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Facing holiday eviction, group protests bank

November 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A group of homeowners facing eviction over the holidays held an emotional rally in Long Beach Wednesday. The group spoke out about the lenders they claim will soon leave them homeless.At Esperanza Casco's foreclosed home Wednesday there was a rally to get the attention of the banks.

Thursday, on Thanksgiving day, Casco and her family will officially be homeless.

"We've never missed a payment on our home in over 17 years," said Casco. "But JPMorgan Chase wants to evict us from our house."

It is the fate of many local families this holiday season.

So Wednesday, with no home to celebrate in, many decided to eat their Thanksgiving meal outside the bank that they say put them in this mess.

"These families shouldn't have been foreclosed on in the first place because they had stable incomes, and they were eligible for modifications in many cases. In some cases they never missed a payment on their loans. So we're asking the banks to reinstate their mortgages and certainly not to evict them over the holidays," said Peter Kuhns, organizer, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

JPMorgan Chase officials said they can't comment on each of these cases due to privacy issues, but they are doing what they can to keep these families in their homes.

But due to a recent government-mandated rule, many of these people will have no choice but to be evicted.

The rule, called Net Present Value, allows banks to revert loans back to their original values if homeowners can't pay off their homes.

A JPMorgan Chase spokesperson says despite the Cascos' claims, the family could not keep up with payments.

"We made every effort to work with Mr. Casco on an affordable long-term option. Unfortunately, after nearly two years of efforts, we concluded he could not sustain a long-term solution," said Mary Jane Rogers in a statement.

Which means Casco and her three children will soon have to find a new place to live. And this holiday a handful of families don't want to leave without their voices being heard.

"Remember, America, you are all just one paycheck away from being foreclosed on," said Peggy Mears, who is facing foreclosure.


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