WHO: Occupy Fights Foreclosures, L.E.P. Homeowners, Department of Justice, Judicial Council, Los Angeles Superior Court, Chief Justice of California
WHAT: Occupy Fights Foreclosures demands the California Superior Courts stop violating immigrant’s civil rights (LEP Homeowners), issues letter of complaint to the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, Judicial Council, Chief Justice of California, House of Senate Judiciary Committee
LOS ANGELES- February 28th, 2013- Occupy Fights Foreclosures (OFF), has been working hard to defend the rights of homeowners defrauded by banks. Many of the foreclosure victims we are helping have Limited English Proficiency (LEP), and they are being denied the services of court interpreters in their court hearings. When these homeowners go to court to fight fraudulent foreclosures and evictions by the banks, they are not able to understand the proceedings, let alone defend themselves, and the banks are taking full advantage of this.
The Justice Department has already reached a settlement of $335 million with Countrywide in 2011 for discrimination against minority borrowers. Yet, state courts continue to discriminate against immigrants by denying them court interpreters. The Supreme Court has ruled that failing to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access for LEP persons is a form of national origin discrimination prohibited by Title VI regulations. According to Title VI regulations, state courts are violating the civil rights of thousands of LEP persons on a daily basis. For LEP homeowners, this violation of their rights may cost them their homes.
The Superior Court of Los Angeles states on its Web site that its mission is to “Equally serve all people and consistently work to identify and remove barriers to access.” Occupy Fights Foreclosures demands the courts to put this into practice. We are sending a letter to Assistant Attorney General Thomas Pérez, requesting that the Department of Justice move immediately to require the California Superior Courts to comply with federal law and provide “universal, free and qualified” court interpreting, as the Department of Justice already instructed them to do on August 16, 2010. OFF is sending a copy of our letter to the California Judicial Council and the presiding judges of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside Counties.
According to homeowner defense attorney Lenore Albert, the bank’s attorneys are routinely posing as Legal Aid representatives who are there to help the homeowner. They tell the homeowner to sign stipulations to judgment, and that after they sign the paperwork, the judge will hear their case. However, after they sign the stipulation, their case is done and they never have an opportunity to say anything to the judge. Ms. Albert observes, “The failure to provide qualified interpreters leads to this prevalent practice."
"LEP Homeowners who have lost their homes and their present cases being violated are in the thousands. The violations are occurring at every level of the judicial foreclosure process, including Unlawful Detainer, Bankruptcy, Civil and Federal Courts", said Carlos Marroquin, homeowner advocate with the Occupy Fights Foreclosure Home Defense movement.
On the morning of February 27, 2013, regardless of our short notice, several of our members of Occupy Fights Foreclosures protested in solidarity with ACCE, Alliance of California for Community Empowerment against one of the major foreclosure spearheads, Wells Fargo one branch after another in Los Angeles Downtown.
Protest Locations: Gathered at 10:30am at Figueroa St & 7th, we protested at Wells Fargo branches 1) Figueroa St & Olympic Blvd. 2) Wilshire Blvd & Lucas St. 3) 333 S. Grand Ave. (history museum) 4) N. Hill St. & Bernard.
...This Day of Action was organized by ACCE and supported by Occupy Fights Foreclosures activists. Carlos Marroquin, a core member of Occupy Fights Foreclosures said "we organized this day of action against Wells Fargo bank because Wells Fargo refuses to work with the families. Wells Fargo continues to mislead homeowners while many other banks are already working with the families".
At 11:am activists marched to Wells Fargo branch located on the intersection of Figueroa Street and Olympic Blvd. Activists went inside the branch demanding the branch manager to Fax the letter of their demands to the CEO of Wells Fargo bank, John Stumpf. The protesters refused to leave the building until they saw the proof that their Fax being send. An activist from ACCE and a core organizer for the Day of Action Against Wells Fargo bank Melvina Bogan said "We are not leaving here until you Fax that letter to the CEO". Activists continued chanting "Fax that letter, Fax that letter…". After about 15 minutes the letter was faxed and protesters peacefully left the bank, chanting "we'll be back, we'll be back…"
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.
Posted by admin1 · February 21, 2013 10:06 PM
· 1 reaction
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).”
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.
Posted by admin1 · February 13, 2013 10:29 PM
· 2 reactions
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.
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.