Greetings From #FortHernandez!
"The Family That Built a Fort Out of a Foreclosure "
Like many families, la familia Hernandez has been battling their bank for years to keep their home...
The Hernandez family, a family of nine, purchased their home in 2006. They had never owned a home before and were first time home buyers. Homeowner Javier Hernandez measures how tall the stack of paperwork was with hand gestures saying, "We had never lived in anything bigger than a two bedroom apartment." They decided to purchase their home because they knew that with hard work, they could afford to make their monthly payments. On time.
A Familiar Story
What happened next is a familiar story. Bank of America raised the payment rate they had signed on to by almost a thousand dollars. It didn't take long for the Hernandez family to find their mortgage underwater. When they tried to negotiate for lower rates, Bank of America led the Hernandez family to believe that if they missed payments, then their loan could be modified. So the family did this in good faith and applied for 3 loan modifications. On the third attempt Bank of America sold the Hernandez's home at auction.
"When they auctioned the house it was worth half of what we purchased it for," says Javier's brother, Ulises Hernandez.
The mortgage that the banks were auctioning to Wall St. investors is more than a bet to cash out on, it is a home. It is the home of a united family: Javier and his brother Ulises, their sister Maria, her twin daughters, and their own parents who are raising their youngest boy.
It was a Tuesday, on August 21st when the Hernandez home was visited by the Sheriffs. Ulises Hernandez answered the bell, only to find a notice of eviction pinned to the door. "I just sat for a while with the letter in my hands before telling anyone."
The Hernandez family would have to vacate their home by the 26th, Sheriffs' orders.
From Foreclosure to Fort
On the eve of their eviction, the Hernandez family hosted a going-away BBQ. Community members, fellow fraudclosure victims and activists showed up in droves to support the family. Once the kids fell asleep, the family and activists prepared to defend the home. We decided to resist eviction. Together, we built a barricade around the perimeter and surrounded the house with tents.
On August 26th, we awoke expecting to see Sheriffs outside, but instead found news vans lining Leadwell Street.
By the next day, Bank of America was issuing statements to the press without contacting the homeowner first. A few days (and press conferences) later, Bank of America finally reached out to the Hernandez family.
This is only the beginning.
We want to save this home and this community. 174 homes are facing foreclosure in the Hernandez's 91405 zip code. Foreclosures not only put community members on the street, but they also lower property values and leave many houses vacant for years.
We Need You!
Our government sold out to the banks, so we can't turn to elected officials, the courts, or to the police for justice; instead we are turning to the PEOPLE. Your support is the only reason the Hernandez family remains safe and housed. Thank you for your continued support.
The Hernandez's first paperwork deadline to renew negotiations with Bank of America is this Wednesday, to support the family and all fraudclosure victims, please join us for a street fair for kids & a foreclosure forum for homeowners!
Gracias por su apoyo!
14620 Leadwell Street
Van Nuys, CA 91405