Sheriffs Evict Chaplain as Federal Reserve Urges Policymakers to Find Alternatives
LOS ANGELES -- On Thursday morning, LA County Sheriff deputies were surprised by members of Occupy LA and Occupy the Hood when they showed up to evict Chaplain Bertha Herrera from her Van Nuys home.
The Herrera family has been fighting foreclosure and eviction with Mellon Bank of New York. They have been in this home for over 31 years. The Sheriffs delivered the eviction notice days before Christmas.
After the Sheriffs forcibly evicted Herrera and occupiers from the home at 9:00AM, members of the local Occupy groups rallied outside Coldwell Bank on Ventura Blvd. Coldwell Bank handles the foreclosed homes for Mellon Bank.
“Real Estate agencies like Coldwell Banker that list foreclosed homes risk becoming accomplices in foreclosure crimes,” states Carlos Marroquin, aforeclosed homeowner advocate and member of Occupy LA. “These agencies need to investigate homes for any potential fraud before listing the homes on the market.”
The eviction comes the same week the Federal Reserve issued a white paper urging policymakers to find alternatives to “costly and inefficient” foreclosure. The eviction also comes as the Los Angeles City Council grapples with a Responsible Banking Ordinance.
The Federal Reserve’s white paper, “The U.S. Housing Market: Current Conditions and Policy Consideration,” states “Foreclosures inflict economic damage beyond the personal suffering and dislocation that accompany them.”
Los Angeles City Council continues to work on passing a Responsible Banking Ordinance. Councilman Richard Alarcon introduced the ordinance in February of 2009. The Budget and Finance Committee will address it again later this month.
Occupy Los Angeles (OLA) helped reactivate the ordinance after it sat in committee with no activity for 8 months. In October the LA City Councilunanimously passed a resolution called “Occupy LA First Amendment Rights / Responsible Banking Measure.”
The Ordinance calls for ranking banks that want to do business with the City of LA. The number of foreclosures within LA will be one of the items on the banking scorecard.
The Herrera family is not alone in their fight against the banks. According to the LA City Council Resolution, 1 in 5 American foreclosures are in California with an estimated 2 million new foreclosures expected to hit California cities in 2012.
Members of Occupy LA plan to make foreclosures a focal point of protests during 2012.