At the request of a homeowner under foreclosure, occupiers have barricaded themselves inside another home. They hope to stave off eviction and force an amicable arrangement with the mortgage lender.
According to the homeowners, Margarita Lucero and her brother Benito, and occupiers, Deutsche Bank is fraudulently foreclosing on the Lucero home.
On the day the Luceros signed the paperwork for a loan modification, their first payment was already due — the day before. After making six payments on their loan modification, Deutsche Bank began refusing their payments — unbeknownst to the Luceros the modification was only temporary.
The bank then put the home into foreclosure.
“From the very beginning of the loan modification process, it was set up to fail,” said Carlos Marroquin of Occupy Fights Foreclosures, an affinity group of Occupy Los Angeles who has been working with the Lucero family.
“They just started rejecting the payments,” he said. “It was a way of saying, ‘We are not going to modify you and we are going to take your house.’”
Once the foreclosure process was underway, the Lucero family, who had owned their home for 15 years, filed for bankruptcy to put off their impending eviction, which the courts granted them until October 26. However, a month before, on Sept. 27, acting on Deutsche Bank’s instructions, Atlantic and Pacific Real Estate and sheriffs evicted the family despite the court order.
Forced to live in their car, the family reached out to Occupy LA for assistance.
“There was a clear violation of federal law; that is a major part of the fraud,” said Marroquin. “Most of the people, once they are evicted, it is very hard to get anybody back into their home. Fortunately, the family came to Occupy LA, and we understand what it takes to fight this.”
Given the evidence, Marroquin is hopeful the Luceros will be able to keep their home. That, however, does not mean the Luceros and occupiers are not preparing for a fight.
They have been building a barricade in front the residence using discarded plywood, shipping pallets and whatever else they can find laying about. They are readying themselves for the sheriffs.
Activists are ready to take on Deutsche Bank and given that they violated a court order, said Marroquin, it would be in their best interest to settle this as quickly as possible.
“They ignore the laws of the land and they go after the homeowner regardless if there are judgments or not,” he said. “That is very serious.”