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The Van Nuys Family That Dared to Fight the Banks — The 122-Day Seige Occupy of La Familia Hernandez

They call it Fort Hernandez, the house on Leadwell Street in the heart of Van Nuys that has become a symbol of resistance as La Familia Hernandez and their Occupier friends fended off eviction for the past 122 days as of Christmas Day.

It likely will be their last day of occupation.

A 100-minute meeting between Monday morning  between Sheriff’s Department civil commanders and three of Lupe Hernandez’s adult children – Javier, Brenda and Antonio – and their lawyer Philip Koebel bought them a last-minute reprieve from being removed by force if necessary from their house on Christmas Eve.

But deputies are due back sometime Wednesday, or maybe a few days later, with a court order to clear the premises of everyone – the family and the dozen or more supporters who have camped out on the lawn, built a high wooden wall around the front of the house and covered it with murals and political slogans.

Some will obey deputies’ orders and leave. Others will passively resist and face arrest. No one expects or wants violence but a large crowd of protesters connected to the Occupy Fights Foreclosures movement could descend on the house as they did in late October when LAPD officers bulldozed an earlier wall, used force against the protesters and brought in Children’s Services investigators because of the family’s youngest children.

It was the kind of heavy-handed harassment that helped put Fort Hernandez on the media map with coverage on TV and the press. The Sheriff is taking a different tack.

“It was extraordinary, the meeting with the sheriff’s officials, the most important I’ve ever had in this kind of case,” said Koebel, a Pasadena attorney who handles many eviction and tenants’ rights cases.

“They listened to what we had to say, all that’s wrong with this foreclosure, down to question of whether Bank of New York Mellon or Bank of America actually has title to the property and whether state law and bankruptcy law is being followed. Our hope is that they will give us the two weeks we have left to appeal the court’s order.”

For his part, Lt. Christopher Reed, head of the civil division who came from downtown to participate in the meeting, said his hands are tied.

“All we know is we have a court order to execute,” he said in the sixth floor hallway of the Van Nuys Courthouse. “In 99.9 percent of these cases, people leave voluntarily and that’s the end of it for us whatever else happens later in the courts. This case is different. We know that and are trying to be sensitive, help them find a housing alternative but their time is just about up.”

The family bought the house in 2006 with no money down and mortgage payments that they could manage because of an adjustable rate loan that would soon balloon right at the time Javier, 31, lost his job as a laborer.

He says the agent from Countrywide, Angelo Mozilo’s high-flying mortgage firm that went under in the economic collapse and became part of BoA, fudged their income numbers to make them eligible for the loan without explaining the high risk they faced when the interest rate began to rise.

“What did we know, it was a dream come true for us,” he said. “Now our best chance is going to be to go back to court and try to get our house back because the foreclosure wasn’t legal.”

Spirits were high on Christmas Eve at Fort Hernandez. They had won a victory against authority, a small victory to be sure in what Occupy Fights Foreclosure activists like Matt Ward see as a long struggle to force the banks to carry through on promises to provide loan modifications that keep people in their homes, to change the laws to protect the rights of tenants and home buyers, ultimately to change the world to the point everyone has a decent home.

“It’s not going to change over night,” he said. “But in a few months we’ve made a lot of progress. It takes people like the Hernandez family to stand up for their rights.”

On Sunday, Occupiers broke into the Lincoln Heights home of Soledad Corona, who was evicted Dec. 14 after a three-year fight, so the single mother and her family could spend the holidays in their house.

“Bank of America had announced in November that they would avoid foreclosures during the holidays. It turned out a blatant LIE,” according to a post on the Occupy Fights Foreclosures website. “  BoA continued their assault against families like the Corona family by fraudulently evicting them and none of 10 BoA officials we spoke in last few days, who continued to downplay their actions, gave us any reason why they broke their promise not to.”

For all the posturing at City Hall and in the Legislature about the evil banks and the unfairness of the laws, measures like the city’s protections for some tenants living in foreclosed properties and the state’s new Home Owner Bill of Rights, nearly 200 families face foreclosure in Van Nuys alone right now.

