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Bank Error Leads to Foreclosure

The Cruz family home

Alejandra and David Cruz are two DREAM Act activists in Minneapolis who have spent years fighting for educational equality. They lived with their parents in a home that all four worked to pay for until a bank error in 2011 pushed the home into foreclosure.

The bank, PNC, acknowledged its mistake. But although PNC executives have repeatedly told Cruz supporters that they are working on a solution, their actions have shown the opposite. Rather than working with the family, they have instead worked with Freddie Mac and the city of Minneapolis. Instead of fixing the situation, they have ordered five costly raids on the house, resulting in 23 arrests of neighbors and supporters from Occupy Homes Minneapolis.

Since April 30, Occupy Homes MN has been working with the Cruz family, whose home went into foreclosure when PNC Bank mishandled an online payment. Despite ongoing protests, PNC still thinks we’ll go away if they ignore us long enough. It’s time to show them otherwise: on June 19, Alejandra and David Cruz will be traveling along with a team of supporters to PNC’s Pittsburgh headquarters to hand-deliver their modification documents and demand action!

Multi-City Day of Action Against PNC Bank: THURSDAY 6/21

As the Cruz family arrives at the PNC bank headquarters in Pittsburgh, supporters will rally across the country to demand that PNC live up to their word and work with the Cruz'.

  • New York, 1pm ET, vibrant rally at PNC Bank branch, 340 Madison Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets
  • Pittsburgh, 1pm ET, the Cruz family delegation and local supporters will rally and march to PNC Headquarters at Market Square.
  • Minneapolis, 6pm CT, supporters will demonstrate at the Cruz home (4044 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN)
  • Rallies in support of the Cruz family are also planned in Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Gainesville, Greensboro, Milwaukee, Newark, Philadelphia, St. Louis and others.

More on the Cruz Family

The Cruz family home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, went into foreclosure in 2011 when PNC failed to withdraw an online mortgage payment and then demanded two months’ payment as punishment. Unable to pay more than the current month’s installment, the family home fell into foreclosure. The Cruzes then began working with a local nonprofit that was supposed to be working out a loan modification. In February, without warning an agent of the bank came to the house and told them they had 48 hours to leave the property, shocking the family and ignoring their right to a legal process.

Alejandra and David Cruz have been active community members in the Twin Cities who have tirelessly advocated for the DREAM Act and educational equity for immigrant students. Watch them tell their story here.

Over the past month, hundreds of neighbors and community members have mobilized to defend the Cruz family home and support a 24/7 physical occupation of the house against repeated attempts at eviction by the Minneapolis police and sheriff's department. These efforts have brought the Cruz’s struggle to the attention of national media and into the offices of PNC Banks across the country. Just in the last two weeks, 23 activists with Occupy Homes MN have been arrested defending the Minneapolis home of the Cruz family from 5 eviction attempts during a foreclosure that began when the bank failed to withdraw an online mortgage payment. The eviction attempts cost Minneapolis tax payers $42, 429.00 to “defend” the home from its owners, turning police officers into handmaidens of infamous mortgage lender Freddie Mac, and causing widespread local scrutiny of use of public funds. Even Mayor R.T. Rybak has attempted to distance himself from being seen as eviction enforcers.

However, despite repeated claims from PNC Executives that they are working “to help and rectify the situation,” the bank has yet to take the necessary steps to sit down and negotiate with the family. Activists have urged PNC to keep its word to the Cruz family and keep communities intact.

"This family can afford the mortgage. All they need is for PNC to take a look at their documents and verify the facts. At this point we're happy to hand deliver the docs to their front door." said Anthony Newby with NOC. "This foreclosure process has been botched and bungled from the very beginning and PNC needs to fix it. The family can pay and deserves to stay."

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