Editor’s Note: Here’s an amazing press release from the Foreclosure Group of Occupy Wall Street Nevada County. It highlights the normally less-than-humane foreclosure process, softened in this case by the timely intervention of these good local citizens. Imagine a renter, a single mom with four kids, given less than 24 hours notice to pack-up and move out, all this just 10 days before Christmas in an increasingly bitter winter. Here’s a real-life happy ending, if only a temporary one.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
By the Foreclosure Group of Occupy Wall Street Nevada County
Occupy Responds to Local Eviction
On the night of Wednesday, Dec 14th at 10pm, members of Occupy Nevada County’s Foreclosure Work Group responded to a distress call from homeowner Stephen Merryweather who was facing imminent eviction at 6am the next morning.
Well before the sun came up on Thursday, with snow falling lightly, the Occupy group arrived to meet the owner of the Nevada City property. The occupiers, not knowing entirely what to expect – not even that there was a renting family involved– arrived to meet the people they had come to comfort and assist, and hear their stories.
The renters, a woman and her four children ranging in age from four months to 17years of age, had received the eviction notice only the day before and had no time to prepare. Not having a car of their own, a friend brought a truck to carry their belongings. The baby was sick, the teenager was preparing for finals week, and the mother was overwhelmed, having been packing through the night. She did not know her rights as a tenant caught up in the foreclosure process, and the family waited outside, only moments from becoming homeless, during Winter in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.
Having arrived through the rear of the property, the locksmith had already changed one lock before negotiations had begun. Two of the occupiers spoke with the sheriff and the Fannie Mae representative, from California Pacific Brokers, to ask for more time. With the circumstances as they were, the sheriff and the Fannie Mae representative were faced with the prospect of doing the job they had been sent to do – putting a family out of home, in the snow, with only ten days to go before Christmas.
The negotiations did not take long, and moments later, the Fannie Mae representative gave the news to the mother that the eviction would be postponed through the new year. The family and the homeowner were relieved to have a few more weeks to prepare, and grateful to all who were willing to step outside of the dehumanizing foreclosure process, and act out of compassion.
The Occupy Nevada County Foreclosure Working Group would appreciate further information about legal rights and community resources available to people facing foreclosure, and resulting eviction and homelessness. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or get involved at http://ga.occupywallstreetnc.org.