How the Grinch and Bank of America Stole My Home (along with Christmas) By Rev. Dr. Debra Savitt, Occupier, Former Homeowner

Rally to Bring Justice to Justice flier

Back in 2005, I lived in an apartment that I loved.  It was in a gated community, it was easy to clean, and I didn’t have to pay for repairs.  It was recommended that I buy a home as I was making good money and I needed a tax write-off.  In addition, by the time I was 80 years old I would have retirement income.  I purchased a home and four months later the market started to crash.  I had an interest-free loan because I was told that in two years I could sell my home and then purchase another home in a senior community.  That’s right, I am a senior.

When two years passed, my home was losing value rapidly.  I was freaking out because the loan I acquired was locked in for two years.  I just got under the wire with an appraisal that got me approved for a thirty year fixed loan at 6% interest. Little did I know I would lose three jobs within that time period as well.  Originally, I was head of a department at a college and worked part time as a Chiropractor/Massage Therapist.  I was laid off because the student population was down.  I managed to get hired at a country club and within one year, they wanted to reduce my income significantly.  I then opened my own business hoping I could create programs that would generate income and assistance for the community.  Unfortunately, the market was not getting better, it was getting worse.  People were losing their homes, moving in with families, homeless, living in “tent cities,” and renting expensive apartments.

At this time, I could no longer maintain the original payment of $2500 per month.  Fortunately when my business did not work because people weren’t spending money, I qualified for unemployment.  I also was approved for a loan modification which reduced my payment to $1475.00 per month.   The Obama Loan Modification program did not reduce home principals.  It only lowered the interest rate and spread the payments over a longer period of time.  Within five years, the loan modification interest rates would begin to rise gradually until the payment was almost $2500 again.

The original idea was to help people in their homes make it through the crisis, but the crisis never ended.  Obama should have never bailed out the banks.  The bankers were supposed to trickle the money down to the homeowners, but instead kept the money to pay themselves bonuses.  When Obama asked for the money back, they just laughed in his face.  Lawyers told Obama the banks did not legally have to pay him back.  While the middle class was getting poorer, the banksters were getting richer.

By 2010, my home was $170,000 underwater.  I owed $300,000 and it was only worth $130,000.  For approximately 1 ½ years I asked Bank of America if they would reduce my principal and they said they would.  They kept putting me on hold and telling me different stories.  They managed to string me along for two years telling me lies.  My original home loan was with Advantix Lending, then it went to Countrywide, then to Bank of America.  Then I received a letter in the mail that my home loan was being serviced by Seterus.  After six months, Seterus finally admitted they were the loan servicer for Fannie Mae. When I asked for a principal reduction, they stated that Fannie Mae was not doing principal reductions at that time.  Then I called Fannie Mae and they stated they are not a bank, so they could not negotiate my loan.

In addition, they had sold my home loan on the securities market and told me that my home had many owners.  I had no one to talk to and was completely frustrated.  I found out that Kamala Harris had sued Bank of America for millions of dollars so the homeowner could be reimbursed. Part of the deal between Kamala Harris and the banks was to reduce our principals.  Bank of America did reduce some principals, but also sold many loans to Fannie Mae.  My home loan was one of the loans sold to Fannie Mae to conveniently avoid reducing my principal.

What is worse is that Kamala Harris sent homeowners small checks for $300 – $800 as reimbursement for the homes they lost.  The State of California kept most of the money from the lawsuits in order to educate the public about the fraudulent banks.  Meanwhile, the fraudulent banks kept on dual tracking, foreclosing with broken chains of title, and many other illegal practices.

I wrote letters to Kamala and received responses with a case number and instructions to file for financial hardship, recommendations to call legal assistance, and to contact VeriTrust, a company that will assist in delaying foreclosure.  The lawyer she recommended said she was running a “three ring circus,” and he was right.  VeriTrust wanted $800.00 for every two months to delay foreclosure with no guarantees.  It was on her website and it is a scam!  I applied for financial hardship with Seterus, as she recommended, and was turned down for making too much money.  When I asked to refinance my home, Seterus said I didn’t make enough money. The entire system is rigged!!

I applied to NACA, a home advocacy non-profit program, who claims to help fight the banks. Then I received a noticed in the mail of an upcoming workshop with NACA in the bank’s envelope.  All I was doing was spinning my wheels to nowhere and that is their plan.  To keep you exhausted with phone calls, paperwork, until you have a nervous breakdown…

I quit making payments and starting saving money to move because my home was not a good investment anymore.  A realtor offered to short sale my home.  She did a good job of finding a buyer, and worked hard to get the home sold.  The only problem is the company she worked for kept pressuring her to get me to sign paperwork before I had time to read it.  There are slimy people, lawyers, scammers who are trying to make money off of people who are losing their homes, their investments, and their life. Creeps lurking at every corner to steal as much money from you, waiting to take advantage in any way they can.

I am a proud member of Occupy Coachella Valley.  We did an action in December, 2012 called, “The Bank of America Grinch stole my house for Christmas.”  KESQ and a local radio station did wonderful interviews to bring greater awareness to our local community about the corruption of the banks, who are making a tremendous amount of money crashing our economy and stealing our homes. Approx. two to five million people have already lost their homes and it is estimated that another 5 million or more people will be losing their homes in the next one to two years.

While I was going through all of this, I put my daughter through college as a single mother.  I no longer own my home but I am OK! I rented a nice little home three blocks away from my original home.

I am going to Washington D.C. on May 17, 2013 to participate in an Action called, “Rally to Bring Justice to Justice.”  Because I lost my home due to an illegal foreclosure, I am willing to be arrested to demand the arrest of the corrupt bankers who have not stopped their outrageous, evil ways.  I will be going with 75 other people from all over the U.S. to join with approximately 500 other people from Occupy Our Homes, Home Defenders League, and other organizations that are in support of this cause.

I am including a link to a petition I created that I will be taking to Washington D.C. next week as well as a link below for donations and for the flier for the DC rally.  Please sign the petition and distribute the flier widely.  If you can, please donate $5.00, $10.00 or $100.00 to cover some extra expenses such as some work days I won’t be paid for, possible arrest, and emergencies. I will greatly appreciate it.  If I have any money left over, I will donate it to Occupy Coachella Valley.  Also, please send me your story if you have been or are being foreclosed upon and I will take it with me to Washington.  We are going to make posters with all of our stories and put them out at the event.  You can participate by doing any of these things—signing the petition, distributing the flier, sending me your story, and/or donating some money to represent all the grief illegal foreclosure and the mortgage crisis has caused so many of us.

Here is the link to sign my petition:

Here is the link to donate money for the trip: or you can use for PayPal

Here is a link for the Rally to Bring Justice to Justice flier:



Download or print your own copy of “Foreclosure Bells”: Foreclosure Bells

Occupy A Christmas Carol a Success!

The Grinch Stole X-Mas” and “Bank of America Stole my Home,” was the theme of the protest sign-raising at Dr. Debra’s house last Thursday in La Quinta. In spite of the serious nature of the action, Occupiers made the event merry with a lighting ceremony, a visit from a Grinch/Santa Clause, Occupy Carols, and good food!

 Bank of America – Bankrupting America!

 We got the sign finally put up about 5:30 pm. We all had a great time and Dr. Debra said a prayer blessing as we held hands and looked at our collective product glowing from the beautiful Christmas lights shining on it

Check out the interview with Debra re illegal foreclosure by Corbett Brattin of RR Broadcasting:   Illegal Foreclosure