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We are the 99 percent

Occupy Greensboro joins Occupy Raleigh to reclaim an evicted family’s foreclosed home

Posted 11 years ago on April 9, 2012, 2:40 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

occupy raleigh homes

Update, 4/10: from Occupy Raleigh:

On April 9 in Raleigh, N.C., over 30 community members came out to help defend a victim of mortgage fraud from her and her family’s impending eviction (see details below).

At approximately 2:45pm, more than 40 police and over 10 SWAT Team members descended on the home with battering rams and shields. As they marched in, a woman started shouting: “Do you work for Wells Fargo now? Are you okay with a family getting illegally kicked out of their home?!”

Seven peaceful people, from young to old, chose not to leave the premises and were arrested. Two were later arrested when they returned to the home to collect belongings.

Everyone arrested has now been bailed out. Additional home defenses are planned for this month. If you can contribute bail support to those fighting illegal evictions, you may do so here: https://www.wepay.com/donations/bond-fund-for-eviction-defense-action-in-raleigh

Original call to action and background from Occupy Greensboro:

A family in Raleigh has been evicted and forced from their home through an illegal foreclosure. They have been ordered to remove all personal property from their home by Sunday April 8, 2012. The family has bravely chosen to fight eviction and foreclosure and is requesting community support. Evidence of robo-signing by the bank, which is a fraud, has been uncovered and the entire foreclosure process is under attorney review.

It is up to us to send a clear message that we will not allow this to happen.

On Monday, April 9th, community participants will enter the house and refuse to leave as an act of civil disobedience. Another 10 families in this predominantly African-American neighborhood are facing similarly illegal foreclosure and eviction.

A coalition coordinating with Max Rameau of Take Back the Land and including; Mortgage Fraud NC, Occupy Raleigh, Save Our Homes and Occupy Greensboro are quickly mounting a public protest and home defense. The objectives of this action are: We demand that Nicole and her family be allowed to reclaim possession of their home. We call for a NATIONAL MORATORIUM on all foreclosures, evictions, and utility shut-offs. We demand that banks negotiate loan modifications that include principal reduction. We call for the creation of a community land trust.

This foreclosure eviction protest is one of a growing movement across the country. Take Back the Land, the Occupy movement and others are partnering with homeowners to demand that housing be recognized as a human right. In the last year, successful eviction resistance has been used nationally from Los Angeles to Atlanta and Washington DC. This will be the first use of civil disobedience in defense of foreclosed homes in North Carolina.


Updates posted to: http://occupygreensboro.org and http://twitter.com/occupygso


When Nikki and her husband purchased their house in Raleigh in February of 2006, the future was bright. They looked forward to raising their 3 children and eventually growing old together in their home . Nikki has been a licensed in-home child care provider for the last 12 years. She and her husband both worked full time to provide for their children. In October of 2007, they were late on their mortgage payment. U.S. Bank National Association, who accepted $27 million in bailout money, asked that the family “catch up” on payments. In October of 2007, they paid $1156.00; in November of 2007, they paid $1300.00; and in December of 2007, they paid $1500.00.

On December 13, 2007, Nikki’s husband was injured in a head-on collision. In January of 2008, Nikki advised ASC (the servicer of her loan) that her husband was still out of work due to injuries he sustained in the December car accident. ASC advised Nikki that her husband’s condition qualified her for a loan modification. From January to April of 2008, Nikki diligently called ASC monthly to check on the status of her loan modification. She never received any paperwork, but ASC assured her that her case was “under review.”

In April of 2008, Nikki’s grandfather passed away. Nikki took the loss of her grandfather very hard. He had been the man who raised her, the most important figure in her childhood. While Nikki grieved for her grandfather, she received the first acceleration letter in the mail. By May 2, 2008, U.S. Bank National Association appointed a substitute trustee. That document was signed by a known robo-signer, Sean Nix. Nikki felt overwhelmed, but she knew she had to save her home for her family. She took the only option left to her and filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy; that filing automatically stopped foreclosure proceedings. She and her husband kept up with their structured payments for a full 14 months until Nikki’s husband lost his job. In October of 2009, the bankruptcy was dismissed because they could no longer keep up with the payments.

On November 22, 2010, Nikki’s home was sold back to the bank at a foreclosure auction. On December 5, 2010, a Wells Fargo representative offered Nikki $3,000 in a “cash for keys” scam. Nikki refused the offer and stayed in her home with her family. Nikki was told she should consult a HUD approved housing counselor. With the assistance of Freedom Financial Services, Nikki filed a “motion to set aside judgment and cancel sale” on Dec. 20, 2010. Two days later, her motion was denied by the Wake County Clerk of Courts.

The eviction date was set for April 24, 2011. Nikki did not want her children to witness a forcible eviction by the police. Instead, she and her family packed up their belongings into a “POD” that weekend and took shelter at a neighbor’s home.

