Group rallies in Oakland to stop foreclosures

December 6, 2011 6:44:00 PM PST
Occupy protesters in Oakland tried to stop an auction of foreclosed homes by taking over a vacant property Tuesday. The demonstration was part of a nationwide action.

A home at 10th Street and Mandela Parkway in Oakland was just one of several foreclosed properties that demonstrators say is an example of fraudulent lending practices by banks offering subprime loans to lenders and leaving them with huge mortgages that are impossible to pay, eventually forcing them into foreclosure.

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) used the steps of the Alameda County Courthouse Tuesday to draw attention to what they say are the more than six million Americans who have lost their homes since the housing crash in 2007. They are asking that banks ease the rules for people who cannot pay their mortgages.

On the receiving end of their anger were the men who showed up Tuesday to sell properties lost in foreclosure and are now owned by the bank.

Steve Neal works for a bank that he would not identify, and says that he is only doing his job and that the anger of protestors is aimed in the wrong direction.

"They didn't pay their bills, it's as simple as that," said Neal. "You don't pay your bills, just like you don't go and steal from the grocery store because the grocery store has the food."

"We had prime credit, we put down a substantial down payment and we moved to a prime location, but we received a subprime loan," said Jerome Loston who lost his home to foreclosure.

"All these people who are going through foreclosures tried on their own for years to work with the banks on their own and they got nowhere," said protest organizer Beth Kean with ACCE.

There was also a rally Tuesday at the West Oakland BART station organized by Causa Justa ? Just Cause. They marched down Mandela Parkway to the home at 10th Street. They say that is only one of several planned demonstrations.

The home is owned by Fannie Mae. They say they will stay at the property until Fannie Mae returns the title of a family that was recently displaced because of what they say was a fraudulent loan. They say they have more demonstrations planned in the future.

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