USuncutMN says: Tax the corporations! Tax the rich! Stop the cuts, fight for social justice for all. Standing in solidarity with http://www.usuncut.org/ and other Uncutters worldwide. FIGHT for a Foreclosure Moratorium! Foreclosure = homelessness. Resist the American Legislative Exchange Council, Grover Norquist and Citizen's United. #Austerity for the wheeler dealers, NOT the people.



We Are The 99% event

USuncutMN supports #occupyWallStreet, #occupyDC, the XL Pipeline resistance Yes, We, the People, are going to put democracy in all its forms up front and center. Open mic, diversity, nonviolent tactics .. Social media, economic democracy, repeal Citizen's United, single-payer healthcare, State Bank, Operation Feed the Homeless, anti-racism, homophobia, sexISM, war budgetting, lack of transparency, et al. Once we identify who we are and what we've lost, We can move forward.



Sunday, June 17, 2012

State-wide Foreclosure Moratorium: How to get one!


Foreclosure Arrestee (USuncutMN) Asks YOUR help

VIRGINIA DEOCCUPY HOMELESSNESS SIMSONwww.USuncutMN.blogspot.com, scoop.it/Austerity?NO!!

Saint Paul, Minnesota  By now, most are aware that the banks made enormous profits selling junk mortgages.  Inside Job won the Best Documentary award for exposing how the citizens were “played” by the banks and how the executives involved just did not hold themselves accountable for the consequences of their massive fraud. 

Matt Taibbei of Rolling Stone magazine, made powerful comment at Occupy Wall Street on February 23rd in a teach-in as to why we in the United States MUST fight back and demand accountability.  The crisis is far from over. This chart explains why it will take a full four years for the effects to "settle":  It takes time for the entire process to finalize into homelessness!  Let's prevent some trauma!



Because of activist pressure, a mortgage fraud settlement was obtained. The Bank$ter$ were convicted in The Court of Public Opinion.  Obama was forced to act -- because of We the People.  Try to remember that.

But many people are not aware that a minimal payout was made available to homeowners via the States after a lawsuit was brought.

It was an egregious settlement, but it was better than nothing after waiting four long years.

Where is this money?  Sitting in the bankers’ accounts, collecting interest.  Is this acceptable?  We say NO!  In Minnesota, $280 million dollars has been available for six months, but the program is not working.

 We want and  are petitioning for an immediate foreclosure moratorium.  Here's the link.  Right up front:  I am asking YOU to sign!!  http://signon.org/sign/41-million-reasons-for?source=c.url&r_by=260770

I write this in hopes you can learn from our Minnesota experience and grow a viable movement in your own communities.  Only through activism, through public pressure will we get justice. With just a little work, we can get foreclosure moratoriums in all our states if we work together.

What is, Why is and Who are Occupy Homes?

Journalist/activist Dan Feidt writes from a "think global, act local" vantage point: 

What is Occupy Homes?  

Firstly, banks use bookkeeping magic to electronically create money which they lend out to the public & government at compound interest. They don't actually have all that money - only a small fraction. This is called fractional reserve banking. It's intrinsically unstable because the economy can never grow exponentially along with the debt.

Over the last 15 years the Federal Reserve under Greenspan suppressed the prime interest rate, causing an enormous bubble in home prices. Criminal 'control fraud' organizations such as Freddie Mac committed various crimes such as fraudulent inducement, securities fraud, fraudulent conveyance, etc., to bundle mortgages which were likely to collapse as AAA securities. They got fat bonuses and Freddie Mac used its government backing to basically create insurance for bondholders in the event of default, then resold these securities again. In Nov 2011 FreddieMac was forced to pay the federal govt tens of millions $$ for orchestrating staggering securities fraud at the executive level (bundling Alt-A mortgages as AAA etc)

In order to create these fraudulent securities, the banks set up a go-between shell organization called MERS, Mortgage Electronic Registration System, which unlawfully poses as the legal entity with authority to foreclose on people for basically any reason, though it usually doesn't have the mortgage note in a valid chain of title. MERS was used to obfuscate any path to ameliorate housing issues, i.e. you could never even reach the responsible party on the phone, if you could determine who they even were.

