The record $13 billion JPMorgan Chase settlement announced today aims to provide some relief to struggling homeowners, but the settlement does not go nearly far enough to compensate for the devastation JPMorgan Chase has wreaked on our economy and our homes. It is still unclear whether this settlement will help Jaymie Kelly and Sergio Ceballos, who are fighting JPMorgan Chase for their foreclosed homes in south Minneapolis.
Jaymie is now facing eviction by JPMorgan Chase and Freddie Mac, which received an additional $3.2 billion in the settlement--but it’s not clear whether the settlement will help her. “JPMorgan Chase and Freddie Mac have consistently said they can’t work with me,” said Jaymie Kelly, who fended off the sheriff’s eviction attempt at her home two weeks ago with 50 community members. “Now, to get out of legal troubles, they say they have plenty of resources for principal reduction for homeowners like me. I am hopeful they will work quickly to keep homeowners facing unjust eviction, like me, in their homes. Until then I will continue fighting for my right to stay in my home.”
While previous foreclosure settlements have focused on providing paltry compensation checks averaging around $300 to homeowners who were wrongly foreclosed, this settlement will focus on direct aid to struggling homeowners. Of the total $13 billion settlement, $1.5 billion will go to principal reduction for underwater homeowners. Other credits will go to reducing interest rates and writing new loans to low-income homeowners.
Principal reduction has long been a demand of Occupy Homes MN, which has organized marches and protests demanding a strong settlement all year. In May Occupy Homes MN helped lead a foreclosed homeowner encampment at the Department of Justice in D.C. demanding a prosecution of the bankers who caused the housing crisis. The focus on principal reduction in this settlement is a direct result of grassroots pressure from Occupy Homes MN and allies across the country.
But the $1.5 billion JPMorgan Chase will provide in principal reduction amounts to less than 1% of the $192.6 billion in wealth lost nationwide from the foreclosure crisis in 2012 alone. Nationwide, 12.2 million homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, owing a total of $913 billion more than their homes are worth. JPMorgan Chase’s principal reduction will total about a tenth of one percent of that amount.
50 neighbors fought off an illegal 5am raid on Jaymie Kelly’s foreclosed home this morning as the sheriff’s deputies descended in a politically calculated Election Day attack.
The raid came just as Occupy Homes organizer Ty Moore stands poised to win a historic Minneapolis City Council election as the first socialist on the city council since 1920 on the platform of a foreclosure moratorium and an end to police resources for evictions.
“If JPMorgan Chase and Freddie Mac think they can stop us with an illegal 5 am raid on Election Day, they are mistaken,” said Jaymie Kelly. “I feel like I’ve been violated, for them to come in the middle of the night and break down a glass door. They took my daughter out of bed and handcuffed her. They are threatened by Ty because he has plans for changing how the city operates by keeping homeowners in their homes and not using public resources to illegally evict homeowners. This is voter suppression at the highest corporate levels. But their illegal, politically calculated actions are only fueling our movement. We are going to win my home and Ty’s election.”
The sheriff’s department posted a 24-hour eviction notice, stating they could come anytime after 24 hours had passed, during business hours Monday—which they failed to honor. An earlier eviction order expired in October after a blockade of 150 community members prevented the sheriff from carrying it out. Jaymie has lived in her home for 30 years and paid for it five times over after falling victim to a predatory loan, but JPMorgan Chase and Freddie Mac refused to negotiate with her. In October, JPMorgan Chase reopened her case to negotiate, but at the same time plotted this political attack with Sheriff Stanek and Freddie Mac.
“This unbelievable attempt by Sheriff Stanek to subvert democracy and disrupt our get-out-the-vote efforts to elect Ty Moore is backfiring in a big way,” said Occupy Homes organizer Nick Espinosa. “Jaymie’s supporters are furious and we will be working all day to elect him. This is outrageous, but our resolve is stronger than ever. We are winning.”
Jaymie Kelly received a 24 hour eviction notice today. Sheriffs can evict anytime before November 22nd, the weekend before Thanksgiving, throwing her out of the Powderhorn Park community she’s lived in her whole life. As the community prepares an eviction defense, tomorrow Jaymie and her neighbors will participate in a historic local election, which could see Ty Moore, a Socialist Alternative candidate endorsed by Occupy Homes MN, elected to City Council.
