Families arrested at bank in foreclosure protest [with video]

Fed up with the banks, a group of families facing foreclosure and eviction were arrested Thursday, Dec. 16, in Los Angeles when they refused to move their furniture and themselves from the front of a Chase Bank branch, where they had staged a protest.

"Myself and other families facing foreclosure over the holidays went to jail," Peggy Mears, one of 22 arrested protesters, said, "while the real criminals - the executives of JP Morgan Chase and other major banks - are free and on track to pay themselves over $143 billion in bonuses!"

Bank security locked the building after protesters tried to move furniture from a truck into the bank branch at 4th and Hope Streets in downtown Los Angeles. The families then set up a mattress, chairs, a rug and an end table in front of the bank and held a 120 person-strong rally with their supporters.

After the rally, Mears and group of the homeowners moved the furniture in front of the building's doors and sat down, refusing to move until they were arrested.

Mears and the other protesters are members of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a statewide community organization, and the Home Defenders League.

Millicent "Mama" Hill, writing in an ACCE email blast, explained that the organization's members started the Home Defenders League so that "anyone who has been a victim of the foreclosure crisis has a chance to fight back."

The movement to protest foreclosures and evictions is expected to gain momentum and militancy while foreclosures and evictions continue unabated.

Peter Dreier reports in the Huffington Post that 3 million families are facing foreclosures this year and 500,000 families have already been kicked out of their homes.

Meanwhile, in the face of record profits, the major banks are refusing to modify mortgage loans or to make loans to businesses that would result in new jobs.

The largest six banks - Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, CitiGroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley - are sitting on $9.4 trillion, which represent 79 percent out of $12 trillion in total assets, according to Dreier.

Through the Home Defenders League, ACCE members aim to compel banks to stop evictions and advocate for government at all levels to adopt tougher laws.

The group convinced the city of Los Angeles to adopt the LA Foreclosure Registry Ordinance requiring banks to register properties in foreclosure with the city or face penalties of up to $1,000 per day per property, Hill said.

In California, ACCE is calling for legislation to require banks to negotiate with homeowners to modify loans before beginning foreclosure proceedings.

ACCE and groups in other states also have their sights on national legislation to further contain the abusive banking practices that continue despite the new federal financial regulations and the Obama administration's attempts to encourage banks to voluntarily renegotiate delinquent mortgages.

Applying public pressure, ACCE and other groups nationally have forced lenders to agree to permanent loan modifications for a number of individual homeowners facing foreclosure.

This latest action aims to up the ante by bringing together the collective power of the homeowners themselves in alliance with their supporters among labor unions, the religious community and community organizations. Among those arrested was John Tanner, Executive Director of SEIU Local 721.


Video courtesy ACCE.

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  • We need more collective actions like this one. Similar ones had profound effects during the Great Depression. There is no reason to believe that similar actions during this "Great Recession" would not.

    Posted by Rob Moir, 12/26/2010 9:25pm (5 years ago)

  • We need more of these grass-roots actions. They had substantial impact during the Great Depression, there is no reason they wouldn't during the "Great Recession" today.

    Posted by Rob Moir, 12/26/2010 9:19pm (5 years ago)

  • No- it has to be said.

    Which countries, specifically, and which years, specifically, are you referring to, Alice?

    Because I'm calling b---s---.

    Posted by Maximilian Hyland, 12/20/2010 6:54pm (5 years ago)

  • If you and/or people you know are facing foreclosure, there are some ways to avoid or stall losing your home. While I encourage people repay obligations as agreed, this is an extraordinary time.

    1. Demand the Note. The bank has a legal obligation to produce the original note. Most can't do it.

    2. There was a court case in 1969 referred to as the Credit River Decision where Jeremy Daly sued his mortgage company charging they did not put up something of value in return for the mortgage to his property because the fiat money was created out of an accounting entry. He won. Months later the judge was murdered.

    3. There is a huge fraud that has been committed by banks for many years using a the MERS system for recording the mortgages to save the banks time and money closing mortgage loans.

    I do not have personal experience with foreclosure but encourage anyone with problems paying their mortgage due to unemployment, because of an economic meltdown caused to a large extent by the mortgage industry and their blatant disregard for common sense, explore these options. The corruption and deceit that gained huge profits for the elite at the expense of honesty and integrity must be stopped. In the mean time, we must use every peaceful and legal means to keep the middle class in their homes.

    Please share this information with your friends.

    Posted by New Paradigm, 12/20/2010 2:04pm (5 years ago)

  • Yes thank you on the West Coast-----these banks should stop ALL foreclosures immediately throughout the USA.

    Otherwise Americans will be living in government facilities much like the compounds in Communist nations.

    Posted by Alice, 12/19/2010 2:48am (5 years ago)

  • On Wednesday, December 15, 2010 members of Grassroots Assembly for Mortgage Fraud Victims, LLC conducted a Mortgage Fraud Summit at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario with Rhema Economic Research and Development, a nonprofit Corporation.

    The Event was a success! This was their first Event and based upon the outcome and urgent need of Homeowners in Foreclosure, they will be conducting others in the year 2011 with prominent speakers who are in contact with them now ready to speak at their next summit.

    The LATEST NEWS for California is that Goldman Sachs is the underwriter of the Debt of California….You can outright see the conflicts here. Especially California Judges allowing these Servicers to Foreclose on Homes which is a direct financial benefit to these Servicers. (i.e. Goldman Sachs who owns 100% of the Servicing Company Litton Loan Servicing and is the underwriter for the majority of homes that were securitized and serviced by other banks) – GOLDMAN SACHS IS UNDER THE GUISE OF GOVERNOR, NOW WE ARE GOING AFTER CALIFORNIA…..!

    You may want to check out the blog - Major Civil case brewing against Goldman Sachs in detail.

    Posted by leslie, 12/18/2010 8:23pm (5 years ago)

  • Stay Strong Defenders of Truth & Justice.

    Thank You from the East Coast in defending America against The Banksters Predatory Foreclosure Fraud

    Posted by Ace, 12/17/2010 9:38pm (5 years ago)

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