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