Thursday a judge granted JPMorgan Chase’s request for a writ of recovery for June 30th, after which sheriffs could evict Sergio Ceballos and his three children at any time.
The stunning decision came after Chase promised an “indefinite suspension” of the eviction while they worked to modify his loan. This process, known as “dual tracking,” was made illegal in the national mortgage settlement binding five of the country’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase.
“We’re outraged at Chase for deceiving our family and telling us they would work with us while dual tracking us to try to steal our home from out from under us,” said Jonathan Ceballos, Sergio’s son. “We are looking into legal options to sue the bank to stop our eviction because what they are doing to us is completely illegal. In the meantime, our community stands with us. We’re not giving up and we’re not going to leave our home.”
Although Sergio presented a letter from Chase showing Sergio had until June 20th to submit the necessary documents for a loan modification--clear evidence of illegal dual tracking--the judge ruled in favor of Chase’s request for an eviction.
This ruling is consistent with the findings of the national mortgage settlement report released yesterday, which demonstrates four of the banks bound by the settlement, including Chase, have failed to comply with its terms. Chase was cited for failing to adhere to the prescribed timeline for reviewing loan modification requests and notifying customers of its decisions.
Though Sergio is not an English speaker and had difficulty communicating the technical and legal arguments for his case, a judge refused to allow a Spanish-speaking advocate to explain his position and denied repeated requests for an extension to find an attorney to be present to defend him. These simple requests have been routinely granted in every single case Occupy Homes MN has been involved in over the past 18 months.
A nearly identical situation took place three weeks ago with Jaymie Kelly, a neighbor of Sergio’s who also lives in the Eviction Free Zone in Powderhorn. After receiving a letter from Chase Bank and Freddie Mac stating they would pause eviction proceedings while reviewing her case for a modification, Freddie Mac attempted to carry out an illegal dual tracking eviction. That case was dismissed in court.
Today’s proceedings highlighted how communities of color, especially immigrant communities, have been the hardest hit by the unjust foreclosure process. The Latino community has lost two thirds of its wealth nationwide since the housing bubble burst.
“This disgraceful failure of our justice system to provide due process for a Latino family clearly being exploited by the ongoing criminal activity of JPMorgan Chase shows that the housing crisis is far from over,” said Nick Espinosa, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN whose family narrowly avoided foreclosure last year.
“If Chase would rather make headlines trying to drag Sergio's family, neighbors and supporters out of his home than keep their promise to work with him so he and his three children can stay in the home they grew up in, then so be it. We’ve been here before and we know there’s still time for Chase to do the right thing, but until they do, we shall not be moved."
Please take three steps to help halt this impending eviction:
1) Share this post with your networks
2) Call Chase Bank CEO Jamie Dimon and ask them to call off the eviction! 212-270-1111
3) (Local supporters) Join us for our monthly membership meeting to plan next steps to stop the eviction this Saturday at 12pm at 3325 2nd Ave S Minneapolis, MN