The Hernandez family is alone in fighting foreclsoure with the help of mostly young idealists who believe they can embarrass Bank of America into acting compassionately and government into taking strong steps, and attorney like Koebel who believes the laws support putting the family back into the house or paying as much as $100,000 to them under what’s called the homestead exemption.

“We just need our day in court but that could take four or five years the way the system works,” he said, “and the banks won’t be able to sell the property without a cloud over it. That’s the leverage we have.”

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30 Responses to The Van Nuys Family That Dared to Fight the Banks — The 122-Day Seige Occupy of La Familia Hernandez

  1. transparency says:

    Good for you!!!
    If all of us would take the time to learn, investigate we would know that the Federal Reserve is not part of the U S government but a PRIVATE entity that was created to rob the public. “To Big to Fail”, Foreclosures, The Fiscal Cliff, etc., all of them are maneuvers of a cabal that plans to destroy our economy and at the same time steal our resources. Most people live in La La Land or are too arrogant to think that this government could be against their own citizens. If people continue to get their news through mainstream media they’re just drinking their kool aid. Mainstream media is control by the same cabal, the truth of what really is going on is thru the internet and even there you have to be careful.
    It is the end of the world, the world that has been working in secrecy and against the people. President John F. Kennedy before he was killed gave a speech in which he mentioned these secret societies, you can google it.
    The U S could create its own money away from the Federal Reserve and there would be no debt. JFK passed the law

    “On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order
    11110, was signed with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve
    Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at
    “Is so fortunate for leaders that people do not think” Adolf Hitler.

  2. ex valley says:

    You do agree that getting a no money down , very low initial interest adjustable rate loan meant that this family was not really qualified to buy a house there.

    There is no shortage of apartments in van nuts. Come on, the whole place looks like one giant apartment project.

  3. Teddy says:

    I am in prayer for our country. What happened to “A man is as good as his word”????

    Thank you, Ron, for your compassion.

  4. Mark Reed says:

    The article states; the agent from Countrywide, Angelo Mozilla’s fudged their income numbers to make them eligible for the loan without explaining the high risk they faced when the interest rate began to rise.

    There are two issues here; the first one mentioned above. It’s a felony to commit fraud on loan documents and a federal crime as well. Why hasn’t Mr. Mozilo been arrested for committing this fraud? If the Hernandez family was aware of this fraud they to can face prosecution for conspiracy to commit fraud on their loan documents.

    The second one is there are victims when crimes are committed. The first victim when the crime became obvious was the Hernandez family,they lost their home, however a home they did not qualify for to buy. The second victim is the lender, they are losing money on this deal, the third are the stock holders of the bank and finally all of us because the government has taken the possession of bailing these banks out.

    Every American family wants to have the American dream and buy a home and there are no short cuts. We need to work hard so that we can qualify for the loan and protect our interest in this home, because the bank is going to work hard to protect their interest in the same home.

    All of us need to sit back and take personal responsibility for our actions and the article overlooks this simple personal obligation.

  5. anonymous says:

    Ron, you failed to mention the price of the house when they bought it. I`m sure they could not afford it. Ron, did you move in a house wo dn pmt. and low interest for a few yrs that would ballon before you sneeze? No! I`m also sure the house they bought is was valued more than yours. Don`t call those bums “idealists”. It pisses me off. Parasites, who have nothing else to do but protest, because the money to keep these leaches in “their dream house” does not come from these worthless ” idealists”, but from the hard working people like you and me!

  6. Katharine Russ says:

    I agree with Mark Reed’s comment currently awaiting moderation (below). My question would be: Where are the Attorneys General from both Washington and California who would be at the forefront of these kinds of fraud by Countrywide, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and the like? Fraud is a crime! Your article fails to mention what the Hernandez family originally paid for the home and whether or not they actually knew whether they could afford the home when they purchased it. While I never want to see families evicted from their homes, simply “managing” a monthly payment until an adjustable rate loan balloons does not sound like a responsible home owner. What were the plans at that point? No one actually owns a home until the last payment is paid- common sense. If you want readers to share your sympathy, details are important because in the end taxpayers share in the solution.

