Why we are taking a stand against an immoral foreclosure

 By Rose Mary Gudiel  

Last Friday, the moment I had been dreading arrived: my family was served an eviction notice by the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department. OneWest Bank and Fannie Mae believe this is the final chapter of the foreclosure on our family’s home of almost 7 years. But myself, my mother Rosa Maria, my brother Herbert, and my father Miguel have decided that we will not leave. Fannie Mae will not take our family home!

It is hard for us to believe the manner in which we have been treated by first Indy Mac, then One West bank and now Fannie Mae. After the unfortunate passing of our youngest brother, our family fell behind two weeks on our mortgage payment.  During this time, in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown, I was also furloughed from my state job helping others to find employment. It was a miracle that we made it through that time, but we did. We did it by staying focused, working hard, making sacrifices and most importantly coming together as a family.

But my circumstances meant nothing to the bank. OneWest refused my mortgage payment that was just two weeks late. Although three of us have full-time jobs and we are able to pay, they have refused every single payment ever since.   Instead, we’ve been taken on a roller coaster ride of paperwork requests, false promises and denials. It makes no sense.

My parents taught us to work hard, play by the rules and to be good citizens and we have done our best.  It has always been my dream to repay them for all they have given me by buying them a home.  I worked hard and saved money to achieve that dream, and we had a home for our multi-generational family of eight.  We have celebrated Christmases, birthdays and Thanksgiving in this home, so the prospect of losing it to greed and injustice is simply too much to bear.

Stopping preventable foreclosures is better for families, neighborhoods, and our economy. How is it better to flood our neighborhoods with vacant, abandoned foreclosures than to have homeowners keep paying their mortgage and keep up their properties? Or in other cases to sell them at half the price – lower even than a modified mortgage they could offer to me on my own home first?

That’s why we have decided that we are refusing to leave.  We are asking that our eviction be halted and that out loan be modified so we can stay.  But if the sheriff comes first, we are refusing to move.  And we’ll be joined by the hundreds of friends, neighbors, supporters and co-workers that have pledged to stand with us.  

There are thousands of families like ours in California and across the nation.  The greedy, predatory and irresponsible practices of big banks and their rich CEOs caused the economic collapse and foreclosure crisis, destroying millions of American jobs and devastating families like ours.

Yet after getting bailed out by taxpayers, banks today are making billions in profits by continuing to prey on consumers and extract profits from our communities, with no regard for the impact on neighborhoods and people’s economic livelihoods. By holding homeowners underwater and refusing to clean up the foreclosure mess, banks are devastating our neighborhoods, depressing the economy, and preventing millions of working Californians from getting back on their feet.

We are proud to be working with hundreds of families to organize a week of activities to take our fight to the banks to send the message that it’s “time to make Wall Street banks pay.”  We will be calling on banks to keep families in their homes, pay their fair share of taxes and help rebuild hard-hit neighborhoods.  The actions will end on October 6th with a mass mobilization of over a thousand people beginning at California Plaza at 350 South Grand.  

Together, with your support, we will fight to save our American Dream and thousands of other families across the state.  We are not leaving.  Will you stand with us?

Rose Mary Gudiel is a member of ACCE, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.  For more information about the mobilizations, please visit http://www.makebankspaycalifornia.com

10 thoughts on “Why we are taking a stand against an immoral foreclosure”

  1. Why is the bank so eager to forclose?  Do they have significant equity that the bank could profit from at sale?  Also if less than 30 days late I dont think the bank can refuse a payment unless it is for less than the required minimum.  Is that why theyre seeking a modification?  Some missing pieces 2 this story…

  2. Send this story to Barack Obama

    He bailed out the banks

    Why can’t he work for real people

    We’ve made the banks whole again

    We’ve bailed them out of their excesses

    All without requiring them to do anything for real people

    Send this to Obama

    Let him do something

    Hoax and chains

  3. In reading the article written by Rose Mary Gudiel it is difficult not to have compassion, even if she minimizes the fact that the only reason to modify the terms of a mortgage is obviously deeper than a simple 2 week late payment. For starters, “late” is defined as 30 days in arrears, not 2 weeks. Beyond that, any bank will let you pay current (as required by California law). The only reason to modify is because you cant get current prior to sale. Fannie Mae doesn’t service loans anyhow but let’s get beyond the details of Ms. Gudiel’s individual case and look at the larger issue spotlighted in this article which is equally troubling.

    Indeed, millions of Americans are facing foreclosure, many through no fault of their own. But to repeat the politically convenient narrative that “greedy, predatory and irresponsible practices of big banks and their rich CEOs caused the economic collapse and foreclosure crisis” is to have an intentionally myopic view of what actually happened. There was enough “greed” to go around, and not just by bankers.

    How many Americans fraudulently applied for mortgages they couldn’t afford? “Greedy” bankers may have turned a blind eye to these so-called “liar loans” but to simply blame the bankers lets the “liars” off the hook. How many people asked ridiculous prices for their homes just because they could? Is that not greed as well? Did that greed not play a part in the bubble? How many realtors flipped house after house with winks and nods toward “stated income” loan approvals? Yes, banks allowed credit to flow too freely, but average Americans took advantage of the easy credit and ran the economy to the brink and beyond.

    While it always tugs on heart strings to hear the plight of someone facing foreclosure, one should also consider what would happen if everyone decided to live for free and not pay their bills. What business can keep running without getting paid? Don’t pay your DWP bill, they turn off the lights. Don’t pay your phone, the service is removed. Don’t pay your mortgage, your house is foreclosed on. It is that simple. In fact, if the homeowner was a renter, they’d be out the door in a matter of months. I can’t think of a single business that gives it’s service for free after someone defaults on payments. In some cases, it is a crime to receive a service with no intention of paying and for good reason. Our economy depends on contracts being honored and payments being made for services rendered.

    I’m not sure what Ms Gudiel does for a living, but I’m willing to bet if she were to work and not get paid she’d take legal action regardless of her employers plight, and rightfully so. It may be populist to “fight the power,” and of course some politicians grandstand on the issue of foreclosures, but as a business model what do you think is the natural evolution of “we’re just not leaving” as proudly proclaimed by Ms Gudiel? We are already seeing lenders hesitant to loan and a subsequent slowing down of the economy. Who can blame them? With foreclosures in some states taking 1 – 3 years their collateral is being threatened. To add insult to injury, now they get attacked by politicians for not loaning enough. This circle drives down demand, thus driving down home values.

    Yes, there are plenty of people who are stuck in terrible situations, and that’s heartbreaking. But to justify, or even glorify, the willful violations of contracts en-mass would have a devastating impact on the economy, and each of us.

    We as a nation got here. If we’re going to get out of this mess we’re going to do it as a nation, and that starts with all of us taking responsibility for our actions, not assigning politically convenient blame, dodging our own responsibilities and ripping a larger hole in the deck of this ship.

    It may be harsh, but reality usually is.

  4.  I always see this when somebody says they can’t pay their mortgage.

    Just say you’re not sorry and that everybody should pay their bills.

    Our loan wasn’t restructured until we called Senator Boxer’s office. We qualified for it, they just didn’t want to play ball.

    Please don’t trial balloon your personal outrage and screaming “unfair” that somebody who is getting the run around by the bank and is living in their home “free” which is not a permanent situation.

    FYI you can live rent free but most of you have no idea how to do that and always want to live in a conventional fashion.

    Face it the typical American way of life has FAILED and needs a complete REBOOT.


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