CALL TO ACTION!
From La Familia Hernandez.
We have elected to use our protected rights of freedom of speech to protest the fraudulent banking processes that led to our home being illegally foreclosed upon. Even with limited options, we refused to submit to something we knew was morally wrong and began to organize our family, friends and anyone willing and able to help.
Our family started to find ways to educate our community; not just about our unjust situation but the larger systems playing into it and a barricade was built in front of our home as an artistic display of resistance.
Our battle with the bank however extends past this current action to five years ago when the bank adjusted our monthly payment rates from 3,900 to 4,500. Even with various members of our family contributing to the payments, the dramatic and sudden increase made it impossible to add into our budgets. When we called to ask for assistance, we were informed by Bank of America that the only people that were receiving assistance with their loans were homeowners who were behind on payments. We were painted into a corner where if we sought assistance- our only option was to allow ourselves to purposely fall behind on payments.
During our five years of negotiations, we applied for four modifications and had all of them denied based on reasons that we knew were illegitimate. Also within the last five years, we have seen the bank implement specific practices to gain ammunition to slander our name and delegitimize our ownership of our home. For example; during this 5 year period of negotiations, every time our family wanted to make payments towards the loan, the bank refused to take them. The bank later used this lack of payments to justify the auction of our home from underneath us. While not taking payment may seem very strange, we later learned that this is a very common practice that many banks use during foreclosure processes. We also learned that there have been various fraudulent affidavits associated with the rejection of our loan modification paperwork. To put it bluntly, the bank wants us to lose our home because the profit they stand to make from collecting the insurance they leveraged against us is more than the payments we would be making. Again- both of these are common practices that banks even now are continuing to use with countless families across our country.
After our latest modification request was denied; the eviction notice was immediate despite the fact that our family submitted a QWR (Qualified Written Request) for proof of a written title that is still being investigated.
No family should ever have to lose their home because of the immoral and dishonest bank practices that our government continues to allow. This action has always been about educating each other. About empowering each other to stand up and knowing that we will have a community to stand with us. Despite what you think or how you have been told to feel- you can do something. We are peaceful, we are non-violent but we refuse to go down quietly. It is becoming increasingly necessary to build a culture of resistance. An organized community is a force to be reckoned with and that is why our family is being criminalized.
This is the first home that our family has been able to own. Like many others, our parents came here as immigrants from Mexico, for the opportunity for advancement, stability, honest work and greater accessibility to education for us, their children. With our parents only being able to get minimum wage jobs, renting was the only option for housing that our family had. The rent we paid was often too much for what we had and despite how long we had been living in a place, it never really felt like ours. Our family worked hard for what we had and we were patient to get the things we felt were important. When we were finally able to afford to buy our own home, we saw it as the culmination of the decades of rent we had been contributing to other property owners.
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