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Entries in Occupy Our Homes (1)

Wednesday
Dec072011

Occupiers Protesting Foreclosures, Cold Temps, with New Campaign

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- A subset of Occupy Wall Street protesters across the country are bringing their fight indoors with plans to stay in foreclosed homes for months -- conveniently just in time for winter.

The group launched a national campaign on Tuesday called Occupy Our Homes -- in which they'll literally be living in the homes of foreclosed homeowners.

It's a move apparently motivated as much by Mother Nature than it was by any philisophical motivations about the economy. 

Nick Espinosa, one of the organizers of Occupy Minneapolis, which officially launched on Oct. 7, said Minnesota's cold makes it difficult for people to spend the winter outdoors.

"It makes sense to be indoors but really this is a larger issue," he said. "It's an opportunity for a way to bring what is happening on Wall Street back to Main Street and to communities most affected by this crisis."

Foreclosures are still plaguing communities across the country, as foreclosure activity recently hit a seven-month high, RealtryTrac reported last month. There were foreclosure filings on 230,678 properties across the country in October, the real estate site said, an increase of 7 percent from the previous month, though down 31 percent from a year ago.

This week, the first major lawsuit over "robo-signing" foreclosure processing was filed in Massachusetts against Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citi, Ally Financial and Wells Fargo, as well as the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. (MERS Corp.). The suit alleges the companies used fraudulent documentation in processing foreclosures.

Steve Fletcher, executive director of the nonprofit group Minnesota's Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, has joined with Occupy Minneapolis protesters to live on the properties of two foreclosed homeowners.

About 50 people began occupying the home of Bobby Hull, 57, this week.  Fletcher said he and other protesters plan to stay in the four-bedroom home of Hull, who is scheduled to be evicted from his home on Feb. 17.

Neighborhoods Organizing for Change along with Occupy Minneapolis protesters have also stayed at the home of Monique White in North Minneapolis, for one month.  Espinosa said the protesters in White's home have scaled back since the original 40 or 50 people a night.

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