MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis man’s home has been saved from foreclosure, and he’s giving part of the credit to Occupy Minnesota protesters.

Bobby Hull’s lender agreed to renegotiate his mortgage. Hull says the nationwide Occupy movement has made a difference.

Just one look at the outside of Hull’s home and you can tell a battle has been fought there. It’s where Occupy Minnesota and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) came together to help save his home.

“It’s been a family home,” Hull said. “I got nine brothers and sisters, and a lot of them come back home; and some of their children come back home.”

Hull bought the home from his mother in 1971. In 2009 he got sick, and it nearly destroyed his business as a general contractor. It also forced him into foreclosure.

“I was at the end, I was done,” he said. “I was quitting.”

Attempts to modify his loan did not work, nor did filing bankruptcy. He was packing his belongings, until representatives from Occupy Minnesota and NOC rang the doorbell.

“They went around, they informed all my neighbors, getting my neighbors all involved; they encouraged me to stand up,” Hull said.

Occupy Minnesota put up a foreclosure-free zone fence around the entire block.

“You walk around my block and every neighbor around here will stand up right now and tell you Bobby’s not leaving,” Hull said.

They also marched and protested outside the banks, and after three months, the protesters eventually got them to listen.

“The banks immediate response was … ‘It’s not our responsibility,’ and it went from that to ‘Now we’ll fix it for you,’ because of public pressure and because communities stood with Bobby,” said Nick Espinosa, a spokesperson for Occupy Minnesota.

Hull won his home three days after the redemption period.

Occupy Minnesota says this is one of the first examples in the country of a homeowner getting a loan modification under these circumstances.

Occupy Minnesota believes if Hull’s situation can be reversed, then banks can also fix the loans on others in his situation, both in Minnesota and across the nation. The organization is currently working with eight other homeowners and hopes to have the same success.

Homeowners and supporters wanting to reach out to Occupy Homes Minnesota can reach them at: Occupyhomesmn@gmail.com

Reg Chapman

Comments (61)
  1. vesta44 says:

    Our lender was refusing to modify our mortgage (the interest rate was 10.55% and our payment was almost $1200 a month). We owed twice what the house was worth and the lender wanted to lock us in at the current rate/payment for another 5 years. We couldn’t afford it, told them that, and told them to take the house. After 6 months of no payments, and them checking out the housing situation in our town (and finding out that our house doesn’t have central air or heat), all of sudden we got our loan modification – 3.375%. locked in for 5 years and a payment less than $650 a month. Funny how that works when the house isn’t worth anything without extensive renovations (and ours needs more than renovations in order to be resold – more like tear it down and start all over).

    1. Brett says:

      Unfortunately, you are only telling us about 20% of the story (at BEST), so I find it hard to sympathize. There are sad stories all over the internet, and while I’m sure that many are interesting, and perhaps some are due to the mortgage scammers, the fact is, is that many people got in way over their head, without anybody putting a gun to their head.

      1. all the luck says:

        Actually Brett when banks enter into a mortgage agreement part of the process and contract is that by lending the mortgage they (the bank) assume a amount of the risk by entering in to the contract with the person seeking the loan. This is part of the social contract that, in a legitimate Capitalistic economic system, makes Capitalism morally justifiable. In this situation the person that has borrowed the money has suffered an unexpected hardship and under the Social Contract that the bank automatically enters by doing business in the community, should adjust their rate or come to an agreement with the borrower to find terms to complete the contract. That is to say modify the mortgage to complete the intent of the contract (person borrowed x amount of dollars to purchase said house).
        When a business in the community is no longer in adherence to the social contract the members of that community have right, A DEMOCRATIC RIGHT, to make that business accountable which is what was done by OCCUPPYMN Movement.
        Now should it have been a movement that needed to do this? No the government either by law of court should have forced the Bank to the negotiating table (since in theory the government represents the govern by being voted in by the govern) but since the financial industry has co opted the government people have taken politics to the street as it were and forced democratic action
        This report should of included the name of the financial institution that finally did what they should have done all along. After all, that is what gives the 5th estate (the press) its legitimate function in a democracy but again it appears business has control over the press also.

        1. all the luck says:

          “No the government either by law of court…” Sorry for the typo it should be “…the government by legislation enforced by a court of law…” My bad.