When Nikki left her home, she also lost her livelihood. She had been running a licensed day care out of her home. She dutifully followed every step the bank, servicers, and housing counselors told her would save her home. When all of those efforts failed, the prospect of no home for her family and no income to provide for her children was simply overwhelming. In July of 2011, she and her family sought refuge with relatives in Washington, D.C.

Nikki and her family returned to Raleigh on Feb. 2, 2012. They have been staying at Nikki’s mother’s home. She received a notice from GMAC on March 15 stating “anything left within the premises after 4/8/2012 will be considered trash.”

This notice did not close the book on Nikki’s struggle. Instead, with renewed determination, Nikki decided to fight to save her home. When Nikki’s family was evicted, her community lost more than a neighbor. Nikki provided a valuable child care service to her community. The property taxes and state and local taxes that create revenue were lost. Every time a house is foreclosed upon, the property value of the surrounding houses is reduced. Nikki and her family are not alone. There were 66 thousand foreclosures in the state of North Carolina in 2011. How many homes must be abandoned, how many neighborhoods torn apart, how many families must be displaced, before the public wakes up?? The time is now. SAVE OUR COMMUNITIES: FIGHT FORECLOSURE!



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[-] 5 points by jojo (16) 11 years ago

"getting more free toys.... Matt, I was there today. Whatever your politics, whatever you think about banks and economic systems and the Bill of Rights.... you need to admit this. Every one of those people with me today was there because s/he wants to make the world a better, fairer place. No one was out to get something for nothing. On the contrary, they were making sacrifices of time, money, and effort to improve our society. Now, you might argue that their actions don't make the world better, but if you say they were just trying to get 'free toys', you just sound like someone who doesn't know what he's talking about.


[-] 0 points by mattjiggy (31) from Durham, NC 11 years ago

The free toys comment came from the article declaring that housing should be a universal human right. the vocabulary is what disturbs me. I will absolutely admit that people out there are working for improvement in our society. I disagree with their proposition that housing and utilities should be a fundamental right.

[-] 2 points by jojo (16) 11 years ago

OK, Matt, I don't particularly like wild declarations about 'rights' either. But (here I'm guessing a little based on a couple of posts), you seem to want economic reward to correspond to some vague notion about what people deserve. Behind this lurks a religious way of judging people. Keep your religion if you must, but economic equality is really something else altogether, a valuable social good, something from which everyone benefits.

[-] 1 points by mattjiggy (31) from Durham, NC 11 years ago

do you mean equality of opportunity or equality of the result?

[-] 3 points by AChildSooninChains (11) 11 years ago

So what are you arguing? That none of those 10 things are a person's right? Or you concede that the rights in the Bill of Rights are good enough to be considered rights?

So, in a legal sense you're saying that only negative rights (rights that only require inaction) are rights because they don't require "someone else's output and labor" (whatever you arbitrarily decide that means). This is ridiculous. For example, don't we all as a society pay for police to guarantee some of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights such as protecting property, right to life (they enforce laws against murder), and other "negative" rights? (whether or not they actually do this well is debatable but the point remains). So to say some rights are rights but people feeling entitled to basic amenities is not a right (in the so called wealthiest country in the world) seems more than a little disingenuous.

Now, to anyone who's paying attention it is clear that the wealthy elites in this country have enough influence to engage in behavior that amounts to stealing from the working class with little or no punishment (and a chorus of people who still believe the "trickle down" lie backing them up). As one real life example, if you can read how the bank handled this woman's situation and honestly say to yourself she deserved to be foreclosed on you are a sociopath. Clearly this woman was denied her rights. It is the bank who stole from her who is looking for something for nothing, not her.

[-] 1 points by mattjiggy (31) from Durham, NC 11 years ago

a police department fire department are provisions of the government that everyone has an equal opportunity to use. same is not true of housing or welfare check or food stamps or cell phones.

it's the bank in nikki's case did not abide by rules regarding paperwork and notification of foreclosure proceedings then she has every right to protest seizure. I disagree with the premise that once a family has moved into a home they deserve to stay there as long as they please.

[-] 2 points by AChildSooninChains (11) 11 years ago

Personally I've never had to call the police or the fire department. I've also never used welfare or food stamps. I don't see the difference. If I had the same MY TAX DOLLARS EVERYONE WANTS SOMETHING FOR NOTHING NO ONE DESERVES ANYTHING EXCEPT FOR ME I WORK HARD ETC., ETC. logic you have I could argue something like this: The government enforcing the bill of rights is a great tyranny on us all! Why should MY TAX DOLLARS!!!!!!!!! be used for those freeloaders not locking their doors/being careful when cooking. I have never been robbed and my house has never caught fire and I'm doing fine, let the underclasses sort it out themselves. ABOLISH THE FIRE DEPT. AND POLICE DEPT.!

but seriously, what is not equal about housing, welfare, and food stamps (I don't know what you're talking about with cell phones)? If you fall on hard economic times (no different from needing the police after a theft or the fire dept during a fire) you can rest assured you'll have welfare/food stamps/etc (after you jump through a million hoops, at least in the U.S.) until you're back on your feet. You're simply moving the goal posts of your argument (from those are not rights to they're not "equal") since I've exposed what a fallacy it is.


