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Man occupies his foreclosed Riverside house

December 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
On this "National Reoccupy Homes Day," people who lost their houses to foreclosure are fighting back against the banks.

In Riverside on Tuesday, a man moved back into his home - legally or not.

Arturo de los Santos and his four kids lived at the home for about eight years until six months ago when he was foreclosed upon.

De los Santos opened up his U-Haul truck, and with the help of a number of supporters, he moved many of his belongings back into the house.

He says his mortgage payments were around $1,600 a month, but when things got slow at work he couldn't afford that anymore and he stopped making payments.

He says Chase agreed to work with him and gave him lower payments of about $1,300 a month for a trial period.

"They gave me some trial period payments. I made my payments on time," he said. "After the fourth month, they refused to accept my payments. I told them my income is back to normal, I can pay my mortgage payment, and they said we're not accepting your payments anymore."

Not long after, he says his home was sold from underneath him.

"Pretty much what they told me was 'We have a loan modification department and a foreclosure department. The foreclosure department decided to sell the house, so the house is being sold,'" de los Santos said.

Chase says of about 1.2 million homeowners who have struggled to make payments to the bank since 2009, about 300,000 have been foreclosed on. They say about 704,000 have avoided foreclosure by modifications, short sales or forbearance.

But not de los Santos. So, he moved back in anyway with the support of many.

"People are angry. We're standing up, we're mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore," said Peggy Mears, who was there when de los Santos moved back into the house.

The move-in was a planned event.

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