Foreclosure Working Group: April 12, 2012

Facilitator: Bobbie
Notes: Christina

Present: Bobbie, Pamela, Jane, Christina, Todd, Mike, Nate, Ricky, Marnie, Mo, Barbara, Laurie

Of note, reporters were at the meeting filming and interviewing some on an individual basis.

Discussion

  • Pamela presented her foreclosure situation. Interesting twist is that her-soon to be ex- husband signed a new loan on their home. Pamela is on the original loan and deed, but not the new loan.
  • Jane is bringing Pamela’s situation to the floor to show that everyone has a unique foreclosure situation and she is willing to act as a paralegal on active cases. To use the fraud detection training to document active cases and collect data.
  • Mo is concerned that this project might need format guidance from legal aid, Mo has come across conversation with legal aid that our last home defense has made legal aid willing to back us more and offer us more information to use.
  • Marnie reiterates the position we must not offer, as a group, legal counsel least be slapped with a legal suit for practicing law without a license.
  • Jane will offer this service as a friend, working one on one with folks to understand their documents and what position they are in.
  • It is suggested to form a committee with legal aid, and Mike brings up that legal aid is in business of negotiation, and can this information be used to organize a class action suit?
  • Mo is going to bring a plan for the homeowner’s support group to share with the group next week. The group will share information for taking action on an individual level and provide emotional support. Nat mentions that Ken L. will offer to interview homeowners to find out what kind of emotional support they might need as a way of developing the strategy for the group.
  • Nate suggests that our group have an ‘end game’. Do we want a class action suit? For example.
  • Ricky suggests that the banks might be willing to settle if we did a class action, that it might we wise to develop a strategy to allow the banks to fix what they have started.
  • Nate suggests that we need a lawyer’s advice on the best tactical way to handle lawsuits. Mo suggests people do a little research for next week to bring to the discussion. Jane brings up the point that their might be faster alternative to litigation. Though a lively discussion for sure, this is tabled for next week.
  • Marche from Guilford Homeownership is looking for volunteers for a testing program. People will be trained and given profiles to present themselves to the banks. Specifics of the program were not disclosed. If interested, contact Marche at Guilford Homeownership.
  • Kickstarter: The Kickerstarter project ends Saturday. Kevin will get money from Kickstarter and will pay out expenses for the premiere so that the balance will be zero. Christina is independent tallier of expenses. Kevin, Marnie and Christina will handle that aspect of premiere.
  • Fraud detection: A Committee of 6 or 7 is organizing the fraud detection. The second training is on Saturday the 14th at Glenwood Coffee and Books from 9 to 11am. Then one more step to training after that. The group will be sampling open and closed cases from 2011. Teams will be issued case numbers. There is a concern that there will not be enough teams to get all the cases done in the allotted time frame. This data is not to be used in direct conjunction with Jeff Thigpen’s lawsuit, but it is to be used as informational development along side Jeff’s that could potentially pressure the state to shut down foreclosures pending investigation of banking fraud or the like.

Todd outlines up and coming tasks and asks for volunteers:

  1. Write up of home defense stories for occupy site. Barbara and Nate will bottom line this task.
  2. Edit footage-Christina will edit the home defense footage down to 5-10 minutes. Mo suggests two versions-I synopsis of event, and 2, outrageous reaction by police to nonviolent protest, not just in terms of force, but also to showcase the money investment in police action for this one home.
  3. Volunteer to build coalition partners for build up of home defense and showing of the movie Let’s Loose Our Home. Movie needs to be boxed and packaged for other locations. Bobbie, Kevin, Mo and Dave will work on this task.
  4. Contact Eric F. in regards to freedom of information act in getting a cost comparison to the lavish police defense for 5 arrests of nonviolent protesters at home defense vs. keeping someone in their homes. What does a swat team, helicopters, a police barricades cost? Mike will bottom line this task.

Upcoming Events

  • Race, Wealth and Housing Crash-economist Larry Morse will lecture on the developing wealth gap April 19th 6:30pm at the Beloved Community Center, 417 Arlington St. Greensboro NC
  • May 9th, North Carolina Coalition against corporate power in Charlotte NC. Transportation will be coordinated and a bus may be obtained based on need. Contact Todd Warren if wanting to go.
  • May 10th, in Charlotte, a meeting of organizers for foreclosure work, sharing tactics and strategies. Todd brings up that we are the smallest group asked to participate based on our recent work.
  • Mo briefs us on the home defense actin on Monday.

Meeting adjourned.