Housing prices across the US finally started to crash around 2007-2008. The whole system had been predicated on rising prices which only occurred because the money was magically created thru fractional reserve at suppressed interest rates. As prices fell, thousands of homes had mortgages where the principal demanded exceeded the value of the home - these went 'underwater' as homeowners entered negative equity despite making years of payments. If they quit paying they entered foreclosure, further depressing local prices, a vicious spiral. Today the banks possess millions of empty homes and keep them off the market in order to create the illusion that market prices have stabilized, but in fact price discovery has been halted and 'fake prices' rule the day.

Don’t say the “F” word or else!

In the political system 'regulatory capture' has taken over most levels wherein no official with any kind of power, i.e. Sheriff Stanek, Mayor Rybak, are willing to even say the word 'fraud' and defend the public welfare from organizations that orchestrate these crimes & no decisions are taken in favor of the Little People. The housing court in MN does not offer any redress for fraud or in the case of the Cruz house, bank errors wherein the bank demands an unachievable amount of money for their own mistake.

Therefore a broad network of people have undertaken a direct action campaign to resist the political functions occurring under the regulatory capture such as sheriffs sales and evictions. Through demonstrations and occupying the homes directly, the figures who have the arbitrary power, such as the bookkeeping-magic powered banking industry & the feckless politicians who collect political contributions from the compound interest machine, are forced to let people retain their homes and reduce the principal due on the underwater mortgages, which was never necessary in any sense and was only a lever to consolidate wealth into an ever-smaller group of people.

That's the theory anyway -- the authorities are willing to carry out extreme levels of state violence to maintain momentum in the regulatory capture & control fraud system which prevails today.

People who care are forced to join Occupy Homes because:  

The US federal government sent the Banksters $13T, the entities which created this mess.

What did the Banksters’ do with their welfare?   It didn’t direct money to solve title problems, it gambled the trillions on more toxic debt around the world.

Experts such as Ellen Brown urged full redress.  She and others suggested a massive settlement that left the banks feeling the sting -- along with the restructuring of banking itself.  Too Big To Fail meant Too Big To Manage.  The FRAUD was seen as systemic.  Robosigning/liar loans and the scourge of adjustable rate mortgages were to be abolished - whether by regulation or the imposition of State banks.

Instead, the AGs in the US accepted a bandaid rather than rehab to the heavily-bleeding victims, the taxpayers and shareholders.
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Hopefully - in the name of fairness -  local registrar of deeds and local judges will slap Banksters hard, because elected officials - many owned by Banksters and who could conceivably slap them - haven’t: and logic dictates, won’t.

And in the urge for fairness, it would seem that banks that participated in fraud should not be collecting interest on the monies paid out for VICTIMS. But they are; that’s how State banking "regulation" is not working these days.  Make a fraudulent attack on the public: Get paid for it.

So we say that each state should demand a foreclosure moratorium until the allocated money is allocated, and the programs for relief have been proven to work.   

San Francisco set up a precedent. What We say is that this should go through each state, where the money is, through the Attorney Generals' offices.  So far that has been done only at the local level and to continue that as a strategy would take years.

To see for yourself who that was done, here is some excellent video on the San Francisco experience provided by Carol Harvey.  A video is worth 1000 words; share her videos with people that care.  

Learn and then maybe we can get mortgage foreclosure moratoriums in each state, and as we suggest, working through our Attorney Generals.

Some of us get arrested occupying foreclosured homes, because we think the actions over the last four years are just plain shameful.   I am one of those cases - and I wanted to stand in solidarity with other occupiers.  So I am "guilty" of trespass - with an explanation!   Below is an "explanation" of what I am doing while I await a hearing.

