It is a shame to witness the greed and corruption in politics that complicates this awful housing crisis the way it has. It is unacceptable as a country for vacant homes to outnumber the amount of people living on the streets. From a home here in Van Nuys CA. we take a stand against this injustice. This is the story of a family who said YA BASTA!!!
On the eve of the Hernandez family eviction they hosted a going away BBQ. Community members, fellow foreclosure victims and activists showed up in droves to support the family. Once the kids fell asleep the family and activists concluded to defend their home. Together, with their friends, the Hernandez family built a barricade around the perimeter and surrounded the house with tents. #Fort Hernandez emerged.
The Hernandez family’s battle with the bank started seven years ago. As countless other families targeted by predatory lenders, the Hernandez family was also given a subprime loan. Then five years ago when Bank of America inflated the monthly payment from $3,900 to $4,500,the Hernandezs’ witnessed just how detrimental subprime loans are to working families. Even with various family members contributing to the payments, the dramatic and sudden increase made it impossible to budget. When a call was made to the bank for assistance, Bank of America stated that the only people receiving assistance with their loans were homeowners who were behind on payments. The family’s only option was to purposely fall behind on payments. During this five year battle, four separate loan modifications were applied for and denied. The bank also implemented specific tactics to slander the family’s name and delegitimize ownership of the home. Any time the family attempted to make payments toward the loan, the bank refused to take them. The bank used the refusal of payment to justify the auctioning off of their home. This type of fraudulent and predatory business practice demonstrated that the bank wanted the family to lose their home. The profit Bank of America makes from collecting insurance leveraged against the house is more than the payments to be made. The eviction notice was given after the last modification was denied, even though the family submitted a QWR (Qualified Written Request) for proof of written title from Bank of America. The QWR is still being investigated.
Since the building of the barricades a full fledge campaign to stop fraudulent foreclosures has begun from the pool room of the Hernandez home. The goals of the Hernandez family is not only to save their home but to also increase community awareness of fraudulent foreclosure practices, as well as, calling for a moratorium on all home foreclosures. Outreach has consisted of door to door canvassing within the Van Nays, California community including home owners currently in foreclosure. Events at #FortHernandez have included educational trainings on housing/tenant rights and community appreciation gatherings with food and activities for the children. This resistance, expectantly, has drawn much police and city agencies harassment. The family has been visited by the department of child and family service, department of health, 40 police in riot gear delivered a notice from the department of building safety stating the wall was on public property (which according to property lines is not), narcotic agents staked out the home and arrested Ulisses Hernandez for a bench warrant on an unpaid metro ticket. #FortHernandez has gone to the Los Angeles Police Department Commissioners meeting to demand a formal investigation in regards to police and city agencies harassment at the home. Police and city agency harassment has still continued since this request to the Inspector General.
Our government sold out to the banks, so we can’t turn to elected officials, the courts, or to the police for justice; instead we are turning to the PEOPLE. Your support is the only reason the Hernandez family remains safe and housed.
If you would like to support the family and can’t do it physically then please do it by making a call to one of the following numbers and demanding that they work with the family.
To the bank: Ask them to act in good faith and negotiate a fair modification with
The Hernandez family.
Bank of America
Debra Haber 877- 471- 4367 ext.03458 Karen Arakelian 213- 345- 2684
Van Nuys Police Station
Assistant Commander James Cansler: (818) 644 8080
Capt. Brian Pratt: (818) 374-1970
Sgt. Amy Standage: (818) 374-5401
Sr. Lead Officer, Jose Verdin: (818) 731-2556
General Information: (818) 374-1964
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Jonathan Navarro (Van Nuys Field Representative)
818-335-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Wish List
1. Please share this story of #FortHernandez with the world.
2. Please send us any and all warm wishes and blankets.
3. A laptop (if possible)