        2. Brett says:

          What a LOAD of BS. I, as a borrower, know (and knew) fully what MY obligations are/were when I applied for the mortgage. When you move into a new home with a relatively new mortgage, you own NOTHING, unless your property value increases unexpectedly. If it drops, it doesn’t relieve you from what you owe, and if your collateral isn’t good enough to cover the loan, well then, you made a bad bet. You didn’t do your homework, put down a big enough down payment, or maybe had some bad luck. But, to simply blame the GOP is insane. The DFL had a LOT of dirty hands in on this deal, but I don’t see the expert critics slamming THEM.

          1. Whaatanarse says:

            @ Brett Lay off the sauce when you post. All the luck did not type one word about the GOP. What an arse you are

        3. Rodrigo Evanaza says:

          Where can I find a copy of this “Social Contract” of which you speak, because I would like to read the particulars which spell-out everyone’s responsibilities? It’s a contract so we should be able to read it, right?

        4. dan says:

          @ all the luck. That crack dont smoke itself! What are you talking about? A contract should be one sided and if the homeowner runs amuck they have the right to renegotiate the terms of a legal contract? They call it a contract for a reason. Under your Social Contract, no bank in its right mind would ever lend under your terms.
          If a Social Contract is great in your mind then maybe any profits realized on the sale of your home under a Social Contract should go back to the bank? Why not, they are the only ones that have taken a risk. Risk does equal reward in America.

          1. Ordinary Guy says:

            By your reasoning, no bank should be bailed out and let the chips fall where they may. But they also benefit from the society’s roads, police, military, social service, utility oversight, and social and economic security. It’s a legitimate argument of shared interests and responsibilities.

  2. Brett says:

    OMG, there goes the neighborhood, literally. No, not because a person got a chance to keep their home, but because “occupy” will be taking massive amounts of credit for it for YEARS, which they do not deserve.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      You really think they’re helping these folks with the goal of “taking credit” for it?

  3. Eric Bell says:

    Brett: Why don’t they deserve any credit?

    The sub-prime mortgages flipped the housing market upside down. People who should have never qualified were given homes. When they dropped the homes, it created an excess in open homes, thus a drop in average house prices. Then the rest of the responsible homeowners (especially from ’05-’07) are chained to homes they may want to sell but are “underwater”.

    The banks who setup these weak mortgages have been bailed out and taken care of by the gov’t. Banks should be restructuring the underwater loans because they are better off getting 50-75% on payments than 0%.

    1. Brett says:

      Well, the GOVERNMENT LET THEM DO IT, so put the BLAME where it deserves to be, in the hands of amy, al, betty, keith, heck, even paul and bruce TOO. I’ll let you figger out the last names of these frauds.

    2. Brett says:

      Don’t you know by now, that it was the dems who thought that everybody should own a home, regardless of credit or income history, or ability to pay? If the banks got bailed out, why isn’t our “king” able to convice them to give homeowner’s a break?

      Answer: Because it would be a SLAP IN THE FACE of all of the REST OF US who didn’t do incredibly STUPID THINGS, like take out second mortgages at MAX VALUE of their home, or borrow heavily right before the market crash, because so many thought that the housing market was going nowhere but UP.

      Stupid people deserve to get burned, that’s how our market works, whether you like it or not. That’s why we try to put a lot of emphasis oin EDUCATION, but as we all know, a significant portion of our population thinks that education is worthless. Our youth doesn’t know how to save a dime, let alone “invest”.

      1. Whaatanarse says:

        Education is evil per the GOP. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/us/politics/santorum-criticizes-education-system-and-obama.html?_r=1
        Nobody helps the homeowner because there is no money in itt for the rich ones.

      2. jackactionhero says:

        Not all people who can’t afford their mortgage today are in that situation because they’re “stupid.”

      3. Sorry Brett says:

        Sorry Brett, it has been shown time and time again, by every major study on the crisis, that the community re-investment act had nothing to do with it. Private lenders were deep into the subprime mess, years into it, before even Fannie or Freddie got involved. This was private lenders operating in an environment of extreme de-regulation that allowed them to sell bad loans to un-qualified people, then bundle them and re-sell and re-sell them while over-leveraging themselves terribly, thus failing when the homeowners failed.

  4. Jerry Frey says:

    Absence of individual and institutional accountability for illegal trading activity, along with congenital greed, accounts for the culture of corruption that pervades the financialization industry.