  7. anonymous says:

    2 Questions: How does Countrywide and BofA profit from lending to people that they know cannot keep up with the loan? Do the banks consider ownership of foreclosed properties an asset?

    On the same note-it seems banks do the same with people that file bankruptcy and their credit card debt is “forgiven.” Right after a bankruptcy ruling is allowed, I have witnessed these banks offer the person(s) new credit cards. I know some people who intentionally max out their cards-file bankruptcy–get it–then get new cards, only to repeat the pattern. It doesn’t make sense–unless the bank, in some way, profits from people who do this. How do they profit?

    • How people screwed themselves says:

      Years ago, people had to put down 20% in order to buy a home and mortgage companies made their profit by collecting the monthly payments. Assuming that their interest rates were higher than inflation, the mortgage companies made money — slowly. That was good for a stable economy.

      There has always been a secondary market for mortgages. That means, if I lend people money to buy a home, I can sell their debt (mortgage) to another person and recoup my loan right away. I make profit on “points and other charges.” If I can re-sell the mortgages fast enough, I can make more money on the points and charges. Also, I get my principal loan amount back from whoever buys the mortgage for me. This allows me to loan that same money again, get more “points and other charges.” The faster I can sell the mortgage, the more money I make. That’s a lot better in the short term than waiting decades for the homeowners to repay their loans.

      After a while, I cannot find any more people who can afford to put down 20%. In old days, I would know that unless homeowners were risking their own money, they were more likely to allow the house to be repossessed. If, however, a family has 20%, they have $40,000.00 or $60,000.00 of their own money in the house and they will fight to make those mortgage payments.

      As a result, people who bought home mortgages experienced a very low default rate and since there were so many mortgages, it was easy for actuaries to figure out the actual value of these mortgages. Wall Street discovered that they could take thousands of mortgages and “bundle them” and sell the bundles to other banks and to countries. Wall Street could not make money selling individual mortgages, but when thousands were bundled together, the profit per bundle was great enough for them to make money. Thus, Wall Street demanded more and more mortgages.

      But mortgage lenders like Countrywide were running out of qualified people to buy homes. Thus, the cut the percentage from 20% to 10% to 0% that people had to put down to get a mortgage. Wall Street did not know the 10,000 mortgages it had bought from Countrywide in 2004 were materially different from the 10,000 mortgages it had bought in 1994, or 1984, or 1974, or 1964. It takes a few years for the bad risks to show up in sufficient numbers for the banks and countries who had bought the bundled mortgages to start experiencing a high default date.

      Under Glass-Steagall, Wall Street would have stopped buying the mortgages from lenders who showed a high default rate. Why? Because the other banks and nations would have stopped buying the bundled mortgages and Wall Street would have no market. But, in 1999 we foolishly repealed Glass-Steagall which had been instituted in 1933, and we allowed Wall Street to sell Credit Default Swaps. At that point, the die had been cast and as Sen. Dorgan warned disaster would hit in about 10 years. The crash hit in 9 years, in 2008.

      How did Credit Default Swaps [CDS's] cause the crash? When other banks and nations complained about the high default rate on the bundled mortgages, Wall Street said, “We will sell you insurance that the bundled mortgage will not have a high default rate.” Thus, for a small premium, a bank or nation could buy insurance that the bundled mortgages would pay a guaranteed rate. Thus, Wall Street made more money by selling this insurance called CDW’s, and thus, they demanded more mortgages from places like Countrywide. Normally, Wall Street would have stopped buying any mortgages from Countrywide. Only a fool intentionally buys a defective product – unless lack of regulation makes a bad mortgage worth more than a good mortgage.

