The Cruz family traveled to Pittsburgh this past week because PNC Bank executives said they were willing to work with them on modifying their mortgage. A mistake by PNC Bank triggered the foreclosure according to the Cruz family and the bank has been either unwilling or unable to stop the resulting foreclosure by Freddie Mac. Instead of meeting with executives or load officers who could modify the loan, David and Alejander Cruz were instead ushered into a meeting with PNC public relations official who could do nothing for them.
Back outside the Cruz home in Minneapolis, family supporter Martha Ockenfels-Martinez had talked to Alejandra and reported she was discouraged, but committed to pushing on. She and others were buoyed by the support the family was getting including from nationally known hip-hop artist Brother Ali who was the first to volunteer himself for arrest during a protest outside the Cruz family home. 12 others activist were arrested as a show of solidarity for the family.
Sasha Lindquist, a nearby homeowner on Cedar, also under foreclosure, offered his lawn and support. “I completely empathize with the Cruz family and understand what they’re going through cause a lot of them are things that I’m experiencing myself,” he told the crowd of activists on his lawn.
“Banks can set in motion bureaucratic wheels that are virtually unstoppable through no fault of any homeowners,” Lindquist said. “It can happen. It happened to them, it happening to me. It could happen to you. It could happen to anybody it’s actually happening to millions of people across the country right now.”
Lindquist particularly complimented “the people who were willing to put their rap sheet on the line cause I know that’s a pain in the ass.”
Mel Reeves, a Minneapolis activist is upset that the city appears to be protecting the banks at the expense of the taxpayers. The city’s expense of protecting the property is nearing $50,000. “We had a meeting with the council people and they keep saying we don’t want to be involved in it, but rough count over there you’re counting about 30 folks (police officers) and you put the time to it you realize they said they don’t want to be involved but you’re committing resources to it,” days Reeves. “It’s a dangerous precedent to set. I don’t think the city should take sides. They shouldn’t take the side of the banks for sure. If anything else they should take the side of the taxpayers. That makes the most sense to me. I fact it’s the taxpayers, not the bank who actually pays the civil authorities, right?”