in required)


http://www.flickr.com/photos/occupyfightsforeclosures/sets/72157632829359124/


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Seven Ways Foreclosures Impact Communities

quote:
The negative impacts of foreclosure on communities are far reaching. Although little formal data exists on this subject, local news accounts and reports from local officials paint a multifaceted picture. Not only are people losing homes, but also communities are suffering economically, physically and socially. This report mainly focuses on areas that are hardest hit: metropolitan areas and their suburbs. We have identified the following seven impact areas for foreclosure.

1. Communities Suffer From Increased Crime

The burglary and stripping of abandoned homes, a rise in violent crime. In Buffalo, New York, over the past two years, “at least seven dead bodies, some of them crime victims, have been discovered in or around vacant buildings.” Illicit activities, like drug dealing, increase. A study in Austin, Texas, found that “blocks with unsecured [vacant] buildings had 3.2 times as many drug calls to police, 1.8 times as many theft calls, and twice the number of violent calls’ as blocks without vacant buildings.”

2. Communities Take Financial Hit

Individual homeowners are not the only ones suffering financially from the foreclosure crisis. Communities and local governments experience spillover effects that result in a reduction of their annual budget. The lower property values caused by foreclosed homes lead to a smaller tax base.

3. Community Members Are Vulnerable to Financial Scams

4. Youth Experience Stress and Instability

5. Displaced Residents Struggle to Find Shelter

When thousands of people are losing their homes, where do they move? According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, “76% of displaced homeowners and renters are moving in with relatives and friends. About 54% are moving to emergency shelters. About 40% are already on the streets. Nearly 61% of local and state homeless coalitions say they've seen a rise in homelessness since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007.”

6. Communities Are Blighted by Neglect

When homes are abandoned because of foreclosure, the properties and communities begin to deteriorate. Garbage, unmowed lawns, pests and dilapidated roofs and porches are eyesores. The lack of care can change the entire atmosphere in a community. The people who remain may have feelings of loneliness, fear and frustration. To make matters worse, potential buyers find conditions like these unattractive, turning them away and leaving empty homes remaining.

7. Minorities Are Impacted Disproportionately

Although all ethnic groups have been affected by foreclosure and subprime lending, minority communities have been hit particularly hard. According to a 2008 report by the nonprofit policy center United for a Fair Economy, “the foreclosure crisis will result in the greatest loss of wealth for people of color in recent U.S. history.” The report estimates that “black borrowers will lose between $71 billion and $122 billion, while Hispanic borrowers will lose between $76 billion and $129 billion (Rivera 2008).”

:end of quote

source: Vidmar, C. (2008). Seven ways foreclosures impact communities. Retrieved from http://www.nw.org/network/neighborworksprogs/foreclosuresolutions/reports/documents/7ForeclosureImpacts.pdf


To summarize

  1. Communities Suffer From Increased Crime
  2. Communities Take Financial Hit
  3. Community Members Are Vulnerable to Financial Scams
  4. Youth Experience Stress and Instability
  5. Displaced Residents Struggle to Find Shelter
  6. Communities Are Blighted by Neglect
  7. Minorities Are Impacted Disproportionately

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[Press Release] OCCUPY FIGHTS FORECLOSURES TO PROTEST AGAINST BANK OF AMERICA FOR CONTINUING TO PUSH FAMILIES, THE SICK AND THE ELDERLY INTO THE STREETS

MEDIA ADVISORY
IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHO: OCCUPY FIGHTS FORECLOSURES, Victimized homeowners
WHAT: Protest against Bank of America’s continuing fraudulent foreclosures
WHEN: Wednesday, February 20 at 12 noon
WHERE: 1715 North Vermont Ave. Los Angeles 90027
VISUALS: Homeowners who have been victimized by B of A, signs, banners

LOS ANGELES, CA –In the face of Bank of America’s refusal to work with thousands of homeowners who have been the victims of predatory lending, and fraudulent servicing and foreclosures, Occupy Fights Foreclosures will be holding a protest by homeowners outside of Bank of America in Hollywood this Wednesday at 12:00 pm.

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OCCUPY FIGHTS FORECLOSURES SPEAKS OUT ON STATE OF THE UNION AND THE REPUBLICAN RESPONSE AS A FAILURE BY BOTH PARTIES TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN THE ONGOING FORECLOSURE DISASTER

WHO: President Obama, Senator Rubio, Occupy Fights Foreclosures
WHAT: State of the Union by President Obama to the joint session of the United States Congress and the Republican response to the State of the Union address
WHEN: February 12, 2013
WHY: Obama stated in his State of the Union address: “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities,you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.” Yet millions of American families are suffering from the inequitable injustice of predatory loans and fraudulent foreclosures that is still not being addressed.

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Everything you need to know about Quiet Title

Everything you have always wanted to know about Quiet Title! John Stuart, who wrote the book Quiet Title, is today's guest at CJ Holmes, a anti-foreclosure activist!  Don't miss it!

