Occupy Homes MN recently claimed victory when Gayle Lindsey, a grandmother in South Minneapolis, Minnesota, got a loan modification from M&T Bank.
Lindsey, who works as a nursing assistant, bought her home in 2001 and was given an adjustable-rate loan that rose by hundreds of dollars in 2012.
“I was struggling, but I still paid, it,” Lindsey told Twin Cities Daily Planet.
In 2012, Lindsey's second job cut her hours from 30 down to five a week.
Lindsey was unable to afford her monthly payments, and soon letters from M&T Bank threatened her with foreclosure and eviction.
Lindsey tried to get a loan modification, but couldn’t provide the paperwork that M&T Bank required, so the bank foreclosed on her home
Back in February, Occupy Homes MN declared Lindsey's neighborhood an 'Eviction Free Zone' (video below).
The Eviction Free Zone brought together neighbors, who refused to leave their foreclosed homes without a fair negotiation, according to OccupyWallSt.org.
With the help of Occupy Homes MN, Lindsey organized community fundraisers, media appearances and a call-in campaign that targeted the president of M&T Bank.
Lindsey recently received a call from an M&T Bank executive, who offered to write her a new mortgage, which the bank could have done months ago.
“It shows that Occupy Homes MN works,” Lindsey said. “I want to move on to more victories for the community.”
"The struggle to stop foreclosures and reclaim vacant properties are interrelated," said Occupy Homes MN organizer Ginger Jentzen. "Both are steps toward community control of housing."