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Evicted Homeowner Refuses to Leave, Supporters Camp Out at Home

Friday, February 3rd, 2012
Issue 05, Volume 16.
Paul Young
Special to the Valley News
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RIVERSIDE - A Riverside family remained in a foreclosed home from which they were evicted -- with supporters camped outside -- amid reports sheriff's deputies were expected to arrive today to remove them.

Arturo de los Santos, his wife, Magdalena, their two boys and two girls have been together in the single-story residence at 3270 Layton Court since Christmas. De los Santos had moved back into the home alone on Dec. 6.

The 46-year-old was one of 30 people who took part in the December "National Occupy Homes Day," a spinoff of the Occupy Wall Street movement intended to spotlight alleged abuses in the mortgage industry.

Former property owners whose houses were repossessed went back to the places to reside, effectively trespassing.

According to de los Santos, a Riverside County Superior Court judge Thursday granted a writ of possession to Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant that holds the note to the foreclosed home. The writ clears the way for deputies to eject de los Santos and his family from the property.

"People are hoping the sheriff won't actually enforce the order," Peter Kuhns, with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, one of the groups supporting de los Santos, told City News Service. "If the deputies show up, everyone is planning on being peaceful. They're just there to support Arturo."

He said around 20 demonstrators are staying inside and outside the three- bedroom property.

De los Santos told CNS last week that he was prepared to get arrested to spotlight how "the bank is messing up."

The former U.S. Marine sent a letter to Sheriff Stan Sniff explaining his circumstances and asking the county's top law enforcement officer not to carry out an eviction.

"We have no choice but to re-evict since no payment has been received on his mortgage for nearly two and a half years," Freddie Mac spokesman Brad German said in an email. "The house went into foreclosure in November 2010 and was lawfully vacated and secured in July 2011. The only way to recover the losses taxpayers have taken on the unpaid mortgage is to re-secure and sell the house to a new buyer."

The de los Santos family lived in the house for eight years before they were evicted in July.

De los Santos said he's continuing to attempt contact with representatives from Chase bank, from which he obtained his original mortgage for the house, and Freddie Mac in the hopes of working out a compromise that would allow him to reacquire the house.

De los Santos purchased the Layton Court house, which sits on the edge of a cul de sac in Riverside's La Sierra neighborhood, in 2003 but said he fell behind on his loan payments in 2009 after business plummeted at the Santa Ana factory where he's employed as a supervisor.

He had received an interest-only mortgage on the property originally and applied for a loan modification to pare down his monthly costs, but he alleges that representatives of Chase refused to accept the proposed terms and instead initiated foreclosure proceedings.

The Occupy Homes campaign is backed by a number of groups, including ACCE, ReFund California, The New Bottom Line, Take Back the Land, SOUL and the Service Employees International Union.



Comment Profile Imagei pay my mortgage
Comment #1 | Friday, Feb 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm
throw the bums out already!
Comment Profile Imageslimjim66
Comment #2 | Saturday, Feb 4, 2012 at 9:06 am
Freddy mac was saved by the taxpayers and bailed out , this family man paid into that bailout , helping to pay off his home , Freddy mac should be thanking this family man , instead of destroying the hand that helped feed Greedy Mac at its time of need .
Comment Profile ImageAl Flores
Comment #3 | Saturday, Feb 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm
Its his own fault, nobody asked them to over extend themselves, yet he is proud that he decided that because his circumstances changed that he has a right to something that he stopped paying for!

If you don't make payments and jst shrug your shoulders don't expect them to listen when your circumstances allow you to pay again.

Kick them out. Why should he have it different from others. I pay my taxes and when my gardening business slowed I still paid taxes in and make my mortgage payments. There was two of them and she could have gone out working, always work in the oldest profession
Comment Profile Imagemediumbuiltjim74
Comment #4 | Saturday, Feb 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm
Freddie Mac is insolvent because of people who took out loans and now won't pay them back. The difference between this deadbeat and the other deadbeats is that this one reneges on his mortgage contract and wants to keep the house. In fact he doesn't even own the house anymore but decides to break in and take it. I agree with #1. Throw the bum out!
Comment Profile ImageReality Checker
Comment #5 | Saturday, Feb 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm
There is a difference between cant and wont. I know a veteran that retired in 2005 from the Navy with 80% disability but thought he was still able to work and he wanted to work. He found good work, and was able to afford his house. But now, the pain from his disability is getting so bad he is hardly able to walk or stand for more than a few minutes at a time. He is about to have to quit working, and won't be able to make ends meet and he will lose his house that he and his family has lived in for seven years now. He can't bring himself to quit, even though now he has to take morphine 3 times a day and norco six times a day just to be able to stand up and walk. He desperately needs to quit working, but he knows as soon a he does, his family is homeless. What a sad story. He lives with this over his head every day, and worries keep him from sleeping at night. I wish there were something that could be done. So, don't be in such a hurry to slam people for not being able to keep thier home. Its not aways their fault.
Comment Profile ImageLee Chew
Comment #6 | Sunday, Feb 5, 2012 at 8:44 am
No payment has been received on his mortgage for nearly two and a half years, time to get out and move on with your life.
Comment Profile ImagePaying for my Home
Comment #7 | Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 8:00 am
We have also been hit hard by the economy but we didn't overextend ourselves (an interest only mortgage? who could possibly think that's a good idea?) and have managed to scrape together money for housing every single month. Two and a half years of free housing sure would have helped my family out... We had to move into a smaller, cheaper house and have economized in many other ways but at least we have pride in knowing we paid for what we have.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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