2ND EVICTION BLOCKADE W/ MENDEZ FAMILY VS. AURORA BANK
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2013 @ 12:00 PM (Blockaders arrive by 11:00AM)
27 TALMADGE DRIVE, SPRINGFIELD, MA
Sister and brothers, members, friends and allies,
On October 12th, 2013 close to 100 of us came together to stand in solidarity with and block the eviction of Ana, Jose & Yoselyn Mendez from their home at 27 Talmadge Drive in Springfield (See More about the October Blockade Here). After a 2 hour stand off, Aurora backed down and said they would negotiate.
Late Yesterday afternoon, just before our weekly BTA meeting, we got news that the Mendez Family was served a new 48-Hour notice that the Sheriff is planning to evict the family on Friday February 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM. This was a surprise and infuriating – as this was the first communication from the bank since January 2nd, 2013 when the Mendez family supplied financial information and we asked for clarification on the negotiation process.
WE WILL BLOCK THIS EVICTION AGAIN! The Mendez Family can pay! Their willing to pay rent! Their willing to negotiate a fair mortgage and have money for a downpayment! AURORA BANK should stop this unjust and immoral eviction!
IF YOU PLAN TO COME TO THE BLOCKADE FRIDAY: Please arrive by 12 PM – the eviction is scheduled for 1PM. To get to the Mendez family home take Sumner Avenue toward 16 Acres. Sumner Avenue splits into two roads after Harkness avenue, and then comes back together and turns into Allen St. Talmadge Drive will be on your right – take the right turn just before the McDonalds on your right. The Mendez home is the first home on the left – please park down the street or across the street. We ask that you please follow the discipline of Springfield No One Leaves and the Bank Tenant Association, on the picket line, with chants, and during the blockade.
Details/Update on the negotiations:
As noted above this news was a surprise, as it was previously understood that the bank was willing to negotiate in good faith. After much back and forth to figure out what information was needed, and attempting to clarify the process for fair negotiations The Mendez family sent a packet of their financial information of January 2nd, 2013 with the understanding that it was the first step in a negotiation process. We also asked Aurora whether they wanted us to make a formal offer. We were led to believe that no eviction action would be taken.
Between January 2, 2013 and yesterday there was NO communication from the bank. Yesterday at around 5PM, the law firm that represents the Mendez family in this negotiation was left a message by Aurora’s attorney that they had “denied” the Mendez family and were proceeding with the eviction.
Aurora Bank then served the notice BEFORE the Mendez family received a letter late this afternoon telling them that the “loss mitigation” department had denied their forbearance, because their income was not sufficient to pay off the amount owed. From the letter is seems clear that Aurora was not “negotiating” but that they were reviewing an application – TWO VERY DIFFERENT THINGS. Further, it seems that there was no point person to negotiate an agreement, but rather that their financial information was simply sent into the loss mitigation department along with thousands of other applicants paperwork for review. Not only have bank modification departments proved woefully inadequate since the beginning of the crisis, but this is clearly not a place to facilitate fair and reasonable negotiations. Rather than give details of how and at what value they assessed the “application”, they simply sent a denial letter.
We have asked the bank for at least 30 more days to continue to negotiate, but the bank refused and are continuing with the eviction. The Mendez Family plans to go to court TOMORROW to ask for a stay of execution and more time to negotiate, but in the meantime we will be getting ready for a blockade.
The Mendez Family Story:
The Mendez family should have never been in this position in the first place. After they fell behind, they did what millions of families were told to do – they contacted the bank. Aurora Bank offered them a temporary trial modification – like millions of other families. The Mendez family obliged and paid for 6 straight months. At the end of the trial period Aurora Bank refused a permanent modification and offered another trial. The familyobliged again and paid for 6 more months at a higher price – hoping that this time they would get a permanent modification. At the end of that period, Aurora again refused a permanent modification and offered one last 6 month – trial modification. The Mendez family paid those 6 months. At the end of 18 months of trial payments – Aurora Bank refused to permanently modify the loan – and foreclosed.
Aurora Bank FSB – which is the legacy of the now defunct Lehman Brother’s Financial – steadfastly refused to accept the Mendez family’s offer to accept rent and is now not negotiating in good faith. Aurora Bank has chosen to proceed with an unnecessary and unjust eviction. As a matter of principle, the Mendez family is even willing to move if Aurora Bank can find a buyer who signs an affidavit to move into the home – but they’d rather make it vacant than work with the family.
Unfortunately these stories from the foreclosure crisis are all to common. They lead to vacant homes, falling property values, increases in crime and destabilization in our communities. But resistance to these stories and the destructive behavior of the banks is growing, locally and nationally. Across the country groups are dismissing banks actions that put people before profit – and organizing to take back control of our neighborhoods.