  5. Freedom says:

    A big thank you for this mess goes too Dodd and Frank with an extra special thanks to Fannie and Freddie who the President has had close ties with. I didn’t go buy a home during that time period because I couldnt afford it. Glad I didn’t drink the Democrats kool-aid on that one and buy something I couldn’t afford because it was my right…lol.

  6. ipmutt says:

    If you take out a mortgage, you pay for it. You may not like the terms. Someone else may get a better deal several years later, well too bad. This guy and everyone else in the same boat will be right back into the same financial trouble in a few years and will loose the house then. The occupy dorks are simply stealing from the working class by getting one loan “fixed while everyone paying their mortgage pays for this one too. This is called stealing and it is what Occupy is all about. Take from the working class.

    1. jackactionhero says:

      Stealing from the working class in what way exactly? Please be specific with the who, where, and why. It sounds like you don’t know what you’re talking about in the least.

      1. desert eagle .50 says:

        Speaking of not knowing what you’re talking about, you chirp up with more of your incessant useless drivel.

        Nothing better to do, Captain Coprophagia?

  7. Mimi says:

    If the banks would modify the mortgages they would not be left with all the foreclosed homes. Those homes cost EVERYONE a lot. The banks take a huge loss, the neighborhood takes a plunge, the rest of the housing market falls flat. My home, bought in 1999, is worth less than I paid for it and I cannot sell.
    The banks have hurt their image to the point that we cannot trust them and trust is everything in business. The more they refuse to modify the worse their image becomes. They can easily modify more mortgages and turn the economy around but they won’t. Don’t blame the people that have lost their livelihoods for this mess especially when the banks hold all the power. And please, when you are passing out the blame telling people they should not have paid so much for their homes they paid as little as the market dictated they needed to pay for them.

    1. DontTread says:

      I like your line of reasoning. People will go back and forth on who is to blame but they certainly will not accept the fact that both homeowners and lenders where simply playing the cards they were dealt within the arena that had been created for them. To blame the individual is to assume that every single person in this country has the knowledge and foresight of a broker. That is incredibly ignorant. People are supposed to be limited in the purchases they can make based on the credit scores and incomes that govern their capacities. To understand the markets beyond that point is a plus, but our institutions are not meant to require that. Beyond the borrower, to assume the lender is supposed to limit their lending power based on reason and foresight, rather than properly adjusted federal funds rates, is ludicrous as well. Lenders within communities were given a set of standards from the banks above, told they were safe to proceed with, and went from there. These are 24+ year-olds following the book that was given to them. They cannot be expected to understand the vast implications of manipulated lending practices, nor can their supervisors and managers. This is a problem that began at the top of our banking institution, supported by politicians on both sides, and passed on with a perfect understanding of what was to come. Predictions were made and ignored by those in opposition but yet we still do not take them seriously. Banks will never restructure these loans until a top down solution is enforced. That is on the Federal Reserve.

  8. WhoPaysNow says:

    the money to cover the banks’ loss comes from somewhere, right? And no employee took a pay cut. Looks lile all the bank customers just paid a little extra.

  9. KEVIN says:

    since when does a financial contract become a social contract?

    1. Rodrigo Evanaza says:

      When you discover you can’t pay the bill on the contract you signed, then it becomes a “social contract” which means someone else automatically becomes responsible for the problem you created.

      It’s really quite simple when you know how to think properly.

  10. Kitty says:

    Guys like Brett are ruining this country! Voting GOP is like slitting your own throat! Brett must be a millionaire!

  11. Spanky says:

    OWS= Rapist, thieves and loosers. Nuff said

    1. jackactionhero says:

      Looser is not a word.

  12. Hank Rearden says:

    What is self reliance?

  13. Pete Townsend says:

    How the hell do you buy a house in 1971 and still have a frickin’ mortgage in 2012? Find something better to do with your time, occupiers. Darwin did know what he was talking about. This “homeowner” is one of those losing out to natural selection. GMAFB.

    1. George Downey says:

      Yep. Lifetime of stupid decisions, IMO. Obviously he’s been cash-out refi’ing for decades, funding his “contracting” business. Contractor for what? Failed homeowner, failed businessman, failed life. Let’s take some more taxpayer dollars and keep him propped up!

      1. jackactionhero says:

        What do you suggest instead? Finding him a nice cot at Dorothy Day?

