Occupy Offshoot Blockades Home to Save South Park Man From Eviction

Comments

1
This is excellent. Go SAFE!!!
2
How much is this home worth and how much did he owe? And how long has he lived there?

Just saying, he might have been able to sell and make a profit.

Then he could live in an apodment and not use up so much square footage.

That would be good right...I mean, according to you.

I mean it's one thing to help someone stay in their house, it's another to protect someone's high valued Seattle asset when you yourself do not have the same.

3

At first I was like, wow an article by David Goldstein that makes sense, contains more than speculation and isn't peppered with profanity.

Then I realized that the intern wrote it.
4
At 2, nah, not possible. The market for sales collapsed. The jobs collapsed. Then the banks buy up cheap and profit. It is simple business for those who profit from misery on the backs of the unfortunate...
5
@3 Wahhh! You hurt my feelings!
7
"He's offered to buy his house back from the bank, for about $20,000 more than the bank paid for it at auction"
How about offering to pay back the loan he defaulted on?
8
Does anyone know why SAFE chose Jeremy Griffin as the beneficiary of their apparently very selective largesse, rather than any of the other Seattle residents facing eviction in foreclosure proceedings?

I'm quite curious about the selection process; are there any local journalists who share my curiosity, or am I some kind of loony-tunes outlier here?
9
@8: what does this article have to do with journalism?
10
I know banks are evil and all, but why exactly shouldn't this guy be evicted? I don't want to be insensitive, and even though he is handsome and has a cute dog, he defaulted on his loan (I know he lost his job, but that's often why defaults happen).

And I hate when it is implied that somehow being "underwater" causes defaults and foreclosures. My house has lost 10% of its value since I bought it in 2008, but I keep paying my mortgage (which I took on fully aware of the terms and risks) and miraculously have not been foreclosed on.

I'm underwater on my car loan too, should I quit paying the loan and feel victimized when it is repossessed?
11
@10: It's pretty clear how underwater mortgages lead to defaults and foreclosures. If someone loses their job and can't afford their mortgage anymore, one option is to sell the house, pay off the mortgage with the proceeds, and downsize to a rental that they can afford. Being underwater makes that whole "pay off the mortgage" step a little tricky. Not to mention being in a depressed housing market.
12
@ 10, if you're the victim of predatory lending, then yes, you should feel victimized because you were.

But if not, you weren't.

I don't know where Griffen falls here. But that doesn't really matter here. He's not being a deadbeat, blowing off the bank. He's trying to work with them, and they were refusing. That makes them the bad guys here.

Anyway, don't bring up dishonest comparisons between your house and your car. You sound like a concern troll when you do.
13
@8: My guess is they choose people who most fit their political ideology and are non-threatening "average joes" that most Seattle voters can relate to.

So here we have a decent working class white dude who lost his job and is trying to work with the bank. He even has a cute dog. No one wants to throw a cute dog out on the streets. It would not work as well if he quit his job, or was trying to avoid the bank. It makes the bank more "evil." Also, he looks like an average Seattle resident, but he would not be as relatable if he was a black guy, or if he lost his house because of gambling or something.

Call me cynical if you will, but it is a good move by SAFE. With limited resources, why not help the people who can most help you, and your group?
14
@10 Well, there's a pretty well-documented recent history of banks blowing off borrowers who have tried to work with them, while the same bank claims to be helping (and ostensibly taking interest-free money for it!).

Just one example probably not related to this particular case: look at the practice of "dual tracking." Fun stuff.
15
The seattle housing market is anything but depressed. Housing stock is so low that prices are skyrocketing.
16
Yeah, I just don't get banks. I don't think this guy should be given a free ride, but maybe some pragmatic consideration. If his house can't be sold for enough to pay back the bank for the value he defaulted, then why not work with him? Otherwise, the bank is stuck with a property it can't sell at break even, it at all and every month it sits empty, the value goes down more.

