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Fighting foreclosure on multiple fronts

Photo courtesy of www.calorganize.org

The recent $26 billion bank settlement found that the nation’s five largest banks engaged in a pattern of unfair and deceptive practices in servicing mortgages and dealing with loan modifications. And yet, hundreds of thousands of Californians have lost their homes. 

California is one of five states that made up more than 50 percent of the nation’s foreclosures since 2008, but homeowners and activists – including those involved in the Occupy movement – have raised their voices and gotten creative in the struggle to resist foreclosures and evictions.

In San Francisco, Occupy Bernal activists have been successful postponing several housing auctions. And they’ve set their sights on a citywide foreclosure and eviction moratorium, backed by city supervisor John Avalos.

Crosscurrents invited some of the people creatively fighting against evictions to join us to hear about their struggles and victories: Grace Martinez is organizer with Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE); Vivian Richardson lives in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood and was able to successfully fight foreclosure of her home; and Alberto del Rio is activist with Occupy Bernal in San Francisco currently facing foreclosure of his own home – an auction is set for later this spring. They spoke with KALW’s Holly Kernan.

What is your community doing to fight foreclosures? We want to hear your story. Give us a call at 415-264-7106. If you are on the banking side of the equation, we’d also like to hear from you. Tell us what you’ve observed.

Holly Kernan is the architect of the award-winning Public Interest Reporting Project. She is currently news director at KALW 91.7FM in San Francisco. In 2009 she was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Kernan teaches journalism at Mills College and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and has taught at Santa Rosa Junior College, Youth Radio and San Francisco State University's Lifelong Learning Institute. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Mike, daughter, Julia, and retired greyhound Benjamin Franklin.