After Monique White confronted US Bank CEO Richard Davis at their shareholders’ meeting in Minneapolis last year, she won a hard-fought loan modification--but US Bank decided this year to move their shareholders’ meeting to Boise, Idaho. So St. Paul homeowner Ann Haines traveled alongside Minnesota community leaders to attend the annual meeting in Boise. Haines, who was foreclosed upon in 2011, was sent the wrong paperwork after requesting help with her mortgage and her home was foreclosed on just a few months later.
At the shareholder meeting Ann confronted Richard Davis, president and CEO of US Bank, with the clear facts of her case--she paid her mortgage until US Bank told her to stop, saying that would help her get a loan modification, and on several occasions she found a realtor had broken into her house--and highlighted the emotional investment Ann and her family have in their home. “We’ve laughed, cried, fought, hurt and celebrated in our home. And I have been told this is not my home.”
While Ann had the floor at the meeting, she also appealed directly to Davis to work with her and other homeowners who are struggling and support fair housing legislation in Minnesota. Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and Occupy Homes MN have been working to pass legislation dubbed the “Homeowners’ Bill of Rights” that would help lessen the impact of the housing crisis on Minnesotans. Advocates are pushing for strong foreclosure legislation this session to help homeowners like Ann by requiring mandatory mediation and private right of action, the right to sue banks for wrongful foreclosure.
Davis promised Ann a meeting with the same senior vice-president who renegotiated Monique's loan last year. Ann’s neighborhood in greater Frogtown has been one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in Minnesota and is often referred to as “ground zero” of the housing crisis.
Despite the increasing evidence exposing fraudulent behavior and two national settlements with the nation’s 10 largest lending institutions and a pending lawsuit brought by Haines, US Bank and Freddie Mac continue to push for the unnecessary eviction of Ann and her family.
Residents in the house for over 13 years, Haines and her three children have created a home that offers friends and family a safe, comfortable place to seek refuge from the stresses and tensions of everyday life.
Just a few blocks from her home amongst vacant and condemned properties is the home of Caylin Crawford, another homeowner who was fraudulently foreclosed on by US Bank and Freddie Mac after US Bank told her to stop paying her mortgage. In September, Crawford launched an Occupy Homes MN campaign and, a few days later, received an unprecedented settlement offer from Freddie Mac which was finalized this week.
As the fraud embedded in the foreclosure crisis becomes more and more exposed, homeowners are taking a stand to protect their homes and their neighborhoods. Haines, acting on behalf of her community and every Minnesota homeowner, ended her appeal by saying, “We made that house our home and I know where there is a homeowner, there is stability, and where there is stability there is a city that offers pride, safety and the desire to be part of a community. Why take that away from people who are making our city a better place to live for all?”
Ann Haines has an active campaign with Occupy Homes MN and will be hosting a public “Make a Mother’s Day” Foreclosure Free BBQ at her home at 1311 Seminary Ave, St. Paul on Sunday, May 12th at 2:00pm.
Sign Ann's petition for her home here: http://start2.occupyourhomes.org/petitions/us-bank-and-freddie-mac-give-ann-haines-a-fair-deal