This news is disturbing because Jaymie is technically in negotiations with her lender, JPMorgan Chase. “It’s almost like Freddie Mac planned it,” says Jaymie Kelly. “Ty Moore stood with me and Occupy Homes MN from the beginning. Now, when we’re so close to having a candidate who clearly challenges Wall Street, as corporate PACs like the National Association of Realtors (NAR) pour thousands into the race, the sheriffs may try to move in before we even have a chance to pass policy that would help.”
The NAR spent approximately $12,000 in mailers and robocalls to skew our local election against Ty Moore, and are currently suing the city of Richmond, CA to halt their use of eminent domain to give relief to underwater homeowners.
Jaymie Kelly has paid $425,000 for her home of 30 years, currently valued at $81,000. JP Morgan Chase and Freddie Mac are in contact with Jaymie, saying they’ll reach a decision on her case by November 9th. Freddie Mac’s lawyers refiled the writ after 150 community members thwarted an eviction on October 8th. Now they are dual tracking Jaymie with an eviction while she’s negotiating with Chase.
“I’m asking my supporters to help fill shifts to defend my home, I’m asking our elected officials to stand for the people instead of the banks,” said Kelly. “I’m asking my neighbors to volunteer and vote for Ty Moore for real systemic change, not just lip service to the needs of struggling homeowners.”
Tomorrow we’re going to show that the power of people is stronger than corporate interests and that when we fight, we win.
Occupy Homes MN is proud to endorse Ty Moore for Ward 9 City Council to represent the Eviction Free Zone. With your help, Ty has a great chance to win this election.
Ty with proud supporter and future constituent Jaymie Kelly.
We have never before endorsed a candidate for office, but we believe it is important to do so in this case. Ty Moore's record of challenging big business is rare in the electoral field. Ty’s candidacy is an important opportunity for Occupy Homes MN to champion our political demands as we work toward a city-wide foreclosure moratorium, an end to police resources for evictions, and the use of eminent domain to turn vacant homes into community controlled affordable housing and lower principal on underwater mortgages.
Ty Moore played a leading role in the coalition effort to build Occupy Homes MN as a housing justice organization, to fight for the needs of working people in communities devastated by the financial crisis and to demand accountability from Wall Street bankers who gambled with our homes.
Having city council members that can aid our policy work and serve as a buffer to police repression of our organization with vacants work in the ward is an important advantage for our work. With Ty Moore on City Council we can count on votes for critical legislation and have a platform to legitimize and amplify our work. Ty will be a champion of our issues and work to defeat the corporate interests of the 1% that controls our city government.
This week the National Association of Realtors, one of the nation’s largest corporate lobbying firms, endorsed Ty’s primary opponent, Alondra Cano. In alliance with big banks, this national lobby spends millions to defeat foreclosure prevention programs everywhere. Recently they sued the city of Richmond, CA to prevent the use of eminent domain to reduce principal on underwater mortgages. We believe the National Association of Realtors is threatened by our successes in Minneapolis and taking an active interest to prevent us from furthering our demands. As they pour more money into our city politics, it is more important than ever to have grassroots champions like Ty to fight for the people.
Endorsed by Socialist Alternative, the Green Party and SEIU MN state council, Ty Moore's grassroots campaign has taken a fighting stance on the demands of a $15 minimum wage, a moratorium on foreclosures, and an end to taxpayer-funded police resources used for evictions. The campaign points to the potential impact from running candidates out of community movements, who take up demands from below to sharply challenge the power of Wall Street.
As our movement grows, it is critical for us to transform our grassroots demands into concrete policy change. Having a grassroots champion like Ty on the city council can help us turn Minneapolis into a nationwide leader in policies to ensure safe affordable quality housing is a human right for all and that we have democratic control of our homes.
For our response to the final settlement November 19, see www.occupyhomesmn.org/jpmsettlement.
As JPMorgan Chase reaches a record $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department over its role in the lead-up to the foreclosure crisis, it remains unclear whether this settlement will keep people like Jaymie Kelly in their homes.