      However, with the repeal of Glass-Steagall, Wall Street realized that it could make a lot more money by selling bad mortgages than by selling sound mortgages. Wall Street executives started buying Credit Default Swaps on bundled mortgages which the executives knew were filled with high risk loans. Thus, as soon as bundled mortgage proved bad, the executives collected the “insurance.”

      Of course, one cannot buy insurance on their neighbor’s house and one cannot buy insurance on someone else’s bundled mortgage. By calling them CDS’s, however, they evaded the laws on insurance. After decades of the GOP appointing thousands of corrupt judges, there was no place for people to go to sue to stop this fraudulent practice. If everyone within 3 blocks has fire insurance on your house, you can be certain that someone will burn down your house. If 100 Wall Street executives will collect hundreds of millions if the bundled mortgage which you purchased defaults, you can be certain the executives will make certain your bundled mortgage was as bad as they could possible make it. It is no different than Ralphs’ selling cans of soup. If one can stays on the shelf for two months, Ralphs is not making money, but if it can sell 200 cans of soup an hour, it makes a fortune on soup.

      Thus, Wall Street executives saw a way to make billions of dollars. They would buy the worst mortgages they could find. The worse the mortgage, the sooner the homeowner would default and the sooner the executives could collect on their CDS’s. In fact, at the end of the scam Countrywide and others were simply writing fictitious mortgages with no home and no homeowners — Wall Street bought the false mortgages even faster as they would go sour faster since there were no homeowners to make any payments. The sooner a bundled mortgage crashed, the sooner the executives collected their insurance-CDS and the sooner they could make a new defective bundled mortgage.

      The Wall Street firms like AIG, Lehmans Bros, Goldman-Sachs, etc. were on the hook for trillions of dollars on the CDS’s and the CDS’s purchasers were their own executives, who had paid off the rating agencies to give junk bundled mortgages their top ratings. The executives were literally making billions from their CDS’s, while the Wall Street firms were going bankrupt.

      Tommy Geithner, who was head of the NY fed, stepped in and started giving trillions of dollars to Wall Street firms so they could then pay off the CDS’s — individual executives were making hundreds of millions of dollars; some made over one billion.

      In August 2008 through March 2009, the solution to the disaster was obvious — federally insure all home mortgages. That would have cost the federal government about $100 Billion, but it would have stopped the disaster over night. No bundled mortgage would default and no Wall Street firm would have to pay another cent on a CDS. The so-called toxic assets, i.e. bundles of defective mortgages, would cease to be defective as the Feds would pay the bill — kind of like fire insurance.

      However, Bush, Obama, Paulson and Geithner placed the personal fortunes of the crooks who were behind the CDS swindles ahead of the welfare of the nation, and they refused to insure home mortgages, but they gave trillions of dollars to Wall Street firms to pay off the CDS. Meanwhile, Bush, Paulson, Obama and Geithner starved Main Street. The rich got wealthier and the middle class became the lower class and the lower class fell to new lows.

      As a result many banks ended up needlessly owning foreclosed homes. With the collapse of the economy, the demand for new homes dried up and the value of homes dropped. With the economic down turn, people started losing their jobs which lead to more foreclosures. That further depressed the demand for new homes and as demand lessened, property values fell more.

      Another problem with Obama and Geithner ignored is that millions of people had been deceived into taking out Step Up Mortgages. They were mortgages where the monthly payment would Step Up sharply in the 3rd, 4th, 5th year from maybe $2,000/mo to $4,000/mo. When people took out these mortgages where monthly payment would double, they were guaranteed that the lender would refinance the home before the Stepped Up rate kicked in, and thus they could keep the same low monthly mortgage. Of course, people were not allowed to refinance because the lenders needed the homeowners to default so that the Wall Street executives, who had bought the CDS, could collect on the defective bundles. Meanwhile Geithner made certain that the Fed continued shoveling trillions of dollars to the Wall Street banks so that they could buy off the CDS’s. The administration also set up programs which paid banks to foreclose on homes while doing nothing for homeowners except false promises of help.