Here are action steps ACTivists can take

Take this idea and this article to your next Coffee Party gathering.  (We have another one here in Saint Paul on July 7th.)  Take this to moveon.org and your #ows General Assemblies.  Take it to your church.  Take it to your union local.  Take it wherever people w/social justice concerns gather. Some won't hear you, but keep working it.  No one said life doesn't have its struggles.  You may need to remind yourself of that often, but the good responses on a daily basis will keep you buoyed.  We are rocking boats, talking, trusting and building a truly caring movement.

It is important to remember, that at each step, you need to reach out to more and more people to gather enough people to get a foreclosure moratorium.  If people around you don’t understand what you are doing, just keep doing each step.  Trust me; we're after a winnable action.  More people will begin to support this idea as you go along.  Precedent has been set already!  ; )

And then devise an action plan that includes the following:
 
Plan a screening of the following two – Inside Job is available on Dvd, and the Matt Taibbei video is easily accessible on youtube .  (See links above.)  Even a couple of people watching this together can began to have a massive effect on how things go in your state after solidifying their commitment.  There are good homelessness videos coming out now, too.  Tip:  Start a video/youtube collection right away -  in early days.  Get some good photos of homeless persons together too. You may need them later.  Or be bold - go and make a video of your local foreclosure victims and homeless people and then post it on facebook.  Suggest this as a "group activity" for your initial contacts .. Look for and build a community spirit.  Sometimes media committees get a bit ruthless. Cooperation is key to success and this is the time to aim for that.  Include everyone who wants to be included in media efforts.

Go to www.propublica.com and find out how much money your state has been allocated for foreclosure relief.

Get an appointment with your Attorney General – and find out the amount the office says is on their books and has not been distributed.  Be prompt and cheerful and loaded with facts and an attitude of compassion for foreclosure victims and homeless people when you go in.  Know that public policy can be changed by YOU – you can make a difference, a very big difference.  It's not a tea party nor an action.  It is an information session at which YOU make a sensible request that will save time, money, social havoc and heartache.

Ask for them for a foreclosure moratorium! until the money IS released and the program has been proven to work.  Offer to petition citizens showing that the population is on their side if they do that.  Going city to city would take a very long time. 

Write a petition.  You can use moveon’s site, change.org, care2.org's petition site -- or any other that you’ve already linked up.  You can even post on all available  lists.  Be sure to mention the amount and give references to it as well as the propublica site.  Include a person’s email to return the names of signatories.  You don’t need addresses, or phone numbers from signatories on many of these, which will expand the base of those who will sign.  But be sure to get email addresses.  Tip:  About out-of-state signatories.  Go for it!  This is grassroots organizing at its finest and friends who will back you and your group up, get them on board! Show that this is truly an international issue.  Just aim for a higher number of signatures than you think you will need so that if their names are "disqualified" you have plenty.  Let this snowball by spreading it around.  I am so chuffed by my readers who have signed, that it makes my eyes tear over. They do care ...

Create a FB “cause” – click it around a bit to your friends and good Occupy sites on the web.  Go to Occupy Homes and other sites and post it around.  We call that clicktavism.

Write an action alert, a 3-paragraph inspirational piece to send out to your occupy websites.  Just be sure to include the petition link, a place to contact and perhaps a reference or two to show you do kinow what you are "speaking" about.

Make hard copies and 

Start asking for signatures at food coops, your social justice actions, in ordinary conversation.  Forward your link to all your FB and twitter friends.  Ask them to get involved and figure out ways you can work together.  I’ll be outside our homelessness show here in Saint Paul this Tuesday, clipboard in hand with plenty of pens and maybe a small sign saying “You can help end homelessness.  Please sign my petition.”  You can put flyers up on coffeehouse and coop bulletin boards - just be sure to pick them up or give a place to forward them to - maybe the Attorney General's office directly.

