Congressman Filner Leads Vigil, Bank Halts Foreclosure on Cancer Patient

Congressman Filner Leads Vigil, Bank Halts Foreclosure on Cancer Patient

Congressman Filner Leads Vigil, Bank Halts Foreclosure on Cancer Patient


By Miriam Raftery East County Magazine

Luz Maria Villanueva

“I hope this will spread across America.” – Congressman Bob Filner at a pre-dawn rally, where he announced that Union Bank called off plans to have the Sheriff issue a foreclosure notice today to evict a woman and her child with cancer

“We can join together and fight these banks.” – Ray Lutz, 52nd Congressional district candidate

September 14, 2010 (Bonita) – “Thank you, thank you!” Luz Maria Villanueva’s voice was choked with emotion at a rally on her front lawn organized by Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego). Nearly 100 people turned out at 5:30 a.m. for a candlelight vigil to protest Union Bank’s announced plan to have the Sheriff’s department take Villanueva’s Bonita home. She has pleaded for a reprieve at least until her son, who is legally blind and has cancer, completes chemotherapy treatments. Congressman Bob Filner leads rally to save woman’s Bonita home from foreclosure.“We’re going to stand together to change America,” said Rep. Filner. “We have a president who talked about hope. We have to give him strength. The banks have taken over both parties.” He called for changes in the law to protect those victimized by predatory lending practices.

The rally drew widespread media attention; at least three major TV stations as well as print and online media reporters were on hand to cover the event.

Filner was willing to risk arrest to halt the foreclosure.  The Congressman knows first-hand the effectiveness of civil disobedience to right a wrong; in the1960s he rode the Freedom Train to Mississippi, where he was arrested in a Civil Rights protest and jailed for several weeks after standing up for rights of African-Americans.

Although Villanueva attained a temporary stay when Union Bank called off the Sheriff  today, the order could be reissued, Filner warned those present. “We got them to back down, but we need you to be on call.”

The crowd responded by chanting, “Stop Union Bank! Stop taking our homes!”

Members of the public who want to be notified of upcoming “stop foreclosure” rallies may follow Rep. Filner’s Twitter feed at

Ray Lutz (back) , who is running against Rep. Duncan Hunter, stands with Rep. Bob Filner (front)Ray Lutz, Democratic candidate in East County’s 52nd Congressional district, also stood with Filner and Villanueva at the rally. “I think this is going to be a big tidal wave of fighting back against banks,” Lutz told East County Magazine. “We’ve got to stop these foreclosures. If we stand together, we can get the government to help us, because they don’t have any spine unless we have a spine.”

Lutz said he wants to push the Obama administration to rewrite loans and reassess the value of homes, allowing homeowners to stay in their residences and pay what homes are actually worth. “We need recognition that the bubble burst a long time ago. This is the best way to put our economy back on a solid footing,” Lutz added.

Filner and Lutz have met with organizations working to stop evictions.

Naa-Avorkor Okai, also facing foreclosure, says her bank falsified documents.Evictions of people like Naa-Anoror Okai and James Tillory. “I have proof that my bank changed my income, my marital status, and my ethnicity,” said Okai, who came out to show solidarity with Villanueva. After a Housing Commission worker found that the bank had falsified Fannie Mae documents before initiating foreclosure proceedings, Okai filed a lawsuit and sought help from Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego).

But when the Congresswoman contacted the bank, Okai said, “They wouldn’t return her calls…Instead of working with me, they sold our loan to another lender.” Okai wants to save her home, but also hopes to see her bank prosecuted by the federal government for fraud.

Villanueva, who fell behind on payments due to divorce and her son’s medical bills, now waits and hopes that public pressure will persuade her bank to stop foreclosure proceedings and give her an opportunity to work out an arrangement to stay in her home and make payments. Today, she will take her son, who suffers from kidney disease as well as cancer, for a potentially life-saving infusion.

“We can’t give up,” the determined mother vowed.

source: East County Magazine

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3 Responses to “Congressman Filner Leads Vigil, Bank Halts Foreclosure on Cancer Patient”

  1. Geanette says:

    I believe that banks who falsify documents in order to proceed with a foreclosure should have criminal charges against them, after all that is fraud. Also, heavy penalities and punitive damages should be paid out to the government and victim as well!

    I think we Americans need to fight to have laws that will put a stop to this illegal practice once and for all!

  2. CarolG says:

    My sister and husband, have had a Judgement entered against them. . attorney [didn’t attend the hearing] but we’ve filed a motion to vacate. . they are both disabled. The Bank held a mediation with them and had settled but needed additional documents (b/c they did not provide a list to defendants as ordered by the court). So, the Bank went forward to foreclose on their home. They’ve been in their home since the 1970’s. . they did the refinance for more thing, that banks tempted folks with. Now they have to find a new home. This is wrong. . the servicer isn’t event the Note holder. . I am a paralegal working for the attorney who represents them. We are very upset about this b/c what is being done to homeowners in this country is illegal and wrong, and we need to stand up and fight. [thank you]

  3. Carrie Bekker says:

    We all talk about what’s happened to each of us BUT what we really need is a concentrated grassroots campaign to force this out in the open because the press isn’t covering it. Frankly, I think the best way to accomplish this in a very public way is to stage peaceful protests in front of bank branches — Chase, BofA, Wells — so that it gains more public attention. I also think we should publicly protest in front of the stock exchanges, the bank headquarters, the White House, the state courthouses. A one-on-one protest is great, but we need to do more. Until this Holocaust for Homeowners: The American Scream is pushed front and center, it will continue. Lives and families are being destroyed — we’ve had suicides and murder/suicides take place in our neighborhood, even a guy two doors down who blew his brains out in front of his brother. It’s absolutely tragic, yet there’s very little news reporting on it, and so it continues. If we don’t do anything, it won’t stop. We must take a stronger stance, and that means we have to band together to make our voice heard. Hell man, this is an election year — we should be putting these candidates and our state and federal governments accountable. Also everyone needs to understand what’s really going on here, and a lot of it started in the 90s with securization of mortgage loans rolled up into collateralized debt obligations (CDOs, CMOs) — the banks no longer had skin in the game because they passed the risk on to the investors who purchased these securities. WE NEED TO GET THE WORD OUT; please reply if you want to join me in getting this Crime of the Century out into the open so that we can get our country’s — and the world’s — attention. THEN and only then will we start to see the US government pay attention. We are blessed in this country that we have the constitutional right of free speech, so let’s exercise it! What are we waiting for? The banks, foreclosure mills, law firms — they are all all “its” — they don’t think, they don’t feel, they don’t care — and neither does senior management of these companies. “Too big to fail” at the expense of We, The People? That’s not what our beloved country is about. LET’S BAND TOGETHER, FORCE THIS OUT IN THE OPEN AND FIGHT! Please reply to this post if you’re in, because I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of this. We’re facing eviction next Tuesday, but I have an ace up my sleeve that’s going to blow them away. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! How ’bout you? LET’S GET OUT THERE AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!


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