Makes more sense to sit down with the guy and work it out. Say he didn't pay his mortgage for 10 months at $2,000 a month; that's $40,000 he owes them, plus fees and interest. I think if he can start paying again, the banks should re-do his mortgage with the delinquent amount rolled in, perhaps, with some kind of reasonable fee for re-processing a default mortgage (to pay the cost of the bank employee to deal with this) and start the guy paying every month again. Sure, it may extend his mortgage into infinity, but for right now, everyone wins. The bank gets a revenue stream going again and the guy gets to stay in his home. Ideally, the market gets better and he can then choose to sell, pay off the mortgage and maybe go to something cheaper.

Maybe, this is too simplistic for banks?
17
How does SAFE pick people? That's easy to answer. We canvas neighborhoods experiencing many foreclosures. Those families may/may not come to our meetings, where we attempt to help them with housing counselors, attorneys and alternatives to foreclosure and eviction.

When a family is too late and the house has been sold, they have the option for SAFE to step in and stop the eviction with an eviction blockade. This eviction blockade step is really courageous. Would you want to be broadcast all over Seattle, have the entire city knowing you lost your home to foreclosure? Would you want to risk arrest to stand up and say no?

However, if you think there is an "agenda" other than saving homes from foreclosure, I welcome anyone to our meetings. They happen every Tuesday night on Beacon Hill. We meet at the Beacon Hill church at 6230 Beacon Ave S.
18
Cool.
19
@11 I would still argue that losing a job is primarily what caused the default in that case, but it is certainly exacerbated by being underwater as you say. I guess I was speaking more about the cases of people walking away from mortgages they could afford to pay just because they're underwater.

@10 Don't call people concern trolls, it makes you sound like an insufferable know-it-all when you do. My point was simply that people take on loans for items that are worth less than what they owe on them all the time (car, tv, pretty much anything you put on a credit card). It doesn't mean you're a victim of unscrupulous practices when you can't afford to pay it off and can't recoup your losses by selling it. And comparing a house and car is valid - no one has ever been forced to buy a house in order to have a place to live.

For the record, I believe the overwhelming majority of people took out these "predatory" loans knowing exactly what they were signing on to. They just made a bad investment decision. And where in the post does it say anything about this guying taking out a risky loan? It sounds like he simply lost his job and couldn't pay. I sympathize with him and hope I never find myself in that position, but if I did I don't think I would blame my mortgage lender for my bad luck.
20
@ 19 (I was @ 12, you were @ 10), I've been accused of that before. I don't care.

First, a little quiz for you. In what fundamental way is a house unlike all those other things you mention?

Second, if you "believe the overwhelming majority of people took out these "predatory" loans knowing exactly what they were signing on to," when the overwhelming majority of them had never had a mortgage, or knew anyone who had, are you a fool or... a concern troll?
21
@15:

That may be the case in certain parts of Seattle, but from what I've seen, the farther south one goes, the less likely one is to find property values "skyrocketing"; quite the opposite, in fact.
22
I'll be happy if the Occu-whos can keep from spoiling another Dorli Rainey moment, and if this fellow winds up staying where he is.

However, the photographic evidence suggests a ponytail is attempting to squat on his head. If the sheriffs could please remove his ponytail from the premises, thx.
23
his ex-partner took out the loan, and put this guy on the deed. It's technically not his loan, which is perhaps why the bank won't accept money from him. Banks are a) stupid, b) have ridiculously-illogical rules. They're also venal, but sometimes their stupidity trumps their venality.
24
Wow, I only have to read the papers from last year to see that there was a surplus of houses on the market. There are a lot of "for sale" signs taken down, but the houses did not sell. They are now privately listed bank foreclosures for sale into the wholesale housing market. That is, they are mainly for speculation by investors. This housing surplus is fast becoming the next layer of rental properties controlled by large corporate entities. I think the perceptions around the housing markets are manipulated by the real estate industry to market houses and loans.
25
@19 And Wall St. took leveraged at a far greater ratio on investments they didn't have but knew full well that they were bad investments. They got reconstituted, interest and penalty free. One of the conditions for their reconstitution was the banks working with homeowners who were willing to pay. So it's not as simple a situation as the teabaggy one that you propose.
26
Go Occupy!
27
@11 and 12

While I'm sorry for people whose investments didn't pan out, I fail to see how that becomes the banks problem.

