WIN: Ann's House - November 2013
After a two-year struggle and traveling from Idaho to Washington DC to speak truth to power to fight for her own home and the homes of others, Ann Haines FINALLY won her St. Paul home of 13 years back from US Bank and Freddie Mac. Ann's family has shared holidays, birthdays and baptisms, celebrated a wedding, grieved the loss of loved ones, provided shelter for children with nowhere else to go, and overcome storm damage at their home.
When Ann asked for help with reducing her payment or interest rate, US Bank took it as an opportunity to sell her house out from under her. The bank stopped the process of her modification because they sent her the wrong application and went ahead with a foreclosure - a clear case of "dual tracking," now illegal under the Minnesota Homeowner's Bill of Rights. Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services helped Ann fight back in court.
Ann is continuing to work with OHMN to help open the eyes of people who aren’t aware of the magnitude of damage these practices causes homeowners and their children. Read more.
WIN: Paula’s House - October 2013
Paula Medlock launched her campaign as part of the "Chase Three" in April 2013 with Jaymie Kelly and Sergio Ceballos. Six months later, she stopped by Jaymie's rally to announce her victory. Thanks to our pressure, Paula reached an agreement for a modification with JPMorgan Chase and will be keeping her home!
"I stood up to the CEO and I won my house," said Paula. "Don't say no. Keep fighting."
WIN: Genet’s House - July 2013
Like so many others, Genet Beyene saw the mortgage on her South Minneapolis home pass through many hands, from Fairmont Mortgage to Litton Mortgage to Ocwen Loan Servicing. Through numerous hardships, including losing hours at her nursing job and caring for her mother full-time after she suffered a stroke, Genet never missed a payment. But the bank claimed she sent incorrect paperwork and her payments rose from $835 a month to over $1850!
“In the real world it’s called “predatory lending”, but I call it robbery,” said Genet. “I have worked all my life. I deserve to stay in my home.”
She joined her neighbors in the Eviction Free Zone to put pressure on Ocwen Loan Servicing to rewrite her mortgage at her home’s current market value. Finally, in July 2013, Genet won a modification with principal reduction! Read more.
WIN: Rose's House - May 2013
After a year-long journey fighting her wrongful foreclosure, Rose McGee has won a settlement with CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae to stay in her home.
“We are working on final details for a settlement resolution, and I will be staying in my home,” said Rose. 70 community members gathered to support Rose in a prayer vigil circling the Government Center water fountain Tuesday afternoon before she went into settlement court, where she finally reached a deal with CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae. Read more.
WIN: Caylin's House - April 2013
Caylin Crawford, a researcher at the University of Minnesota fighting foreclosure with Occupy Homes MN, received an unprecedented settlement offer from Freddie Mac that will keep her in her home.
The settlement represents a major break from Freddie Mac’s policy against selling houses back to homeowners or family members. “I’m ecstatic that I get to stay in the home my family has put so much effort into,” said Caylin. “By building a community of support, we’ve made the impossible possible.” Read more.
WIN: Gayle's House - March 2013
After a public pressure campaign through Occupy Homes MN’s Eviction Free Zone, Gayle Lindsey, a nursing assistant and grandmother in South Minneapolis who was facing imminent eviction, won a modification of her mortgage from M&T Bank. Gayle’s victory marks the seventh for Occupy Homes MN and the first in the Eviction Free Zone, a project that brings neighbors in the Central and Powderhorn neighborhoods together to refuse to leave their homes without a fair negotiation.
“It shows that Occupy Homes MN works,” says Gayle. “I want to move on to more victories for the community.” Read more.
WIN: Paul's House - August 2012
Paul Lelii, a single father, attorney for his private law firm, and St. Paul homeowner, has been offered a principal reduction loan modification by Bank of America. The news came after a targeted campaign that Occupy Homes MN led against Bank of America, urging them to renegotiate with Paul and four other homeowners.
“Paul has shown courage, strength and passion for eliminating foreclosures throughout St. Paul,” said Lauren Siegel, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. “His victory shows that banks can and will stop foreclosure when they face enough pressure to do so.”
“This is just one victory, but I’m not stopping here," said Paul. "We need to set a precedent in St. Paul: no more foreclosures!” Read more.
WIN: The Clark Family's House - August 2012
After a three-year foreclosure fight, a campaign with Occupy Homes MN, and an investigation by the Minnesota Attorney General, Bank of America and Freddie Mac agreed to offer an affordable loan modification for Frank Clark and Kristina Darrington.
The official offer came one day after the end of Frank and Kristina’s redemption period, which put them at risk for imminent eviction.
