Saturday, December 11, 2010

Vigil to defend the Henry family-- from Steve Meacham

Monday, Dec. 13, 6:30 pm

24 Upton St., Cambridge (near Central Sq.)

(runs between Magazine and Pleasant Sts. , about 6 blocks from Central Sq. toward Charles River)

This property has been with the Henry family for over 50 years! It is currently occupied by Nancy Henry (the mom – 76 years old) and Bobby (her son).

Nancy was having trouble paying her mortgage and was scammed by someone offering “help.” That “help” turned out to be taking over her home at a very low price. Her home was then “flipped” to a straw owner for a much larger amount of money. That owner was a straw because the mortgage from the start was more than her gross income. The Henry family became a tenant in the home they formerly owned.

The straw owner went into foreclosure almost immediately. Provident Bank took back the property and began eviction proceedings against the Henry family. The straw owner/buyer denies any knowledge of the transaction and is willing to sign an affidavit to that effect. Why didn’t Provident stop this sale?

In July of this year, they signed an agreement for judgment to move out Dec. 1, 2010, because the District Ct. judge said they would be thrown out more quickly if they didn’t. This was despite the fact that they were days away from a new law passing that would have made it impossible for Provident Bank to evict them, since they were tenants.

At this vigil we will demand that Provident stop the eviction while any one of several solutions are explored.

* Purchase by a Cambridge non-profit as an affordable home ownership homeor rental.
* Acceptance of reasonable rent from the family. Freddie Mac, the government controlled bank, is involved in the property. It is their announced policy to take rent, not evict. Why not here?
* Overturning the original scam sale and thus the foreclosure also.

Other cases
St. Simon: We did a vigil for the St. Simon families in Hyde Park Nov. 26. Because of the vigil Aurora Bank changed course and indicted they would negotiate around offer to buy that would stop the eviction of the families. Those negotiations are difficult and we are alert to the possibility of an eviction blockade this week.
Barzola: We did a vigl for the Barzola family Oct. 13 in Randolph. Fannie stopped the viction for a while to consider taking her rent. There has been no resolution and the deadline is Dec. 15. We are alert to the possibility of an eviction blockade next week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Struggle is Necessary- The Struggle is Working

Monday, Sept. 13 – A day of struggle against the banks
City Life and the Bank Tenant Association plan TWO protests to defend their members against bank evictions.

When: Monday, September 13
Time & place: 9 am, 8 Inwood St., Dorchester for eviction blockade to defend Martin Ovalles
6:30 pm, 48 Mansfield St., Everett for the vigil to defend the Dumerant family
Visuals: Large banners and signs
Street theater featuring a piggy bank knocking on fake doors of homeowners

Contacts: City Life/Vida Urbana 617-524-3541 – Steve Meacham (x310 or 617-909-6182),
Melonie Griffiths (x315 or 617-318-8670) or Jacqui Molina (x303)
Interviews with Martin Ovalles or the Dumerant family can be arranged

“A Bank on REO property described Boston as ‘ground zero’ of the anti-foreclosure movement,” said Melonie Griffiths, an organizer with City Life. “We’re very proud of that. We’ve won a lot. We will continue to defend our members and build our movement. In Boston and in the suburbs.”
The group plans a double protest on Monday, September 13.
1. In the morning, they will stand in the doorway at 8 Inwood St. Dorchester to block the eviction of Martin Ovalles, the former owner. Martin is willing to pay rent but Deutsche Bank won’t accept the rent.
2. In the evening, they will hold a vigil at the home of the Dumerant brothers and their family at 48 Mansfield St. in Everett. The Dumerants were negotiating to repurchase their property when GMAC broke off negotiations and continued the eviction.
City Life/Vida Urbana, working with legal services and a non-profit lender (Boston Community Capital), has achieved what seems to be impossible in other cities – getting back people’s homes after foreclosure with a big principal reduction to current real value. This nationally recognized program has done it through aggressive eviction defense. Over and over, City Life has held vigils and eviction blockades at people’s homes, protested at Wall St. Bank branches, and testified at legislative hearings. A big victory arrived when the state passed a new law to outlaw no-fault post-foreclosure evictions of former tenants by the banks.
But this victory does not cover former owners. “We were thrilled when the legislature passed the tenant protection law and the Governor signed it,” stated Steve Meacham, also with City Life. “But we will continue to also defend owners against no-fault evictions until the Banks end this immoral policy.”

The Ovalles case
Martin Ovalles owned a triple decker at 8 Inwood St. He was foreclosed and is now the only one left. He is willing to pay rent. AT his last court appearance, the judge asked the Deutsche Bank/HomEq representative why they would evict this man and his 8-year old daughter when they could just sell it occupied. The Bank refused and continued the eviction. The constable is coming Monday morning, Sept. 13. City Life will seek to block the eviction.

The Dumerant case
Pierre and Prudhomme Dumerant and their families occupy the two units at 48-50 Mansfield St. in Everett. Their family includes 4 school age children and an elderly mom. They were foreclosed as a result of inability to pay the mortgage on the bubble price. But they can afford a mortgage at current value. They are willing to accept a limit on future profit (if there is any). The families were approved for a new mortgage with Boston Community Capital. BCC entered into negotiations with the lender, GMAC, on July 28, 2010. They disagreed on price, but slowly the gap began to close until they were only $35,000 apart. Then GMAC signed a purchase and sale with an outside investor and continued the eviction. The Bank seeks to evict after Sept. 16. City Life plans a vigil Monday evening, Sept. 13.