Jacqueline Barber, a retired Atlanta police detective and current cancer patient, hasn't been able to get US Bank and GMAC to pay attention to her case in Atlanta. So she traveled to Minneapolis to make her case at their headquarters.
We began the day by rallying in the Government Center, where Jackie told her story alongside Minnesota homeowners who have also battled US Bank. As we marched through the skyways, Jackie sought a meeting with US Bank. They accepted her 20,000 petition signatures and documents showing her ability to pay.
After delivering the petitions to US Bank, we headed to City Hall where Jackie spoke out against the use of police force to carry out evictions.
We then traveled to the national headquarters of GMAC-ResCap in a lush office park in Bloomington. GMAC assured us that there were no executives on site and that this was just an office space--which is peculiar considering it is the national headquarters of GMAC-ResCap.
A legal assistant came down to address Jackie. She apologized to Jackie on behalf of the company for what she has gone through. She accepted the petitions and promised to get them to the right person.
GMAC told KARE 11 that they would be open to an offer from Jackie to buy back the home. We will be watching to see whether they keep their word.
Over 10 homeowners from the Central and Powderhorn Neighborhoods, and 60 community supporters, attended the first public meeting for the Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone last Wednesday at Green Central Community School. Almost a year earlier, a similar forum drew community members to meet Bobby Hull, a Central Neighborhood Homeowner, and to discuss ways to save his home. Since then, Bobby won back his home, along with five more Minnesota families, with the help of Occupy Homes MN.
Occupy Homes MN is returning to South Minneapolis to begin discussions on launching the Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone, an attempt to combine homeowners and renters together into a generalized movement for housing justice. Chris Gray, an Occupy Homes organizer and Powderhorn resident, said "This is the perfect place to launch such a project. 835 families have lost the homes to foreclosure in these two neighborhoods since 2007, and more than half of our neighbors are renters."
Two homeowners facing foreclosure stood up and announced that they were not moving from their homes. Occupy Homes organizers hope that more will join in the struggle over the next few weeks. In addition, plans for the December 6th National Day of Action, where Occupy Homes MN will move a family into a vacant home, were discussed as well.
Who: Jacqueline Barber, a retired Atlanta police detective and cancer patient, battling US Bank and GMAC over her Fayetteville, Ga., foreclosure; fellow officers from Atlanta Police Department; Occupy Our Homes Atlanta and Occupy Homes MN.
What: March and rally to US Bank headquarters, followed by an action at GMAC’s regional offices.
11 am: Rally at Government Plaza, 300 S. 6th Street, Minneapolis
12 pm: March culminates at US Bank headquarters, 800 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
3 pm: Action at GMAC office, 8400 Normandale Lake Blvd, Bloomington
Retired Atlanta police detective Jacqueline Barber, who captured the nation’s attention through her unusual alliance with the Occupy movement, is taking her case to US Bank headquarters in Minneapolis to explain her situation in person.
Ms. Barber fell into foreclosure when, at the same time, her disability payments were cut off, her cancer required expensive medications, and her house payments ballooned by an additional $1,500/month. The stress of fighting her foreclosure has caused her cancer to relapse.
US Bank is the trustee of Ms. Barber’s mortgage, which is also controlled by GMAC.
“In my case, if I had committed the fraud that US Bank did, I’d be in a federal jail,” said Ms. Barber. “They do whatever they want and get away with it.”
This year Occupy Homes won loan modifications for Monique White and Bobby Hull in Minneapolis, both foreclosed on by US Bank.