With just hours to go before her home was set to go up for auction by Citibank, Colleen McKee Espinosa found solace in the bank’s decision to cancel the scheduled sale. Furthermore, the bank approved a loan modification after denying her multiple times.
The fight became arduous for McKee Espinosa, especially after the bank declined to accept back payments when she fell three months behind. As a result the bank moved to foreclose on her and sell it out from under her.
Months of activism by hundreds of community members, lead by her son Nick Espinosa, along with Occupy Homes Minnesota, Occupy Wallstreet, and the Minnesota Nurses Association, helped create the public pressure needed. Citibank ultimately caved due to the community support and agreed to modify her loan from the remaining six years into 7.5 years. It reduced their payments by a third but kept them in their home and allows the bank to continue collecting money! All of this just a day before it was going up for sale.
“I’m so relieved that my family’s home of 16 years will not be on the auction block tomorrow,” McKee Espinosa in a statement. “We are grateful that Citibank has decided to accept my payments, and we look forward to signing the final paperwork.”
Over the last few months homeowners have fought alongside occupiers and community members to stall foreclosures by aggressive banks. Minnesota quickly became ground zero dating back to last November.
Nick Espinosa, who I met briefly at Netroots Nation, presented on the foreclosure crisis and how the occupy movement is responding to it. Little did he know that his mother would find relief through the work just days later.
“This negotiation represents a victory not just for our family, but for millions of families facing foreclosures across the country,” said Espinosa in a post. “Countless families could stay in their homes if banks simply modified their loans based on the actual market value and reduced their principal, instead of the price to which banks inflated them before they crashed our economy.”
Nick also mentions Monique White and Bobby Hull as success stories just in the Twin City area. The Occupy Homes Minnesota group vows to continue fighting for other homeowners as well. The victory should serve as a momentum gather and allow them to rally more community members to the cause.
Banks accepted a taxpayer bailout after they very nearly destroy the world economy. Today, they did one bank did one good thing for one homeowner. Tomorrow activists will continue pushing for another act of good will, and another, and another. Colleen and Nick fought for their home. Others joined them because of a close friendship or a profound desire to correct an injustice. It was a personal mission for many involved. The banks simply do not have that on their side. In the end we can, must, and will win.
© Aaron Krager 2008-2013 | Have any questions? Send me an email.