  14. altavista says:

    The news media played an enormous role in the development of the financial disaster—Doesn’t anyone else remember them calling banks and mortgage companies “discriminatory” when loans were not being made to people with poor credit? When people were getting by with putting only 5% down? Or in the case of new homes, zero per cent down? What about people borrowing against the equity in their homes repeatedly for non-emergency uses like vacations? The American public put themselves into this kind of situation. People bought homes routinely as two income earners. Instead of thinking ahead of any possibility of job loss they chose homes that were priced in a range that were going to be too costly if the family suddenly had only one earner for an extended period of time. Then, the news media precipitated a financial panic during 2008 internationally by their constant gloom and doom predictions—All of the small investers, sitting in their bedroom/offices, reading Morningstar, got scared and started dumping their stock precipitously—Hobbled corporations and banks. It went down like dominoes. The panic was precipitated by the news media in the same way that they precipitated the 1929 stock market crash—Exactly the same scenario. Many small market investers who panicked and then dumped stock.

    1. Les Johnson says:

      I bought my house with zero down on an FHA loan. My payment is $2300 per month.

  15. Mimi says:

    Karma….All you nasty ugly evil posters should just remember Karma will always be just around the corner from you. When she comes she will make you eat your words and pay you back with misfortune and job loss….and then she will make sure there will be more just like you to rub your face in it.

    1. George Downey says:

      Sure, lib girl. Guess you are still paying on your mortgage 41 years later, too. Fell down the stupid tree and hit every branch, huh? Go save the world, honey, as soon as you stop hugging that tree. Karma? That’s a really powerful argument, girlie. Move to India-they are big on that.

    2. politiciansSUX says:

      Mimi, I agree with you. I hope that Karma plays the same game with you. i hope you are forced to pay for others to not work, to live in a house they can not afford, and to pay for everyone else’s health insurance. I hope that no matter how hard you work, you can not get ahead because some politician takes all your income and redistributes it to others. I hope that you are held down from ever living a better life, because a politician and others think that you have too much and take your money to give to others, not by your choice, but by theirs.

      Peace Mimi

  16. politiciansSUX says:

    I just love all thes stories of forcing lenders into modifications. What no one is talking about is how this all happened and then of course what will happen. This all happened because under the Clinton administration under Dodd and Frank, banks were forced to borrow to people that did not qualify. This was to help “low income” people to own a home and feel btter about themselves. What that did is raised rates for everyone because of course more risk means a higher interest rate.

    Where this will go in the future is that these people that never should have been in ahouse in the first place because they could not afford it are now paying less and so once again the honest hard working people will have to pay more. Just like health insurance for all, this home ownership for all is not free. The hard working middle class person will pay for all of these mortgages that never should have been written. I am happy for Mr Hull, but very sad for all the poeple that have a mortgage or take one out in the near future as they will be paying for this for the next 30 years.

    1. Sorry Brett says:

      Again, it has been shown time and time again, by every major study on the crisis, that the Community Re-investment act had nothing to do with it. This was private lenders operating in an extremely de-regulated environment, giving sub prime loans to anyone so they could bundle them and re-sell them multiple times and make gobs of money. Fannie and Freddie didn’t even get involved in sub-prime until years into it. Anyone who says this was anything but a lack of regulation, or TOO LITTLE GOVERNMENT, doesn’t know what they are talking about.

      1. politiciansSUX says:

        I agree with you, more regulation would have helped (aka Gearge Bush), but requiring lenders to bundle the mortgages has even been talked about on WCCO as the start of the problem because of the easing of the regulations to allow such an act (under hte Clinton administration). Your defense of the bundling and lack of understanding of the start of it only shows that you do not care to see the whole truth and only point the finger at half of the problem. Is more government and regulation always the answer? What ever happened to self restraint and personal responsibility?

        1. sorry brett says:

          I certainly do not defend bundling and selling mortgages. Banks getting involved in investing and betting with our money, a product of the demise of Glass Steagall, is one of the main reasons everything went to hell. But no on required them to bundle and sell these mortgages, this is where you are mistaken. Personal responsibility is one thing, and certainly a problem, but I think the larger problem in the 2000s was that mortgage loan officers, the guys actually meeting with clients, got paid more, thousands more, to give people sub-prime loans because they were more profitable to the bank. And of course at the same time many of these banks were actually betting against their own loans, knowing they were going to fail, to reap the huge profits on the short side. The Big Short is a good resource on this corruption.

