Kenneth Glover contacted Occupy Atlanta early in November. His home had been foreclosed on and apparently sold to another bank. However, even though the bank was unable to show ownership of the home, an eviction went through initially. Deborah Storm, of Occupy Gwinnett, says “I went with Kenneth to his eviction hearing and found that the judge in the case was very biased…He listened to everything that the plaintiff had to say, but very little of what Kenneth Glover had to say. ” Seven days later, Mr. Glover was able to file an appeal and a motion to review with help from Occupy Gwinnett. The appeal was accepted fifteen minutes before the court closed. Thursday evening when Mr. Glover got home, he received a letter saying that the putative owner of the house is not pursuing an eviction a this time. Occupy Gwinnett also helped him find a lawyer who feels that he has a good case going forward. Mr. Glover says, “I would like to thank Occupy Gwinnett for helping me and other Georgia citizens, for their support and keeping us in our home.”
Meanwhile, across the country in Palmville, CA, Gary Cohen was struggling with his own situation. Disabled from a stroke following his wife’s death, he had gone into what he described as a “downward turn.” On top of his personal grief, he had to deal with a complicated tangle: his mortgage, which was originally with Household Finance, had been sold and re-sold, and a balloon payment which had been removed suddenly reappeared. He had attempted to get a loan modification through HAMP with Indymac, the current owner of the mortgage. “They wanted me to send this paperwork, that paperwork…They finally said, essentially, ‘this is taking too long.’” His home was scheduled to be auctioned off on December 22. But on December 21, he saw a segment on CNN about Brigitte Walker, whose home Occupy Atlanta helped save. “I wasn’t able to find the legal aid website CNN posted when I went looking for it, so I thought, ‘what about Occupy Atlanta?’” He was able to reach Kelvin Williams who was working on Occupy Atlanta’s telephone system, and who just happened to be going through a foreclosure himself. “He called us at about 1:30 pm…” From Georgia, Kelvin walked Mr. Cohen through the paperwork required to file a skeletal bankruptcy which would put an automatic stay on the sale of the house. Meanwhile, Occupy Atlanta participants contacted Occupy Los Angeles. While Mr. Cohen filed paperwork at the courthouse. the next morning at 8:45 am, with fifteen minutes to spare before the sale at 9 am, several people from Occupy Los Angeles went to where the foreclosure sale was occurring in order to stop it. “Indymac didn’t want to take the paperwork, but the folks from Occupy Los Angeles convinced them.” The sale was postponed, which will allow Mr. Cohen enough time to file the paperwork he needs in order to keep his home. “It worked,” says Kelvin. “I’m still kinda in shock.”
It should be noted that while all of the foreclosure occupations are relatively small, an even smaller number of people were involved in each of these situations. The willingness of only a handful of people from Occupy Gwinnett, Occupy Atlanta, and Occupy Los Angeles to intervene resulted in two families gaining a reprieve and the opportunity to save their homes.
“It was kind of magical for me. My wife, who passed away a year and a half ago from cancer, was from Georgia, and we always wanted to visit but never got the chance. You could say our heart was there, and that’s where the help came from.”
*Pictured above in Kenneth Glover.