Click the blog title to view here, or go to http://new.livestream.com/accounts/2292674/events/1752571/videos/11543148

Questions? skype to CJHOLMES11, call (707) 578-5727 or email HOFJ@cjholmes.com

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[BREAKING NEWS] 93-year-old Hilda's Eviction (Unlawful Detainer) Case Dismissed

[BREAKING NEWS] 93 year-old woman's eviction (unlawful detainer) case was dropped! YES!!!!!! Congratulations Hilda! The detailed report from http://www.gofundme.com/helphilda is as follows:

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Occupy Fights Foreclosures New Facebook Pages: Richard Castaldo & Spanish Page

Hello friends, supporters and FORECLOSURE FIGHTERS,

We would like to thank you for your continuing support in helping keeping families in their homes and for taking a stand against the abuses of the financial institutions that have hurt so many families.

Richard Castaldo, a Columbine survivor is fighting to keep his home now in foreclosure. We at Occupy Fights Foreclosure are standing with him and will fight with him to keep him from further actions and eviction. Please support and follow Richard's case on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Richard-Castaldos-Home/475238229209827

We will be planning several actions to bring more attention to his case and demand that Wells Fargo make it right with Richard and work with him. More information will follow regarding the actions that will be taking to help Richard.

Occupy Fights Foreclosures has added Spanish Meetings on Tuesdays from 7-9pm. We have added a Facebook page in Spanish that can be shared with homeowners so that they can get information in their language.

https://www.facebook.com/OccupyPeleaEmbargos

Thank you for your continuing support and efforts in keeping families in their homes.

For more information regarding this email please call (323) 592-4663

—Occupy Fights Foreclosures

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We Stand with Richard Castaldo, Columbine Shooting Survivor in His Fight against Foreclosure

(originally posted on 2013-01-22: updated & reposted on 2013-01-31: corrected on 2013-02-01)

Occupy Fights Foreclosure has been working with Richard Castaldo to save his condo from foreclosure. Here are some press coverage on this case.

“Castaldo fought for his life 13 years ago in Colorado and will spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair. Now, he is fighting to keep his condominium in Southern California. Like millions of Americans, he is about to lose his home to foreclosure.” — NBC Los Angeles

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HAPPENING NOW: Hilda's Unlawful Detainer Court (UD) Eviction Trial


Many thanks to Suzanne for her long-term commitment to overseeing helping Hilda fight for her home. It's easy to forget the efforts and contributions of those who do what in many times is the hardest thing: sticking with a task and quietly seeing it through to a just completion. Many thanks for your service and effort, Suzanne, and endless love and soldarity for Hilda.


(The following is from one of our members, Suzanne who is primarily in charge of this case:)

Thank you to all who have supported Hilda's efforts to save her home! Thanks to your support we were able to hire an Unlawful Detainer attorney who has been very, very helpful. Unlawful Detainer court deals with matters of eviction -- it was designed for tenant / landlord issues, but it is unjustly where wrongfully-foreclosed homeowners end up.

Currently at Santa Monica Courthouse, Hilda is going to her trial in UD court.

Yes, we are living in a country that forces a limited-mobility 93-yr-old to go to court to defend herself from predatory criminals who are using their money-power to buy themselves out of jail.

Yesterday, we discovered -- with the help of our attorney and the bankruptcy attorney who referred him to us -- that the bankruptcy judge who granted the bank (Aurora Loans aka Lehman Bros) a "relief from stay" from Hilda's bankruptcy, also ordered that the bank could NOT do a foreclosure sale before July 31, 2012.

The eviction action she faces tomorrow comes out of a foreclosure sale that the bank did -- in violation of Hilda's bankruptcy stay -- on December 6, 2011. This direct violation of the BK judge's order is yet another reason that the foreclosure sale is VOID.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Occupy Fights Foreclosures Defends Single Mom Twice Evicted; Announces Class Action Against Major Banks for Evicting/Foreclosures during Holiday Moratorium

MEDIA ADVISORY
IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Carlos Marroquín (323) 592-4663

Who: Soledad Corona, Occupy Fights Foreclosures Activists, Attorney Lenore Albert, Community Leaders
What: Court appearance and announcement of federal class action (case No: 12-cv-2189-CAB (KSC)) against major banks for foreclosing, evicting homeowners during "Holiday Moratorium" 2009-2012
*PRESS CONFERENCE FOLLOWING COURT APPEARANCE
When: Tuesday January 22, 2013 @ 8:30am
Where: Los Angeles Superior Court, 111 North Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Dept 77 (Stanley Mosk)
Why: Homeowners continue to be victimized and abused by major banks; LAPD involvement in civil cases/foreclosures utilizing taxpayers' money to evict families.

Single Mom Twice Wrongfully Evicted
Announcement of federal class action lawsuit filed against Bank of America and other major banks for wrongfully foreclosing/evicting on families during "Holiday Moratorium" on foreclosures

Los Angeles - B of A's lackeys, the L.A.P.D., wrongfully evicted the Corona family Friday, Jan 18th at around noon. Soledad's teenaged daughter, Victoria, was the only one home at the time and they told her she had to leave immediately. This is the SECOND time the Corona family has been evicted during the so-called "Holiday Moratorium" on foreclosures and evictions announced by major banks. The LAPD claimed they were "trespassing" in their own home. One officer allegedly said there was an arrest warrant for Soledad Corona, although they denied this later that evening.

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Why stay home when you can save a home?
Occupy Fights Foreclosures, affiliated with OccupyLA, stands up against the nationwide foreclosure crisis. We support, educate and empower homeowners at risk to save their homes from fraudulent foreclosure.