Ex-Marine Arrested In California For Protesting Bank Foreclosure On His Home, Now Faces Imminent Eviction

Arturo de los Santos (via AP)

More than 200 protesters have been fighting to save the home of Arturo de los Santos, an ex-Marine who went into foreclosure after Chase Bank advised him to skip payments to speed up a loan modification he never received. In early February, amid rumors that Riverside, California sheriff’s deputies could serve papers on the home at any time, organizers from the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and other groups surrounded the home, and de los Santos petitioned the sheriff to prevent eviction.

At the time, de los Santos said he was prepared to get arrested to save his home, and last Thursday, he was, according to The New Bottom Line:

Arturo de los Santos, his family, and scores of supportes went to the Los Angeles headquarters of Freddie Mac on Thursday, February 16 to protest his foreclosure and eviction, to ask Freddie to restore his mortgage, and to let his family keep their home. After refusing to leave the lobby of the office, the police were called and Arturo was arrested.

Watch video of de los Santos’ arrest:

De los Santos took his case to Freddie Mac because it insured his original mortgage and is thus servicing the foreclosure. Before taking his case to Freddie Mac, de los Santos offered to make the payments he had been advised to miss, but Chase refused his money. “Chase told me to talk to Freddie Mac, because they were only servicing the loan and Freddie underwrote it, but Freddie told me to talk to Chase,” he told the Huffington Post.

De los Santos was served with another eviction notice last week, asking him to vacate the property by 6:01 a.m. yesterday, but said he would not comply with the notice. Though the deadline passed more than 24 hours ago, de los Santos, his wife, and their four children are still in the home and have not been evicted, according to those with knowledge of the situation.

The problems facing de los Santos’ mortgage are not unique. Banks have come under fire for illegal, mistaken, and fraudulent foreclosures — the same day de los Santos was arrested, an examination of 400 San Francisco-area foreclosures found that nearly all of them had legal issues, and 84 percent had “one or more clear violations of law.” The home modification programs meant to help struggling homeowners like de los Santos, meanwhile, have fallen woefully short of their goals.