This story, simultaneously gut-wrenching and inspiring, represents a new front for Occupy Wall Street: fighting for families wrongfully being foreclosed upon.
This particular story – in which Occupy Atlanta attempts to save the family of a police officer who was duped by faulty mortgage consultations – represents not just the callousness of government-owned Fannie Mae, but its attempts to overreach and squelch Occupy Atlanta's efforts through intimidation.
Below, I have embedded a beautifully documented video from The Huffington Post on this story. (And it is truly beautiful.)
This video accompanies a fantastic, detailed article by Jason Cherkis and Sara Kenigsberg which begins with the following disturbing note:
The day after Fannie Mae evicted a police officer and his family from their suburban Atlanta home, the government-owned mortgage giant demanded the family turn over all its correspondence with members of Occupy Atlanta, according to court documents.
You really should read the entire article, which chronicles in detail the story of Christopher Rorey, an Atlanta police officer who calls upon Occupy Atlanta in a last-ditch effort to save his family's home. It also chronicles in detail how the family was duped, and how Fannie Mae, the mortgage holder, isn't content with just seizing the home, but demands the officer's email correspondence with Occupy Atlanta as well.
Below is the video. While it does not offer the depth that the accompanying article does, it does present a beautifully-shot snapshot of Occupy Atlanta's occupation of the home and of the police officer's family:
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Author's Note:Below are two particularly important excerpts from The Huffington Post's article on this story. The first details how the Rorey family was duped. The second shows the lengths to which Fannie Mae is going to intimidate all involved:
In the spring of 2010, the Roreys decided they wanted a loan modification. They had managed to pay their mortgage each month. They just wanted a little more breathing room. When they made the request to their mortgage servicer, then-called Everhome, the Roreys say they were told that unless they could prove financial hardship, they couldn't get the modification.
A foreclosure consultant they hired told them to stop paying their mortgage. Counterintuitive as it may sound, it's common advice in the industry.
The Roreys took the advice that summer. In September, Everhome entered into foreclosure proceedings on the Roreys. On Oct. 5, they were foreclosed on.
Their foreclosure consultant has since been arrested for allegedly breaking into foreclosed homes and renting them out.The Roreys' attorney Asim A. Alam says it was unknown that Fannie Mae was the lender until well after the foreclosure. Everhome never mentioned Fannie Mae's involvement...
"I am very happy [this case] is receiving this much publicity," Alam tells HuffPost. "It is a representative case. Most of my clients are not poor, lazy people who get in over their heads. They are getting screwed over by the bank. They were given inaccurate information by their lender. What happened to the Roreys can happen to anyone in the community."
Fannie Mae hasn't been too pleased with the publicity over the Rorey case. In their filing, the company's lawyers don't just request all email correspondence between Christopher and Tawanna Rorey and Occupy Atlanta. The lawyers also demand any and all emails between Alam and the activists.
"What angle are they coming from?" Tawanna Rorey wonders. "What are they really after? I know it's not for our good ... This just shows you how deep, how deep and dirty and low down big business is. They stop at nothing."