    • Cindi Burkey says:

      Not anymore, they can’t. They changed the bankruptcy laws a few years ago.

  8. Bruno the Eisenhower Republican on forclosure tricks and reasons for this crap says:

    WUF #1—On Jan 1, 2013, a new HOMEOWNER BILL OF RIGHTS passes as law. In it, the Hernandez family and others may be PROTECTED. That means, before a forclosure, the bank WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVE IT HAS THE NOTE (ORIGINAL) AND IT HAS THE RIGHTFUL OWNERSHIP OF IT AND THE TRUST DEED before they kick people out on the streets.
    WUF #2—The Hernandez family (or one of them at a time) can file for BANKRUPTCY and stop the eviction 30 days at a time.
    WUF #3—The lawyer can file his suit and SEEK an INJUNCTION AND TRO for the time being.
    WUF #4—If the Hernandez family had anyone with a LONG TERM lease, they could sue the bank to honor the LEASE. Thus even if the others are evicted—the one with the long term lease stays and can “invite back” the others.
    The whole problem here is that the bank was smart—the SOLD THE HOUSE at auction then GOT a WRIT OF POSSESSION. That pretty much in itself is a done deal.
    But Dogs like a warm dog house on X-Mas. I feel the Hernandez family deserves way more out of this life than being cheated out of their credit rating, their livelihood, and being disgraced in this manner by jack-booted Nazi Sheriff’s dept. S.A. members.
    What will happen to the house?
    Here’s the part that will make you SICK. Turns out it will go to some greasy, sleezy, foreign investor who will spend $10,000 on repairs, then FLIP IT for a 20-60% PROFIT!!! Thus, the Hernandez family is merely IN THE WAY of the bailed-out Bank handing over the property to a scumbag who will take his profits out of the country and let out economy go down the fiscal cliff and beyond.
    There’s a famous Taco stand on Tujunga and Magnolia that has a scumbag landlord (a foreigner living in Beverly Hills) who doubled the rent and now wants to kick out a 50 year old family run business.
    The landowners and investors of today are SCUMBAGS. The profiteers on Wall St. are Scumbags. The Politicians that they buy are SCUMBAGS. So, we’re pretty much left alone to fend for ourselves, the Dogs we are….

  9. Mark Reed says:

    I will try to answer your questions;

    Countrywide was a loan servicing and loan generation company not a bank. They would screen the applicants and sell the note to a bank for a commission, they would then service the loan for the bank that picked up the note for a percentage. Countrywide went bankrupt because of the amount of fraud they committed on loan applications and when the market turned and they reached a tipping point, they could no longer keep their doors open. Bank of America made a deal with federal government to buy out Countrywide and clean up the bad loans with taxpayers money(bailout money). Countrywide and the banks only make money when the person pays the loan as agreed however the real-estate agent along with the loan officer who generates these loans make a commission on closing deals. The loan officer is a trusted employee who has strict guidelines he or she must follow however fraud is not allowed, either you qualify or you don’t, this is their job to protect both the applicant and the bank. If they don’t do their job both loss, the home owner and the bank.

    Banks do not own the property, they own the note attached to it, so they have a controlling interest in the property until the note is payed off. There are several federal banking guidelines they must follow as well when they exercise their interest in the property.

    Credit cards;
    The new regulations that were passed to protect consumers from this had the opposite effect. Interest rates on credit cards have skyrocketed. Banks are charging anywhere from 4% to 30% interest on credit cards. They base this on your credit history. If your history is good you pay less, if it is bad you pay more. They figure this in based on profit and loss and how much they are paying for money from the federal reserve. At the rate the federal reserve is printing money, the only way the United States can pay it’s debt back is by inflation ( devaluing the dollar ) We are all seeing this now through skyrocketing energy cost, gas prices, food prices, clothing and everyday living expenses. The federal reserve is keeping interest rates down for the banks and the central banks because if they didn’t the world economy would come to a standstill. However based on the U.S. debt. we will be pushed over this cliff just like the Hernandez family.