Think up talking points in advance:  Writing a blurb for your petition to hand out to those that sign will help you focus your thoughts. Points such as this are incredibly helpful: 
1. Foreclosure causes BLIGHT – it brings in crackhouses, whore houses, boarded up windows, rodents  – and

3. Homelessness hurts.  You might mention that for every homeless person, there are 24 empty houses now (Yikes!) One in seven people is homeless.  Here in MN, the average of a homeless person is .. wait for it! .. six years old!  One in four homeless persons is a veteran.  BREAK those stereotypes!  Most of the homeless are children. People who are homeless are not easy to “deal with”. They are wounded and hurt - and often desperately poor. Sometimes, things get so bad, you really cannot predict what an ill homeless person will do and they become scary.  That doesn’t mean that we, as humane persons don’t do everything we can possibly do to help them.  Remember we are asking for monies and programs for people who were victims of FRAUD. The kids didn't sign .. The best way to stop homelessness is to prevent it. That is what we are doing w/this foreclosure moratorium campaign; trying to prevent it.

4. You might also mention that those of us who fight back and try to get the media to write about the outrage get arrested, but the fraudulent bank$ter$ do not.  In fact, the media and policos lionize bank$ter$ – turning them into rock star status.  Here we see Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase wearing Presidential cufflinks.  After four long years, we are seeing precious little accountability for banksters' FRAUD.  Here is the article about the foreclosure victims arrests. 
5.  Our media and CONgress are not acting in the public’s interest, but this is a preliminary step in gaining accountability and helping victims for now .. you get the idea.  Only our pressure can change public policy. This is why the settlement was achieved. Public pressure.
6. Have people go to www.propublica.com for information if you are asked for verification. That’s so easy!

7. Stay current on issues so you have plenty to talk about.  Obviously, the foreclosure moratorium is just a bit of the solution to our corrupt and highly unregulated banking system.  The articles abound and it can be very difficult to know which to read, which to omit – but struggle on nevertheless.  Find a good author in “the know” and subscribe!  You can run a google alert and get regular, fresh information by the buckets.  Just put in “foreclosure”, “activism” or whatever strikes your fancy, and it will lead you to good, fresh and in-depth articles.  www.webofdebt.com and www.dandelionsalad.wordpress.com are two of my very favorite websites with economics about foreclosure.  So is www.nakedcapitalism.com.  There is also econtv.com for those who want punchy videos.

Give a donation – food, money, office help, your bodily presence – to a foreclosure occupation. Talk to the people, attend the barbeques, speak to your minister about hosting a teach-in on homelessness, the foreclosure crisis, about ACTivism.  Go visit a homeless shelter; see first hand how demoralizing the environments are that your tax dollars are paying for.  Get angry that homeless children are fed bad food, denied educational opportunities most take for granted and wonder where they will sleep that night. Thank those who volunteer their time in the most needed activity: helping the homeless.  The best "gift" you ever give anyone is your time as you can never get it back.

Understand me – I am on the side of COMPASSION.  No one should be made homeless.  Housing IS a human right; so is our personal property. So is the right to expect our governments to take our concerns seriously. Rhode Island has a Homeless Bill of Rights now..  An era of #austerity is being proposed. We need to work to ensure we don't have more unhoused, demoralized people.

Remember: this is a political struggle.

Over the months I have been fighting foreclosure, I have seen a most disturbing criminalization of dissent.
  – an overmilitarization of police and private security forces Say FRAUD loud and clearly. This is not a handout.  This was a decision made to quell opposition that was getting loud as President Obama and the other politicos tried to sweep our legitimate anger under the rug.  Banks got bailed out; we got sold out - to the tune of $17 trillion dollars.  We are not criminals; we are people striving for justice.

Our foreclosure fighters at occupations are beaten and sexually abused, denied medications, fed drugs by police (the DRE program), their belongings tossed into dumpsters (illegal!) - and the bail amounts continue to escalate. 

It is easy to stay wound up and lose focus.  This is not an effort to “get arrested” nor rant about “state power” the entire time.  We need a good, firm CENTER, a mass of support to win even basic justice.  Civil disobedience is a personal choice. 

But a petition drive – backed up by phone calls, oped letters, national actions - can help us drive up the necessary numbers to build a movement to stop foreclosure once and for all.