“Frank and Kristina have overcome great odds, including a history of homelessness. This victory allows them to sleep soundly in their home, and to continue to help others in their community,” said Ryan Stopera, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. Read more.
WIN: Ruby's House - July 2012
After a five-year battle over now-illegal lending practices, a bank error that dropped her from a loan modification program, and a campaign with Occupy Homes MN, north Minneapolis homeowner Ruby Brown received a mortgage renegotiation from Bank of America, just days before her home was to be auctioned off.
“This is an American epidemic," said Ruby. "The politicians and government need to have an antidote so everyone can be vaccinated. If they can do it for me, they can do it for everyone.” Read more.
WIN: Colleen's House - June 2012
After a several month campaign pressuring Citibank to negotiate with Colleen Mckee Espinosa and a last minute blitz of social media, petition signatures, and calls to the office of CEO Vikram Pandit, Citibank canceled a scheduled sheriff's sale and approved a loan modification for the Espinosa’s home. The dramatic news came less than 24 hours before the house was to be sold at auction.
"I'm so relieved that my family's home of 16 years will not be on the auction block tomorrow," said Colleen, a nurse and single mother who received widespread support after she pledged not to leave her home without a good faith negotiation. Read more.
WIN: Monique's House - May 2012
Over a year after the bank foreclosed on Monique White's North Minneapolis home, she received word of a reprieve: a representative of US Bank called to let her know the bank was willing to modify her mortgage.
"I had to step outside and scream to the top of my lungs and thank God, because without God, this never would have been possible," she said.
Monique's campaign gained national attention after she introduced herself to the Occupy movement in Minneapolis and invited dozens of activists protesting corporate greed to her home. OHMN activists started camping out at White's home in November 2011. See national story. Read more.
FIRST WIN: Bobby's House - February 2012
Three days after the end of the redemption period, Bank of America called Vietnam veteran Bobby Hull to negotiate a loan modification, allowing Bobby to make affordable mortgage payments and keep his family in their home and the community.
"This means the world to me and my family, but we aren’t satisfied yet," Hull said. "We won't stop until all Americans across the country get the same deal that I did."
The Cruz Family's House - June 2012
The Cruz family's home went into foreclosure when PNC Bank mishandled an online payment. Although PNC executives acknowledged their error and repeatedly told Cruz supporters that they are working on a solution, their actions showed the opposite. They refused to work with the family, instead working with Freddie Mac and the city of Minneapolis to launch a series of costly police raids against home, ultimately resulting in 39 arrests.
Despite the fact that the Cruz family drove 800 miles to hand deliver their loan modification documents in person, along with over 40,000 petition signatures, PNC Bank refused to find a solution that would keep them in their home, inciting outrage and disgust among the family’s supporters.
Although they lost their home, the Cruzes’ battle against an unjust foreclosure became a focal point for the Occupy movement and garnered media attention from around the country. It was a long and courageous campaign that we count as a win for homeowners who choose to stand up and fight.
“Our family can’t believe how much support we have received from around the country in our fight to save our home. We are so thankful for each and every one of you,” said Alejandra Cruz. Read more.
Arturo Garcia paid his mortgage for nine years. When he lost his job in July 2009, Wells Fargo denied his request for a loan modification. He was able to climb out of foreclosure with assistance from another company, but he never had success lowering the monthly payments. With increased interest, payments and principle, Arturo fell behind again. The bank rejected his payments, refused to modify the loan, and decided to move ahead with the sheriff's sale. The Garcia family just wanted a fair negotiation for the chance to stay in their neighborhood and continue paying for their home. Unfortunately, Wells Fargo refused to negotiate and the family was forced to move out. The Garcia family touched many hearts in Occupy Homes during the long and unfair trials they endured in their effort to keep their home. Read more.
Mike's grandmother moved out of her house after she fell into foreclosure in 2013, leaving yet another empty house in the Eviction Free Zone. We wanted U.S. Bank and Bank of America to turn this vacant house over to the community to be used for affordable housing. Unfortunately, the Minneapolis Police helped U.S. Bank's property management company board the house with steel plates, making sure it could not be used as housing for people who need it. Read more.
Nafeesah's House - November 2013
Nafeesah Abdullah McReynolds-El was forced out of her home of 20 years after the company that purchased Nafeesah's contract-for-deed, Northern Value Group, LLC, pushed to evict despite the fact that Nafeesah was negotiating a loan modification with her bank, Midlands Mortgage. Before starting the loan modification process, Nafeesah had been making payments on her contract-for-deed: $83/month for 20 years. When Northern Value purchased it for only $8,000, Nafeesah lacked the resources to buy it back all at once. Northern Value never offered Nafeesah the option to make reasonable payments on the contract. Read more.