Eluteria Gutierrez, whose ten children have all grown up in the house she now stands to lose, had just returned from church hurriedly readying paperwork before leaving for a meeting with a lawyer in Huntington Beach.
"So much hard work, so much effort has gone into this house," says her daughter Rufina Perez, a U.S. Army veteran, one of three in the family to have served in the military. "After all these years of paying the bills right on time, being faithful to the bank, all of sudden the bank pulls the rug from underneath us."
Payments on the home were promptly made until Rufina's grandfather fell gravely ill a few years back and her mother subsequently had to leave to Mexico for two months to be by his side. Upon returning, she contacted her bank to find out how many payments she was behind. Gutierrez's initial check
was rejected as she was told
then servicing the loan.
There too, her efforts to remedy the situation were rejected. By then, the loan was in default already and was disallowed from being cured. A trustee transfer toU.S. Bank
ensued andOcwen Loan Servicing, LLC
is the current servicer of the loan as the eviction process has set in motion.
After seeking legal assistance to the tune of $40,000 in fees that resulted in nothing, the Gutierrez-Perez family turned to Occupy activists from OC and LA. "We were called by the family regarding this crisis," Carlos Marroquin of Occupy LA says. "They were begging us for help and what has happened here is the family has run out of options." Immediately getting involved, he reviewed all the paperwork pertinent to the eviction at hand.
"She did everything right; the banks did everything wrong," Marroquin concludes. "The trustee sale should be void and the notice of vacancy writ of execution should be voided because it was the bank's fault that she was kept in default."
In addition to protest signs on to the garage door and those planted in the front lawn, a notice has been taped to the front door stating that Quality Loan Service Corp had no legal authority to proceed with the foreclosure, with bold type print reading at the end, "Any parties who proceed with an eviction and the sale is void will be sued for wrongful eviction."
The family is hoping to have a stay of any such action first and foremost. Later, they hope they can resolve the conflict and keep their home.
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"We don't want a freebie or anyone to feel sorry for us," Perez states. "All we were ever looking for was for help to get a loan modification so they can adjust the payments so we can keep paying the house that we've always paid for. That's the only thing we've ever wanted was to somehow arrange for us to keep making our payments. We don't understand how that was ever an issue to begin with."
A candle light vigil was held outside their residency last night and Occupy-style encampments as well as other gatherings of community support may soon come next in solidarity with the family.
"Hispanics have been the hardest hit on foreclosures," Marroquin says. "Ever since the crisis started."