There are families everywhere without homes this holiday season due to foreclosures. The De Los Santos Family of Riverside was but one of them and the Alliance of California for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Home Defenders League has taken up their cause to take this home back. Among the supporters are the occupiers of Los Angeles and Riverside both of which have also been forcibly evicted from their “homes.” Yet all these evictions have not slowed anyone down, in fact it has made this gesture all that much stronger.
The cold winter weather and the empty house was a morose sight until the moving van pulled up with the belongings of Art and Magda De Los Santos and their four children. They had lived in this home since 2003, for the children this was the house they were born into. Art a Supervisor at a metal finishing company for 25 years after serving in the Marine Corps for 5 years and Magda picked this as their first home. They like many other people had kept up with the payments until the economy slowed and the hours for Art went down at work. This was after refinancing to do some repairs to their beloved home, yet in 2009 after becoming three payments behind the foreclosure process started.
However, this was not due to the lack of trying on the De Los Santos part. A loan modification was applied for with JP Morgan Chase and the family was eligible still the bank refused to honor that and opted instead to foreclose and evict. “Did you have to move all your stuff?” was asked to the son “Yes they only gave us 12 days to leave but that wasn’t enough time…they came twice and told us we needed to get our stuff out” “Who came?” Calmly he responded “The Sherriff.”
This was all the build up to the family taking back their home. December 6th 2012 was a day of action for ACCE Defenders League and the support of both the LA and Riverside Occupiers was an added boost. People came in buses and carpools to support and share in the around the clock vigil for this family, to send the message that the banks can’t take this home. The festivities began with the family moving some of their belongings back into the house including the dining room table and the children’s’ bikes. All while the press took pictures and the supporters with signs on the front lawn shouted “This is the power of the people and the power of the people won’t stop!”
After the select items were moved in a few questions were asked to the family.” Do you have the money to pay the loan?” passionately Art responded “Yes they just refuse to take my money in favor of foreclosure”“How far do you intend to take this?” asked a media reporter to Art “As long as it takes” another asked “Are you willing to get arrested?” “Yes” It was made clear that while Mr. De Los Santos would be staying the night along with the occupiers, Magda and the children would be staying elsewhere. The children were asked if they understood what was happening and indeed they did and were as passionate as their parents to save their family home. As things calmed down the Posole that was graciously made by Magda in an industrial sized pot was served to all that were present free of charge. Some even ate at the dinner table with the children marking this as the first family dinner since their eviction. After which the children rode bikes in their neighborhood resuming life as they have always known it.
If you would like to support this action all are invited to call JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon through his assistant Kathy Will at (212)270-0121 to tell him to call off the eviction and reinstate the loan. Also if you are in need of support in the face of foreclosure and are ready to fight back call ACCE Home Defenders League (877)633-9251 or go to http://www.makebankspaycalifornia.com
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