Occupy Our Homes Battles Foreclosures
Military veteran Bobby Hull, who received a loan modification thanks to OOH support, is another person who has joined the group to fight on behalf of other distressed homeowners. AOL Real Estate reported on the campaign at his home when it launched with others around the country last December.
Racking Up Endorsements
As Occupy Our Homes groups notch up victories, they also are winning endorsements from high-profile figures that lend credibility to their radical tactics.The movement may have clinched its biggest endorsement yet when Green Party vice-presidential candidate Cheri Honkala recently appeared at the home of the Cruz family in Minneapolis to voice support for their efforts to defy eviction. Thirty-seven protesters have been arrested during four sit-ins aimed at thwarting the family's eviction there, said Anthony Newby, an organizer for OOH Minnesota. In response to the pressure, the family's lender, PNC Bank, has reportedly said that it wants to help them stay in their home. Newby said that the Cruz family was foreclosed on because PNC mistakenly rejected a mortgage payment. PNC declined to comment on the case. He added that seven campaigns launched by OOH Minnesota, which has expanded from Minneapolis into St. Paul, won loan modifications for homeowners facing eviction. He also said that 10 other campaigns are ongoing, and a total of 60 homeowners have asked his chapter for help. Meanwhile, the OOH Atlanta campaign to help Barber drew a visit from whistleblower Lynn Szymoniak, a Florida lawyer who helped expose the "robo-signing" scandal -- in which banks falsified foreclosure paperwork to repossess thousands of homes. The scandal resulted in banks paying a historic $25 billion settlement. Szymoniak said that she recognized some tell-tale signs of fraud in Barber's foreclosure paperwork during her visit, according to activists who were present. In D.C., several city politicians have voiced support for the OOH campaign aimed at keeping Vanzant in his home, the reverend said. Evolving Tactics The movement probably would not have managed to garner as much support as it has if it hadn't learned to scale itself. Sharing the wider Occupy Wall Street movement's penchant for spectacle, OOH often dumped all its resources into one or two campaigns in its early days.
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