    We the people bailed out these corrupt companies; where are our state and federal Attorney Generals, they should be prosecuting these people who committed fraud.

    Nothing is free, we all need to exercise personal responsibility and man up when we make a mistake. Making mistakes is only human. Fraud is not a mistake!

    • LA Moderator says:

      Mark, with respect, there’s some nuances beyond your summary that merit clarification.

      The Countrywide Financial Corporation, (which I became an employee of 8 years ago tomorrow), had a number of subsidiary divisions. There were several Production Divisions, including Consumer Markets and Full Sprectum Lending, which would Originate loans. Another subsidiary was then called Treasury Bank, and later, renamed Countrywide Bank, it commenced the Origination of loans, resulting in a different venue for regulation.

      These loans, and those acquired through Wholesale or Correspondent channels, could be held by CFC or repackaged/securitized and sold to other investors/institutions (including GSE’s such as Freddie/Fannie); providing further Funding which could be used to foster loans to other people. Whither originated or acquired, held or securitized, the Servicing rights of those might be assigned to another servicer or kept in house (along with loans held by institutions).

      Fascinating details around all this, but as someone who has seen this from ground zero (along with other earnest Legacy Countrywide still around, laid off/moved to other jobs, or back as contractors/consultants as myself), let me stress that tens of thousands of associates have worked their darnedest to continue to do the right thing. From doing our jobs in the past when this was an economic enging chugging along (and everyone was happy with the real or percieved value they were accruing) of keeping things honest now by making sure the documentation is in order and the data accurate (with tremendous efforts towards working with borrowers to justify modifications via available programs and cooperation from investors); fundamental to all of the deliberations involving the Mortgage industry is having valid information.

      Ron has corrected Angelo’s name since his original post, but there’s still a lot of gaps in the piece. CFC typically gets all the blame since they were the biggest, but the merger with B of A was conducted long before ‘bailouts’ started being pushed to marginally-willing bankers. I am in no means authorized to provide any official slant on public information, but I do have an informed opinion. Ron makes reference that the son said some corners being cut by an agent…certainly an unacceptable action. Whether this was an employee of Countrywide or someone independent, the lure of commissions sometimes bring out short-sided practices or worse (just like it in an ad rep for newspaper like Ron’s old Daily News – in this case, the stakes are much higher).

      Go right ahead and discuss the merits of this OFF topic, the appropriateness of bailouts, regulation, and some of the various lawsuits and/or settlements that continue to transpire, but whether specific to this house (public record discloses purchase price and transaction type) or in general, making sure the facts are straight is conducive to coming to the best decisions moving ahead.

    • LA Moderator says:

      I should add that your characterization of Countrywide, vis a vis ‘fraud’ and ‘bankrupt’, is inaccurate. IMHO, what affected stock prices and valuations at the time, which made capital infusions from Preferred Shareholders and B of A, had more to do with poor Risk assessments. There were hedges against the inevitability that the real estate bubble would deflate, but not sufficient for the rapidity with which the Secondary market would collapse worldwide…beyond the ability of Servicing operations and mortgage insurance to offset.

  10. transparency says:

    Everyone wants to own a home and when it is offer to them they are going to accept it. These banks prey on people that are not knowledgeable on debt, just like they offer charge cards to teenagers when they are out of school and its easy for them to get themselves into deep debt especially when the charges are so high and the debt keeps growing. It is a con game the banks have been buying toxic debts from each other knowingly but they don’t care because we will be the ones to bail them out.
    Watch these videos it will become very clear who’s manipulating the con game.
    You Tube “The Ring of Power”.
    You Tube “The men who crashed the world”
    The Libor Scandal
    “…affair involving Barclays, a 300-year-old British bank, rigging an obscure number, is beginning to assume global significance. The number that the traders were toying with determines the prices that people and corporations around the world pay for loans or receive for their savings. It is used as a benchmark to set payments on about $800 trillion-worth of financial instruments, ranging from complex interest-rate derivatives to simple mortgages. The number determines the global flow of billions of dollars each year. Yet it turns out to have been flawed..