Thanks to a strong showing of supporters for an eviction blockade earlier in the week, Jaymie Kelly's eviction order expired on Friday, October 11 at 5pm. Friends and neighbors gathered at her house for the countdown celebration. Sheriffs were supposed to carry out the eviction at 10:30am on Tuesday, October 8, but 150 community members packed the lawn to defend Jaymie's right to stay in her home.
Jaymie, a Powderhorn homeowner who has lived in her home 30 years, has paid the value of her home five times over. She is fighting a home defense campaign with Occupy Homes MN, demanding a negotiation with principal reduction from JPMorgan Chase and Freddie Mac.
“The government is shut down, but Freddie Mac evictions are still considered an essential service. But the power of community is too big to fail,” said Jaymie. “With our power in numbers, we scared Sheriff Stanek off on Tuesday, and we will be here en masse anytime they try to evict. I will not allow the greed of Freddie Mac and JPMorgan Chase to remove me from my community. I am not moving, and my neighbors stand with me."
Jaymie celebrated 30 days of successful eviction defense with a disco ball drop at 5pm on Friday, and a relaxed gathering of friends and supporters stayed to chat with Jaymie and her family until late in the evening.
Freddie Mac has asked for and been granted another writ, which will take effect sometime after October 18. The community is preparing for round two of eviction defense battle.
"Another writ isn't going to stop us," said Jaymie. "We scared off Freddie Mac, JPMorgan Chase, and the sheriff the first time and we'll do it as many times as it takes. I am not moving, and my neighbors stand with me. We are going to win. We shall not be moved."
Fifty community members protested at City Hall Thursday afternoon demanding an end to police resources for evictions after 25 police officers helped a bank's management company board up a foreclosed home and arrested a resident this morning.
This massive police mobilization marks the fifth time they have assisted the bank in boarding up the home. Supporters have removed boards time and time again to demand the bank work with the family to get it donated to a nonprofit to be used for affordable housing, as homelessness in Hennepin County sits at a six-year high.
Members of Occupy Homes MN and NOC (Neighborhood Organizing for Change) marched to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Jail demanding the release of Antoine Martinneau, NOC's canvassing director, who was yanked out of bed and arrested without being given an opportunity to leave yesterday morning for sleeping in a foreclosed home.
A representative from Morningstar Mortgage used citizen’s arrest to detain Antoine, and 25 Minneapolis police helped Morningstar Mortgage’s management company secure the home with steel plates. Forty community members arrived on the scene in protest as police and management proceeded to turn this previously occupied and cared-for home into the fourth vacant home on the block.
“Mayor Rybak and the Minneapolis Police Department should be ashamed. This is a horrible waste of our tax dollars,” said a neighbor, who preferred not to be named because she works for a bank. “As 800,000 workers are forced to stay home during the government shutdown, sending 25 police officers to board up a home is still considered an essential service. I’m sickened that our tax dollars are paying for all these cops to be here to protect a bank that’s making record profits.”
The protesting continued throughout the day, as the group marched from the County Jail to Sheriff Stanek's office and then sat in at Mayor Rybak's office to put pressure on the City of Minneapolis to stop using public resources to evict community members like Antoine and Jaymie Kelly.
The mayor's staff grew increasingly frustrated with the sit-in. "We don't come to your house banging on the door and hollering," said an aide to the mayor, a line that was met by jeers from the crowd, remembering what had happened to Antoine that morning. The mayor refused to meet with or to schedule a meeting with Jaymie Kelly or other residents facing the threat of eviction by Rybak's police force.
Jaymie, who has lived in her house for 30 years and paid for it five times over, faces eviction from Chase Bank and Freddie Mac. Friday is the last day of her eviction order. One hundred and fifty community members showed up to prevent an eviction on Tuesday, and Occupy Homes is demanding the sheriff stay away. The community plans to celebrate her final countdown with a rally at 3:30 pm Friday, culminating with a disco ball drop at 5pm.
150 neighbors and community supporters successfully prevented the scheduled eviction of Jaymie Kelly, a Powderhorn homeowner who has lived in her home 30 years, this morning.