Clippings 7/23 – 7/26

Squatters in Oakland. (KTVU-2)

“They don’t belong here!”

Best of the Bay 2012: Local Heroes. Stardust and Ross Rhodes (SF Bay Guardian)

Ross Rhodes and Stardust, like all of the people involved in Occupy Bernal, are neighbors. But until Stardust helped found the group — a local take on Occupy focused on stopping unjust foreclosures and evictions — they didn’t know each other.

Now they do, and if it wasn’t for Occupy Bernal, Rhodes is sure he would no longer have the house that his parents bought in 1964.

Occupy Homes MN Victory: Developing a Cure for Bank Blight? (Portland Occupier)

After a five-year battle over now-illegal lending practices, a bank error that dropped her from a loan modification program, and a campaign with Occupy Homes MN, north Minneapolis homeowner Ruby Brown has received a mortgage renegotiation from Bank of America, just days before her home was to be auctioned off.

On Friday, the last day of the week of action, Ruby learned that her sheriff sale, scheduled just a few days away, had been canceled, and that her loan modification had been approved. “My first reaction wasn’t to laugh, jump, and shout. I had an outburst of tears of relief that justice had prevailed,” said Ruby. “I felt both joy and pain, because everyone should get this deal.”

Tricks, Traps, and Accountability (Elizabeth Warren via Daily Kos)

Following deregulation in the 1980s, a number of big banks figured out that they could build a very profitable business based on deception — tricks and traps buried in fine print, teaser rates that hid the true costs of mortgages…

((Senator)) Jeff Merkley’s Plan For Underwater Homeowners (Yglesias)

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon is out today with an ambitious plan to try to stimulate the economy by facilitating large-scale refinancing of so-called underwater mortgages.

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