Occupy Homes Activist Saves His Own Mother's House From Foreclosure
Update:Espinosa won! Citibank agreed at the eleventh hour to cancel the impending auction of Espinosa's mother's home and modify her loan with reduced payments.
Last week my AlterNet colleague Sarah Jaffe moderated a panelon how activists are occupying homes to fight the ongoing foreclosure crisis. One of the panelists who spoke at that event was Nick Espinosa, an activist with Occupy Homes Minnesota. As it turns out, Espinosa's latest foreclosure battle is extra personal to him -- it involves his own mother's home.
Espinosa's mother, Colleen McKee Espinosa, has owned her home for 16 years. After she missed two mortgage payments last year, she tried to pay her outstanding balance to Citibank, but the bank said it had already put the house into foreclosure. “I’ve come up with the money I owe them but they refuse to take it,” McKee Espinosa said.
After some initial press about McKee Espinosa's unfair treatment, Citibank said it was doing everything it could to resolve the case. But despite that assurance, the bank is still scheduled to auction off the home this Wednesday.
My mother has struggled her whole life to keep our family afloat and give my siblings and I a better life than she had," said Nick Espinosa. "I've dedicated the last 8 months of my life to helping families fight against unjust foreclosures and the greedy banks that would rather leave homes vacant than work to keep families in their communities even after being bailed out with our tax dollars. Citibank won't be stealing the home I grew up in from my mom--it stops here."
Activists and supporters, including members of McKee Espinosa's
teachers' nurses' union, are spreading around a Change.org petition to raise awareness of the case and put additional pressure on Citibank. Meanwhile, McKee Espinosa says she is not leaving the home that she would have paid off in six more years. "I have decided that I'm not leaving my home until we get a good faith negotiation. I'm fighting to send the message to other people not to give up, because if you're isolated you can't fight these people,” said McKee Espinosa. "I'd tell the banks they better watch out because people are catching on to their game and a lot of people are going to fight back now."