That’s what this story reminds me of.
Less than a year after Occupy Atlanta members clashed with police in riot gear in a downtown park, they’re now protesting alongside officers to help a retired detective avoid losing her home to foreclosure.
Activists joined current and retired Atlanta police Monday for a demonstration and discussion at the home of retired Atlanta police Det. Jaqueline Barber in Fayetteville, south of the city.
“The police are in the 99 percent and when it comes down to their economic struggles, we’re going to be there to shine a light on those and organize around those,” said Tim Franzen. He and others who were involved with Occupy Atlanta are now part of a group called Occupy Our Homes ATL, which focuses on the housing crisis.
I’ve been truly remiss in not highlighting more success stories from the Occupy Our Homes project. Across the country, this loose network of grassroots groups has collectively done more to fight the foreclosure crisis that most members of state, local or national law enforcement, or the courts. It’s agonizing work going house by house to force banks into helping rather than evicting homeowners. But Occupy Our Homes has done it, and done it well.
And as we see here, they don’t discriminate. Even though the police, in a way that almost approached a paramilitary organization, were responsible for dismantling Occupy outposts throughout the country, when a member of the police finds trouble, when a bank wants to throw them out of their home, the Occupy Our Homes movement will be there.
In this case, the retired police detective has a recent history of medical catastrophe that has led to the default. US Bank pursued the foreclosure, and they have a Thursday hearing to finalize the proceedings in court. There’s not enough information in this article to determine whether fraudulent documents had anything to do with the eviction. But if the court-directed foreclosure goes through, US Bank will move to evict. And Occupy Our Homes will be there confronting the eviction. What exactly will the cops sent out to carry out the eviction do?
…So here’s Barber’s story. She bought her home at the height of the housing bubble in 2005. The adjustable rate reset in 2009 increased her payments by $1,500 a month. This is a classic subprime adjustable-rate loan, designed to be unaffordable so the homeowner would refinance and generate more fees for the lender. She’s been trying to get a loan modification for two years, without luck. She got scammed out of $3,000 by a “foreclosure rescue” group. She actually got to the brink of a modification in early 2012:
Finally in early 2012, I received a letter from the executive VP of Wells Fargo assuring me that they were working on my case. I felt a sense of hope at the prospect of finally getting some relief.
Much to my surprise, I received a letter a few weeks later from US Bank, claiming they had purchased my home at auction, and demanding that I vacate the property. Despite their assurances that they were working on my case, it seemed Wells Fargo had moved forward with the foreclosure. My family, including my four young grandchildren who now live with me, were faced with being put out of the home we love.
This began my next battle with US Bank, who is demanding that my family vacate the property immediately, even refusing to sell it back to friends and family members who were more than willing to purchase the home back from them. Desperate to put off the eviction and find a way to stay in my home, I filed for bankruptcy in August which granted me a temporary stay from the eviction. The stress of all this has caused my cancer to come out of remission, and I am now having to resume aggressive treatment to fight it. Now US Bank is taking me to court to demand the judge lift the stay, allow them to evict my family, and to force us to pay their legal fees on top of it.
I wish I could describe this as unusual.