The story of Arturo De los Santos, a marine and victim of foreclosure fraud, sums up so tragically the new American dream, the one where hard work and playing by the rules can land a family on the street.
De los Santos’ story can be summed up like this. Art, a long-time factory supervisor who spent five years in the Marine Corps, purchased his home almost ten years ago and lives there with his wife and four kids. In 2009, Art asked JP Morgan Chase for a loan modification, anticipating a drop in hours at work – and was told by the bank to miss payments on his mortgage in order to qualify for the modification.
De los Santos followed their recommendation, and after missing some payments, JP Morgan Chase and Freddie Mac granted Art a temporary modification and Art complied with all the terms of the modification. The pressure eased a bit, but instead of continuing to work with De los Santos, JP Morgan Chase and Freddie Mac rejected Art for a permanent modification because his income had recovered. And then, instead of allowing him to catch up, they quickly foreclosed on the home.
De los Santos, his family, and throngs of supporters decided they were not going to let the unwillingness of JP Morgan Chase and Freddie Mac just get away with just tossing Americans aside. The family re-occupied the house and, with the help of a team from Cuentame, a civil rights organization affiliated with Brave New Foundation, shot a video attempting to publicize the family’s story.
A Sheriffs notice to vacate expired this Tuesday morning, and a large crowd of supporters has stood with Art, his wife Magda, and their four kids awaiting the arrival of deputies to the house. Today Freddie Mac asked the Riverside County commissioner to force Sheriffs to evict the embattled homeowner and his family and short of a miracle they will be forcibly removed from their home.
Photo from respres via flickr.