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It’s 2012. Four years since the “crash” of 2008, when the real bailout could have been to the bank, but through the device of saving homeowners from the conflagration of foreclosures from the crooked system of subprime loads to people who might not have been able to afford a mortgage of any size, but at usurious interest rates – both conventional and ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages).
Millions who worked hard to keep up their payments to no avail in this economic bust of an economy have been turned out of their homes, some of them from homes they owned for 15 years or more.
Recently, in the spirit of Occupy Wall Street and its local incarnations, Occupy Homes Minnesota has begun stonewalling such foreclosures on behalf of Twin Cities homeowners, many of them in communities of color, where the subprime market ran rampant or interest rates drove payments well beyond the mortgagers ability to keep up.
The foreclosures have thrown thousands into the streets and homeless shelters and left neighborhoods decimated of their housing stock while rising vacancy rates turn communities into war zones.
One of the families resisting with the help of Occupy Homes MN is the Cruz family of South Minneapolis. Despite promises to fix what was an unjust demand for accelerated payments from the beginning – admitted by both PNC Bank Mortgage Company and indicted, but bailed-out mortgage packaging giant, Freddie Mac – several police raids and clashes with protesters has led to well over a dozen arrests – including that of internationally respected Minnesota-based hip hop artist, Brother Ali.
TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with members of the Cruz family and their advocates as well as Brother Ali himself.