[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8708) 11 years ago

Who "considers themselves entitles to???"

The question is, what makes some people think they are entitled to everything? Kings saying that the peasants have an overblown sense of entitlement; that's about the stupidest argument I've ever heard.

[-] 1 points by paulg5 (673) 11 years ago

I don't know where you reading free everything in this article!

[-] 1 points by Vaijykone (4) 11 years ago

I strongly recommend that you read The Best That Money Can't Buy: Beyond Politics, Poverty & War and watch Paradise or Oblivion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KphWsnhZ4Ag. There is never going to be enough money to provide the best medical care, housing and relevant education of any given time; clean water, healthy and clean food, clean air, clean and renewable energy and so on. Just take a look at how much U.S. medical care programs cost already and there are still probably millions without proper healthcare. Education is ridiculously bad today compared to what humankind could realistically provide, even in those nations with the highest education. Nearly every nation is insolvent; most have been for a very long time. Example: http://www.creditloan.com/infographics/a-global-history-of-debt-by-region-map-from-1970-2010/. However, there is more than enough resources, the necessary technology and know-how to make all that happen. All of that is possible today without money, credit, trade, debt or servitude of any kind. The monetary system doesn't work anymore, neither does the political system. They are both hopelessly obsolete and do not serve the needs of mankind any longer.

The best results come through applying the technological capabilities, technical knowledge, the scientific method and collaboration for social concern. Not through competition and exploitation, you can see this very clearly if you observe your surrounding in today’s world. Wars, hunger, poverty, unemployment, debt and all manner of other factors that contribute to the rapidly accelerating global destabilization. Our species is truly insane, we are exploiting and destroying each other and the planet in every way we can for monetary profit; one factor that in and of itself is capable of crashing the existing socio-economic system is automation. Human labour is ridiculously inefficient and expensive. Machines can do most of the work much faster, much more accurately and consistently than a human can. I'm talking about fully automated restaurants, warehouses, stores and so on. This means accelerating unemployment, accelerating decline in buying power, accelerating decline in consumption and accelerating decline in economic growth, banks failing and so on. The whole global socio-economic system is on a collapse trajectory and it's heading towards crash very fast. If anyone wants to get involved, head to www.thevenusproject.com and collaborate with other likeminded people in solving these problems.


[-] 1 points by paulg5 (673) 11 years ago

I think you meant Interest Reduction not "Principal Reduction"


[-] 0 points by jemcgloin (63) from Staten Island, NY 11 years ago

I happened to be visiting from NYC and went to this action in support. It was beautiful working with these smart and friendly people. It was a joint action between NC Occupys and foreclosure groups, and it was very well run and got lots of local press. The police managed to make themselves look ridiculous as usual, showing up wiith the entire Raleigh police force, marching down a suburban street in formation, and calling in Swat with machine guns and riot sheilds, to remove two peaceful (as the police themselves admitted) protestors from inside the house. They refused to show any paper work or say who asked them to go there. Hello Raleigh! John

[-] 0 points by MachineShopHippie (216) from Louisville, KY 11 years ago

At this point the foreclosure is illegal, so the actions of the police are illegal. Have a lawyer file a civil suit on behalf of the homeowner demanding a moratorium on the foreclosure proceedings, as well as a civil suit against Wells Fargo, the police department(s) that were present, and all individual officers who were present or signed the police reports and arrest records.

As far as I know, theft and kidnapping are still illegal.

[-] 0 points by Ruckasse (28) from Norwood, NC 11 years ago

OWS, please foward this information to all the clergy in that city and any other city. Ask them how they can turn their backs on the sins and crimes committed against innocent people. This is a shame and no policeman will dare arrest a clergy member. I am not a religious person but I know many policemen have to walk into their church with their family. Think about it? Would a policeman dare arrest a religious person?

[-] 1 points by jojo (16) 11 years ago

Hi rucky, do you come to Occupy raleigh?

Yeah, they might leave the clergy alone. But, it's like telling the bossman- we go along with all your crap, God, morality, respectability, but just change this one little thing. It's just not worth it to me. If you're going to protest, might as well kick'em in the teeth and say to hell with all your BS.



[-] 0 points by TheEvilFuckaire (208) 11 years ago

I believe home ownership is an absolute right. It is only possible though when we forget about individual ownership of land. This may sound strange at first, but remember they have controlled your education and the TV since you were born.

  1. Can you survive without land?
  2. What gives you more, or less, right to use a piece of land than another person? Individual ownership of land which is the sole means of survival for all mammals and birds results in slavery. That land is mine so the food that comes from nature on that land is mine too. If you want some? Bend over! Did you invent the apple? Did you invent the chicken? It is not yours or mine the earth is for all of us.






[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 11 years ago

The SWAT TEAM being called in?! What...don't they have any college dorm rooms at UNC to use their battering ram on....and swarm into with their automatic rifles drawn. WOW...the police state is here!

[-] -3 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 11 years ago

Good job guys!