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Occupy Detroit Successfully Saves Home For Couple Facing Eviction

By Pat Garofalo  

"Occupy Detroit Successfully Saves Home For Couple Facing Eviction"

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Photo by flickr user gilsonrome

The Occupy Wall Street movement, as we noted last month, is shifting its focus to helping the 99 percent avoid foreclosures. And for one couple in Detroit, that help resulted in them being able to keep their home of 22 years, when it looked like they could be evicted at any moment:

Two weeks ago the couple got formal notice of an eviction. On Monday, a contractor attempted to place a dumpster on the Garrett property, a step required before an eviction can take place, according to city code.

But also on Monday, members of Moratorium Now, Occupy Detroit and Homes Before Banks rallied at the Detroit office of the Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co., the trustee of the Garretts’ mortgage. The family’s supporters also blocked the contractor from placing the dumpster.

On Tuesday morning a representative of Statebridge Co., a servicer for their mortgage, called the family to say the company would accept their offer of $12,000 to buy back their home, said the Garretts’ daughter, Michele Finley.

This is not the only house that Occupy Detroit has tried to keep out of foreclosure, nor is it the only successful instance of the Occupy movement keeping someone in their home. In places as far apart as Atlanta, Rochester, and Cleveland, Occupy members have managed to prevent foreclosures. Bank of America went so far as to warn its field managers to prepare for Occupy actions around soon-to-be foreclosed upon homes.

Detroit is the 18th worst city for foreclosures in the nation, down from its number one ranking in 2008, and already has more than 70,000 unoccupied homes. The mayor has set a goal of demolishing 10,000 empty homes by the end of the year.

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