Write opeds, post comments – even to the teensiest of local papers. Educate, agitate, ORGANIZE.   Offer your email address as a contact point. People will show interest, but they need direction.
We are getting precious little Good Press.  Try to find a media outlet that will explain WHY Occupy Homes exists.  Therefore: When a paper posts articles, post comments.  Say clearly - "This has all been about fraud and we must not blame the victims nor their supporters."

Continue to educate yourself.  Example:  look at how companies are enriching themselves buying up HUGE lots of foreclosed properties, getting city permissions. Know that without our ACTION, nothing is going to change and more misery is the inevitable result.

Notes about the foreclosures and homelessness – TRAUMA and our priorities

Many of us foreclosure activists are homeless.  For me, this time, it was huge overdraft charges on an account for which I had never signed for an overdraft. I’ve been homeless nine months.  But TCF Bank got $100’s in overdraft charges on a $1.88 overdraft because I had direct deposit on my disability check.  They ruined my credit –and after nine months, have never even sent me a bank statement saying how much they CLAIM I still owe. 

I was a  holder of a mortgage in Ontario and lost my house way back in 2006, They wouldn’t pay up when my husband got ill, even though I had insurance.   I had paid $46,000+ in CASH, and didn’t even get eight months of residency.  I lost $25,000 on the sale of the house besides.  I was framed.  Now I have moved more times than I care to remember.  It just never seems to stop.

I am 63, disabled, widowed and orphaned.  This homelessness hurts!  In these nine months, not one of three counties have helped me.  The indignities I suffer would make for an entire book.  Too many places to stay has made me even more traumatized; the doctor(s) say so.  I stay sane by … you guessed it!  … fighting back. 

Articulation of our pain should be taken seriously - particularly the pain of homeless children.  We must speak up for those who are inarticulate, invisible, disabled, too young to speak for themselves.  Advocacy is a talent and a gift when it comes to these issues, particularly right now as right-wingers point fingers at victims.  One more time:  the bulk of the homeless are children.  We are speaking for them.

 Many frontline poverty workers are not helping out in ways that work, although they see the consequences of destroyed urban areas – and increasingly the devastation growing in the suburbs.  Make sure you see that empowerment of ourselves is paramount.  Suffering needs to be listened to and then acted upon.  Don’t further victimize the homeless.  Listen with three ears open.  And _just _stay _active _yourself.
Don’t join the chorus that’s been set in motion:  Victims are NOT to blame
Homeless people are deeply traumatized.  And foreclosure victims’ wounds are close to the surface. They are grieving people.  Each day is a trial.  Try to help them; not judge.  You wouldn’t want to be walking in their shoes.

Yet they are more traumatized as their efforts to empower themselves are met with scorn, derision, brutality, and harassment on the part of City Councils, cops and media. I could give a hundred more links of this part of the "story.".  Cops are not living in foreclosed communities in the cities. City Council members are taking money from banks and corporations to win elections; many are not standing with the tax-paying citizens who are fed up.  Don't allow the coverup!
Meanwhile, the foreclosure relief money continues to sit in accounts, not being used, unless We make something about public policy change.  Public policy should not be made in backrooms, bars and restaurants by bank$ter$ and politicians sharing drinks and lobster.  Our mayor actually locked his door, but continues to meet with those who want to subsidize a nearly $1 billion stadium!  But, doubtless our din gets on his nerves and we continue to say:  We will be back!

We can win this!  We can “like” it.  We can “tweet” it.  We can “share” it. We will win with your own particular, special help involved.  You cannot stop the power of a Great Idea.

I can be reached at USuncutMN@gmail.com.  Tell me how your Action Plan proceeds. 

This is permanently archived at: http://bit.ly/MXjPP1

Our Minnesota petition can be found here:  Please! Sign it!  Use it as a template for your State.  Many blessings as you help prevent more homelessness - and stand w/the afflicted.



1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this very important information regarding foreclosure. Homeowners have many options available to them when it come to foreclosure, including bankruptcy, short sale, loan modification or working away. It's important to talk with a qualified attorney or real estate agent to explore these options.

    ReplyDelete