        2. DontTread says:

          It appears you two are reaching for a conclusion that you’re not completely certain of. You cannot make the argument that there is a political fault here if you do not point to the responsibility of our banking system. This wasn’t about BOA or Wells Fargo, this was about the bank that sets the funds rates that those lower level banks adhere to. There was, and still is, a collusion between government and the Federal Reserve Bank. If you have not done the research to understand the flaws in this system, you are not making the correct conclusions as to where the fault lies. Look into the Fed and you will undoubtedly find a more comprehensive answer and greater concerns.

  17. Peyton, MPLS says:

    I agree about the Karma thingie. When someone refers to others as “nasty, evil and ugly” I can only imagine the Karma that will be visited upon them for being so insulting. Karma will probably arrive in the middle of the night to make that person’s life nasty, evil and ugly., then Karma will eat the the last piece of apple pie that’s sitting in the fridge.

    Karma, man, Karma.

    1. Peyton, MPLS says:

      You realize I was ridiculing Mimi’s hypocrisy about her Karmic hopes for others?

    2. Buffalo says:

      George Clowney..You should be quaking…the anonymity of the internet makes you a real tough guy…which I am sure is not the case face-to-face, little man.

  18. Peyton, MPLS says:

    You know, I’m not really happy that I have to slog off to work every night to pay my own mortgage, in fact I’m feeling that the social contract has been nullified by the bank.

    Therefore I would like Mimi to pay my mortgage.

  19. KEVIN says:

    TO kitty
    Brett is ike a lot of people. He takes responsibility for his own life and doesn’t rely on a bailout whenthings go wrong.
    To Mimi
    You were just whining about the storm that coming. Do you have anythig else to whine about today?

  20. Rube says:

    What about the employees of the bank when they are laid off because dead beats don’t pay their mortgage?
    Don’t they count?
    Should they embrase the socialist movement and start sucking off the government?
    Bottom line – You signed the contract and agree’d to pay so pay.

  21. altavista says:

    The housing issue isn’t over yet—-i bought my house knowing well that as the Boomers started dying or retiring and moving into retirement homes that there would be a tremendous amount of housing stock sitting empty or sold at a loss. I knew that I would never make money on the investment, but would be happy to break even. When I bought even though I wasn’t old I chose a place that is in the city, close to public transportation and with a design that would allow me to get around as a debilitated elderly person. If I had a career as a builder that’s what I would be marketing in Mpls/St Paul and inner ring suburbs. People thought that they would get a nicer house for less money by buying so far out that they are making 100 mi round trips to get to work. There are all kinds of non-profits to assist people with financial planning. We are an aging population–Get some assistance in making retirement decisions or this housing mess will just be repeated. The home-owner in this story is no youngster—It probably would have been better for him to just walk on this place, esp. if he has had long-term illness. If you are having trouble get some assistance and direction from professionals—Not from a self-promoting manipulator like Nic Espinosa.

  22. Kevin says:


    So if your a fat….old…..white guy your house gets saved due to media attention. But if your a single black mohter………SEE YA!!!! Wow….no racism going on here…..Shouldnt the black community be up in arms?

  23. Ordinary Guy says:

    Tax-free imports fueled the stock rise and housing confidence, then mortgage brokers bundled and bailed. Keep buying those imports, you’ll suffer again.

  24. Rufus Larkin says:

    Why don’t Occupy just go away?

    1. jackactionhero says:

      Why don’t you learn English?

  25. Common Cents says:

    Occupy didn’t save the house, HARP 2.0 saved the house, and whose funding that…. my tax dollars.

    I bought a home in 2007, I’m near 100k underwater, but I don’t blame anyone, I keep making my payments as a responsible young adult. Yes I’ve seen hard times, wife has been out of work since 2008 due to sickness and I’ve cashed out my 401k to keep from foreclosure (even though I’m 100k underwater).

    Its a lack of accountablility, you can blame the banks, but if you buy a home, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to pay for it and nobody elses fault!

  26. Bill says:

    I do not believe that it is the banks responsibility to ‘take a loss’ or surrender their profit to bail out a home owner. I do however believe that it is in the best interest of the financial institutions operating in a neighborhood to be willing to refinance a loan when possible and thesible.
    Financial institutions are are in the business of making money not handing out charity. If I barrow $100,000 or $200,000 the lender should be able to expect to get all of their money back plus the agreed upon interest [profit]. Is it those that make the loans or the realestate brokers that told these buyers what a great deal they are offerring?