Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Occupy your home!

2012-05-23 "Home Occupation in Woodland Stops Eviction" []
In Woodland, the occupation of a foreclosed home by members of Occupy groups and others have caused the bank to grant a 45 day grace period. According to a report by News 10 on why the home went into foreclosure []:
[begin excerpt]
The Ponce Family bought their home on Paradise Valley Drive in 2008, but began struggling to hang on to it after Heriberto Ponce lost his job in construction. The family said they began working with Wells Fargo Bank to restructure the mortgage through the HAMP program. But when Heriberto Ponce's signature was missing on a key document, they said the bank told them they needed to re-submit loan documents. In the middle of that process, his wife Alma Ponce said Wells Fargo sold the deed to Specialized Loan Services. Activists said that happened because Wells Fargo had begun the foreclosure process at the same time the family applied for the modification - a process activists said is known as "dual tracking." "And when the bank starts modifying the home loan, they, at the same time start foreclosure on the house, unbeknownst to the homeowners," said Occupy Sacramento activist Cathy Grahnert. 
The Ponces said they are just one of many Hispanic or mostly Spanish-speaking families in the Woodland area that have fallen victim to problems with their mortgages through miscommunication or misunderstanding with banks. "I may be the first one here in Woodland, but they did it to many people. I was the only person standing up for our rights, and I'm just doing everything for my kids," Alma Ponce said tearfully on her front porch.
[end excerpt]
According to the Daily Democrat []:
[begin excerpt]
Around a dozen members of Occupy Woodland, Sacramento and UC Davis camped out Monday night on the front lawn of an east Woodland home awaiting sheriff deputy's to arrive at 6 Tuesday to evict the family of six. By 7:30 this morning, however, there was no sign of a deputy coming to evict the Ponce family, whose home at 1543 Pleasant Valley Drive had been foreclosed on by Wells Fargo Bank last January over a paperwork error. According to Alma Ponce, she and her husband attempted to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy Monday, which would deem the home untouchable, but were told by sheriffs that they would still be evicted from their home this morning. According to Occupy supporter David Madriz, who helps the family with translation, Assistant City Counsel Dan Cederborg assured the family last night after 5 p.m. that the bankruptcy stay would be upheld after all, buying the family another 45 days to work out further legalities.
[end excerpt]
Occupiers who were interviewed by Modesto Anarcho over the phone stated that on the same block there have been several other foreclosures, but the neighborhood is strongly behind the Ponce family who is occupying their home. We will be covering this story as it develops with interviews hopefully soon to follow. But until then, we wish the Ponce family and those occupying out in Woodland all the best and above all - victory!

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