COMMUNITY FIGHTS TO END FORECLOSURES
By Jaime Cader, Antioch Green Party Member
On February 5, 2011 attorney Jerry Goldberg spoke in Antioch to a large group of people (from as far away as Richmond and San Francisco) that assembled in a parking lot because no room in the building on the premises could hold the number of people that eventually showed up. His presentation was translated into Spanish. He stated that foreclosures were not the fault of the people who were going through the foreclosures but the result of bank lending practices and actions.
Goldberg said that he was an activist since he was 18 years old and only became an attorney when he was fifty. He spoke of the accomplishments of people in the Detroit area - in their struggles to keep their homes. He said that we need to build a movement for a political solution to the foreclosures because we cannot depend entirely on the court system. He spoke a little about history, stating that a similar situation took place in the 1930s which resulted in a Supreme Court case precedent.
Goldberg recommended going in a large group to the County Board of Supervisors to demand that those officials support a moratorium on foreclosures. If necessary he recommended taking it to the next level, to the Governor of California who can call a state of emergency, and if that did not work he recommended going to President Obama, who so far has not supported a moratorium.
A few other individuals also spoke at this event and after Goldberg's presentation there was a period for questions and answers. This writer spoke at the mike about the legal right of individuals to ask the lenders for the original mortgage note, to which the attorney commented that one needs to write RESPA on the request in order to get a prompt response. Since he is an attorney visiting from Michigan, Goldberg cannot give legal advice. When this writer spoke to him briefly afterwards, he recommended looking up Christopher Hill on the Internet, as Hill had done research on the illegality of MERS that has been involved with many foreclosures.
The website showing Goldberg's work is <www.moratorium-mi.org> . Goldberg cautioned people not to sign anything from the bank lenders because they could be signing away their rights. He said that these bank lenders (referring to them as "banksters") are liars, and often claim that they did not receive people's correspondence. Others at the event warned of third parties that offer assistance in foreclosures for a fee, as they often charge large sums of money for no real help. One woman present at the event was a victim of such a fraud and lost her house several months ago.
The organizer for this event was Guillermo Briceño and he had a follow up meeting with community members on February 7, 2011. A couple came from as far as Sacramento to attend that organizing session.
Briceño can be contacted at: