Marine Makes Last Stand in Foreclosed Home
Arturo de los Santos lost his home to foreclosure more than a year ago and was evicted. But because he felt he was treated unfairly, he moved back into his home of 10 years in an effort to force the lender, Freddie Mac, to back down.
“I’m just a regular guy who gets up each day, takes the kids to school and goes to work,” said de los Santos, a retired Marine who is hunkered down in the modest three-bedroom house in Riverside, Calif., surrounded by an encampment of Occupy Riverside protesters and housing activists. “We’ve done everything the way we were supposed to. We’re not going to just sit back and let Freddie Mac steal our home.”
A new eviction order aimed at forcing de los Santos, a 46-year-old metal worker, and his family out of the house took effect Tuesday, meaning that sheriff’s deputies could arrive at any time. Arturo de los Santos also has been served a court summons threaten him with arrest if he doesn’t leave his house.
De los Santos’ story is similar to thousands of other American homeowners who claim that banks mishandled mortgage modifications.
When the economic crisis hit in 2008, the factory where he worked cut his hours, so de los Santos pursued a modification based on his lower income with JP Morgan Chase, servicer of the loan.
De los Santos told NBC Los Angeles that in 2009, the bank initially lowered his payment in a modification but then stopped taking his money.