    • anonymous says:

      Transparency, yes the loan institutions and banks are predators and those people should be in prison. But, really, just ’cause someone offers a loan doesn’t mean one should accept it, unless the person knows he can afford to repay it. Anything short of that is theft–no matter how tempting and easy it is to do.

      • Cindi Burkey says:

        It’s about priorities.

        Law enforcement is soft on white collar crime. You didn’t see the police pepper spraying the banksters. You saw them pepper spraying little old ladies.
        When you break it down to the bottom line it’s not really complicated at all. The complications are just a distraction from the basic questions of right and wrong and about who should be prosecuted.

  11. anonymous says:

    I know people who intentionally max out their credit cards with no intention of paying their debt. They, then, file bankruptcy and get it. The card companies offer them more cards and they max those cards out too. I know some people who have filed bankruptcy three times this way. These people, like the card companies you mention, are thieves.

    There was a man who put my phone number (a random number he picked that just happened to be mine) on checks. For a year he bounced checks right and left. The vendors called me (Ma and Pa shops, etc). I felt so awful explaining to them it was not me. I called police who told me to call the DA’s office. ‘Told the Asst DA that I felt this person should be investigated and ‘believe the check bouncing was intentional. The bad check guy from the DA’s office (Mr Green or Greenberg or something like that) was outright rude to me and said I had no right to assume that and don’t I have something better to do in my “easy chair.” Well, maybe the part where he bounced three checks a week for over a year was a hint? SO much for reporting a crime.

    Next thing you know, after one year of phone calls from robbed vendors, I get calls from credit card companies offering me (the guy’s name on the checks) credit cards. I called the card companies and told them this guy has been bouncing checks for over a year and they should not offer him any cards. The woman on the phone laughed and asked me if I wanted a card.

    It’s so wrong. They will arrest a kid for stealing a pack of gum from the 7-11, but not a man who is stealing thousands of dollars of goods and putting fraudulent info on checks.

  12. anonymous says:

    you write “…a long struggle…ultimately to change the world
    to the point everyone has a decent home…” Oh, please…
    there are millions and millions of people who
    live in apartments and create their decent home…
    it takes initiative, self-discipline, sound judgement…
    get out of bed, make the effort, live responsibly…work…
    and “fudged…income numbers” is neither reason nor excuse…
    both the loan processors as well as the loan beneficiaries
    are guilty co-operatives in the racket, the scheme…to commit fraud…
    special loans for special people…who now demand special treatment…
    you write “…idealists who believe they can embarrass the Bank of America
    into acting compassionately…” Oh, please…emotion-motivated-irrational-
    compassion is what helped created this mess…which required the
    co-operation of many bureaucracies, institutions and unscrupulous
    individuals…all special criminals in their own special way….

    • ex valley says:

      From the daily news article:

      “Hernandez bought the home for $546,000 in 2006 and lived there with up to 10 relatives. In interviews earlier this year, he and his brother Ulises said he signed a subprime mortgage with terms including interest-only payments up front and an adjustable rate.

      After the payment went from $3,900 to $4,500, the family stopped paying. The last payment was made in February 2008.”

      1) 546k house? Gee, kinda excessive in Van nuys you’d think?
      2) 10 people residing in a house? Wow, I bet the neighbors were overjoyed
      3) almost 5 years rent free housing. These banks are quite generous.

      Ron., cry me a river over this bunch of ignorant leeches.

      • Katharine Russ says:

        1. Flabbergasting!!! What “laborer” presumes he can afford this kind of money for a house????
        2. Ten people residing in a house and they still can’t come up with a monthly payment???
        3. People, like me, who have to watch their pennies and live within their means resent having to bail out people for their stupidity.
        My question remains unanswered- why has this fraud of both the lender and the buyer been allowed to continue at taxpayer expense? Sickening.

