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Minnesota

Protest vs. foreclosed home auction

Demonstrators say, "Moratorium now on foreclosures and evictions!"
by staff |
March 30, 2009
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woman speaking thru bullhorn. signs say "Stop foreclosures & evictions"
Protest against mass foreclosure auction at Minneapolis Convention Center, March 28, 2009. (Fight Back! News/Kim DeFranco)

Minneapolis, MN - About 100 demonstrators gathered outside the Minneapolis Convention Center to protest a massive auction of foreclosed homes, March 28. The protest was initiated by the Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout.

The protest called attention to the urgent need for action by the government to halt the foreclosure crisis and to demand actions that protect working and low-income people from the ravages of the current economic crisis.

The Real Estate Disposition Corporation (REDC), one of the largest private auctioneers of foreclosed homes in the country, is sponsoring the auction. More than 300 foreclosed homes were on the block. The houses being sold to the highest bidder are the homes of families who were forced out by banks and mortgage companies.

“We cannot and must not be indifferent to the ugly spectacle of the auctioning of the homes of displaced families,” said Alan Dale of Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout.

Dale continued, “In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the depression of the 1930s, these auctions should not be taking place. These auctions are a symptom of the cruel and criminal economy that ignores people while protecting corporations and large banks.”

“Working and low-income people should not be paying for this crisis. Banks and corporations have received billions of dollars of government funds, while continuing to foreclose and evict people from their homes,” said Deb Konechne of the Welfare Rights Committee and Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout.

The protest also called attention to the foreclosures of rental properties in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The tenants in these rental properties are often evicted by the banks and mortgage companies that foreclose on the landlord, even though the tenants have been faithfully paying rent, assuming the landlord was taking care of the mortgage.

“Working people who have fallen behind in payments due to the economic crisis, or due to the predatory nature of the mortgage they were sold, need basic protections,” said Konechne.

“While this auction goes on inside, the families that used to live in these homes have been put out. Every day in Minnesota, more and more families are losing their homes to foreclosure,” said Stef Yorek, of the Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout.

Yorek also said, “We need a statewide moratorium on foreclosures and a state law that stops banks and mortgage companies from evicting tenants in foreclosed rental properties. Without these steps, the housing crisis will only deepen.”
The Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bail Out is a grassroots campaign that has brought together labor unions, low-income organizations, peace and justice groups, students, housing advocates and others to call on Minnesota state government to take action to protect working and low-income people from the worst effects of the economic crisis.

The coalition is working to build support for the People’s Bailout Act at the Minnesota legislature. For more information, visit www.mn-peoples-bailout.org.

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