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Occupy Homes Update: Bobby Hull’s Home Saved!

6:14 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Back in December, I wrote about the story of Minneapolis resident Bobby Hull, a Marine veteran and longtime skilled master plasterer who fell behind in his payments to US Bank when age and illness (in the form of three heart attacks, a collapsed lung, and surgery on both shoulders) forced him off the job and into the hospital. Occupy Minneapolis’ Occupy Homes branch, led by Nick Espinosa, and the local group Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, led by Anthony Newby, joined forces to try to save Bobby’s home — which was not only his home, but that of his entire extended family.

Today, we got the word from Occupy Homes and NOC in a joint press release that they have succeeded: “On Monday, February 27th at noon, South Minneapolis homeowner Bobby Hull, supporters from Occupy Homes MN and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) and will publicly declare victory in their fight to save Hull’s family home from an unfair and avoidable foreclosure. Following a three-month public campaign, Hull’s lender has agreed to renegotiate his mortgage so that he and his family can keep their home!

Congratulations to Bobby and many thanks to Occupy Homes MN and NOC for helping him stay in his home!

Behold the OccuPirates!

6:19 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

On Wednesday, January 18, the OccuPirates of OccupyMN, led by Nick Espinosa, will be making their own special variant of a Booty Call on US Bank. They demand that the US Bank pirates, who are far more rapacious than Henry Morgan or Edward “Blackbeard” Teach could ever hope to be, return their ill-gotten gains to the 99% from whom they were taken.

Those interested in joining the merry band of OccuPirates are advised to be at the People’s Plaza (aka Hennepin County Government Plaza) at high noon. (If you are in need of pirate garb, be there at 11:00 am and your fellow pirates will find something for you to don.) For more information, visit http://www.occupyminneapolis.mn/, which is the new web address of the Minneapolis branch of OccupyMN.

‘Tis a fine time to be had by all, me hearties!

(Crossposted to Mercury Rising.)

Occupy Our Homes: Minneapolis Occupiers Helping a Veteran

5:21 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Bobby Hull (from Occupy MN)

Like many other Occupy branches around the nation and the world, the members of the Minneapolis mothership wing of Occupy MN have been involved in helping foreclosure victims. In Occupy Minneapolis’ case, the homeowners assisted range from impoverished single mothers like Monique White (who didn’t know that her home had been sold out from under her until she tried to turn on the gas one day) to a person living with her disabled and elderly father to a college professor. Occupy’s efforts often result in good things, as they did in Ruth Murman’s case: US Bank and GMAC went from not even bothering to answer her phone calls to giving her an extra four weeks to move, plus paying her and her disabled father’s moving expenses in a cash-for-keys arrangement.

This nationwide movement now has a name: Occupy Our Homes. It may be the part of the Occupy phenomenon that has the most immediate effect on people’s lives.

Here in the Twin Cities, Occupy Minneapolis’ next action in the Occupy Our Homes movement is going to take place on the National Day of Occupation, December 6 — that’s tomorrow, folks. It will be on behalf of a gent named Bobby Hull.

Bobby Hull’s not a famous hockey player — as far as I know, anyway — but he is a good man, a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam whose mother bought the house he’s now living in back in 1968. The title transferred to him and he was able to make timely payments for years until a series of work-related health problems (he was a master plasterer for 38 years) laid him low. Over the past ten years, he has had to have surgery upon surgery for his shoulders, each surgery taking him out of commission for six to twelve months. Bank of America were the owners of his mortgage, but US Bank purchased the home at the sheriff’s sale and are the current owners — and the ones planning to evict him in February.

If you’re in the Twin Cities and can spare some time tomorrow afternoon, come and help Bobby keep his home. At 12:00 PM, there will be a carpool from the People’s Plaza (aka the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza), then a 1:00 PM rally and set up at Bobby’s home at 3712 Columbus Avenue South. 5:30 PM will feature a community dinner at Bobby’s place.

Occupy Folks Seek to Save Minneapolis Professor’s Home

1:35 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

The members of the Twin Cities branch of the Occupy movement might be under near-constant official harassment, but that certainly doesn’t mean they’ve given up their efforts on behalf of those of us in the 99%. Just as they worked earlier to get another foreclosure victim the needed time and aid to move her and her disabled father to a new home, they’re now, with Nick Espinosa taking a key role, working to keep a Minneapolis university professor in her home:

A few dozen protesters moved into 3334 25th Avenue S around 2:30 in the afternoon. The house was formerly owned by Sára Kaiser, pronounced “Shara,” an adjunct professor of anthropology at several universities in the Twin Cities (including the University of Minnesota). Occupy Minnesota wants to help Kaiser reclaim her home and bring attention to the foreclosure crisis.

[...]

Kaiser, 43, is a single mother to an 8-year old girl. She’s a Hungarian immigrant who moved here in 1998. Kaiser put down 20% on the house, about $40,000, several years ago. $10,000 came from her grandmother’s will in Hungary.

She said she’s been trying to renegotiate her mortgage with US Bank for a year and a half. The bank, she says, has basically blown her off by offering her workshops on how to better manage her money.

“I don’t even drive a car. I don’t eat out,” Kaiser said. “I buy used clothes, I use public transportation.”

Despite the arrests of two Occupy members — one of whom was shoved around by a squad car in an effort to get him to move — the Occupiers were able to hold the space until the homeowner arrived on the scene.

As it turns out, they were able to Occupy the home overnight — very likely in part because there was some question as to who currently owned the property — but shortly after noon today, the police came back in force:

MPD booted in the door of the second foreclosed home, occupiers have left peacefully. Emergency meeting 5pm at MARS 3458 Minnehaha Ave S

Will Professor Kaiser get her home back? Stay tuned.