Know how to avoid foreclosure? I know it seems counter to liberal logic, but it's as easy as PAYING YOUR DAMN MORTGAGE.

I've heard all sorts of stories about apparent stubborn stupidity on the part of banks that turns a performing loan into an expensive default. Making a simple concession that costs the bank a few thousands of dollars to save the bank tens of thousands seems a no brainer. But if they're acting within their contractual rights, it's their money to lose and none of my business.

If someone signed a loan for between 10 and 20 years of their annual income without doing a bit of research I have NO sympathy. Default will be one of two things for them: a lesson in what not to do next time or (if they're liberal) one more of their multitudinous reasons to whine about how 'it isn't FAAAIIIIR!!!!'

BB, you're supposed to consider loss of income, expensive home/medical/vehicle costs and so on BEFORE buying the house. If someone doesn't- see above paragraph for the results.
28
@24

Well that's one way of looking at it.

Of course, the business banker I deal with sees it a bit differently. For one thing, rules about how a loan can qualify are tighter now than pre-crisis. So to whom do you sell a house? Well, to those who have money.

Additionally, banks are keeping back foreclosed houses to keep a boom/bust cycle from happening again. That is, they're releasing only so much inventory into the market to avoid just the problems about which everyone here is whining.

Yes, the net effect is that investors and refinancing are the biggest share of the mortgage market, but that isn't an inherently unhealthy thing. How many New Yorkers do you suppose own their place in Manhattan for example? Renting isn't a death sentence. If someone has the gumption and discipline to get a house, congratulations, but it's far from being a right.
29
Look at the numbers in the Story.
Just think - if a good number of the people whose homes are underwater and foreclosed upon showed up here and at future sit-in's what a difference this would make.
As with anything it's a Choice an individual can make to reflect back to the Banks what they are doing now and have done to People and Families.
30
@27 The banks are the real victims here, amirite?
31
Nope. There aren't victims. There are people or financial institutions who made poor choices and must bear the consequences.

For what it's worth, I was opposed to the terms under which banks were bailed out. It was blackmail to banks who hadn't screwed up but were forced to take the bailout to make the thing look halfway legitimate. These were told to take the money or have the government persecute them through various regulatory agencies. For banks which made poor financial choices it should have been given conditional on the resignation of the banks management and losses to shareholders.

But homeowners who failed to meet their contractual obligations aren't victims. They are deadbeats.
32
There is so much great analysis out there folks, it's really hard to know where to start. No idea why this article is all "gee wow" about the "news" that people all over the place are fed up and fighting back. This isn't "news" - it has been happening for quite some time now, all over the country.

Occupy and other groups have taken a stand with people who are sick of getting sucked dry at every turn, while the financial Masters of the Universe seem to walk away from every step in the process with pockets full of cash.

Contracts are great between equals, who have an equal say in how they are written and enforced. But if you think the banks are just enforcing their rights, you haven't been reading about robosigning, dual tracking, redlining, faking titles and deeds, LIBOR, the horrendous deals our cities have been getting on credit default swaps etc etc etc - all weapons of wealth extraction. They're quick to plead "contract" when it suits them, but not so quick to honor their own word.

http://darwinbondgraham.wordpress.com/20… - here's a start. If you stop reading because you can't be bothered to work through the migraine this causes, you might at least consider the idea that these folks have a point.
33
http://bit.ly/X5s6p8 - shorter link. Hope that works
34
Blockading evictions=radical
Running for public office=less than radical

Sawant, you will never represent me. You are a politician and I despise you thusly. Your lefty reformism makes me sick and everything you touch begins to feel impotent. Please keep your cronies out of black coffee.

Also, the banks are horrible but they are only the beginning. Don't fall into the same trap that Occupy did by making your focus too narrow.

Fuck Banks (and capitalism) Fuck Politicians (and the State)
35
I'm with #2. Why aren't the fuckwits advocating an apodment for this guy?