      • Mark Reed says:

        You blame the system however if you voted or if you did not vote you and everyone else has elected the people in that have created this very system you blame. Now you have sympathy for those who choose to cheat the system and try to get something for nothing. You have created a very tangled web for yourself. However if you have some commonsense the system actually works 90% of the time. Life is hard, it is even harder if you do not have commonsense.

        Real-estate agent made 6% commission on the sale of the house, $54,600.00
        Loan officer made 3% loan origination fee, $27,300.00
        Hernandez family; put money down and lived in the house rent free five years and you call them victims.

        Bank lost untold amount along with us the taxpayer, we even paid to have them evicted.

        The problem we have today, hard working taxpayers are being screwed by everyone who wants something for nothing.

        The real-estate agent, loan officer and the Hernandez family should be prosecuted for fraud and pay restitution to the taxpayers of Los Angeles and the United States.

        Even the person with limited understanding of the loan process could not be convinced a laborer could qualify for $546,000 thousand dollar loan with no down payment however people with careers in the banking industry sold this loan package to the bank. HOW? Admittedly BY FRAUD.

        The problem with bleeding heart liberals is they want to do good with everyone else’s money but their own.

    • Katharine Russ says:

      Couldn’t have said this better myself!

  13. anonymous says:

    Finally they are out.Tthey can go and stay in living quarters they can afford, like millions of others. Question; Who is paying for all these law enforcement, justice and other expenses?
    May be Napoleon Wesson and his General Beck can tell us before we vote for his sales tax.

  14. Tyndon Clusters says:

    Well, this is a fine mess. The banks were clearly wrong when fraudulently approving forged applications and the “victim”, who should have known better, is getting the short end of the stick as he is the final link in this sad chain of greed and corruption.

    So what is the solution now that the damage has been done? Siding with the banks and kicking these folks out of their home? Or siding with the tenants who contributed to their own misfortune by gambling the housing market would continue to inflate?

    There really is no “right” answer. It seems that the brunt of the punishment is unfairly being doled out to the hernandez family as the mortgage brokers, bankers etc have all gotten their commission and profit with zero punishment.The forgers and CEOs have served no time and spent that money on their vacations, cars and toys.

    Meanwhile, the poor Hernandez family is left holding the bag for the true criminals and will get dumped on by the “authorities” who are busy kicking the middle class victims out of their houses, while the big boys laugh all the way to the bank.

    • El Quixotian says:

      And the Anarchists among the well-meaning(?) Occupiers further their agenda with more publicity…one would hope that Community and Charity would prevale in helping families such as this, so that what is Just can transpire.

  15. Mark Reed says:

    Wow, I will have to say the quality of dialog jump up. Everyone needs to read “How people screwed Themselves” and “LA Moderator” My responses were short and to a point however the two of you went into detail, accurate detail of the issues. However it is a long read a very possibly over many peoples understanding or desire to read through however they are right on the mark. Thank you for taking the time to compose these responses and everyone should take the time to read them.

    My main point has been no one forced the Hernandez family to sign these contracts. They did it because they wanted to and as they have found out it was a bad decision. The article claimed fraud and this should be addressed. Not everyone in the business world engages in these practices however the ones that did should be prosecuted. As you can see when you peal the layers back it is a very complex issue that goes back three decades of bad legislation by our congress.

  16. Bruno the Eisenhower Republican on forclosures says:

    Wuf—Looks like the Sheriff’s Dept S.A. members are heading in for the house….

  17. Rita-of-Sunland says:

    More illegal alien criminals breaking into this country, gaming The System, then complaining, vandalizing and demanding sympathy and bail-outs when their rip-off scheme collapses. Serves ‘em right. Deport ‘em all. Install a microchip in each and every one of them so they can’t try it again.

  18. Bruno replies to Rita's Post says:

    Microchip the illegals? HA HA HA!!!!!!! Obama will microchip the Tea Party Members first!

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