One has to wonder where ACORN gets its hudspah. It could be from the President, and partially is, according to their website. But also according to their website, the credit goes to other lawmakers as well.
In an article posted under “Press Releases” on the group’s website, I ran across this tidbit of information while reading about their efforts in Arizona.
“According to ACORN local lead organizer Kristy Theilen, the Tucson fight against foreclosures was inspired by Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who advised her constituents in early February to stay put and squat–what ACORN also calls homesteading. ACORN is recruiting volunteers to help people who refuse to leave, either at the house or on the courthouse steps during foreclosure auctions.”
Let’s take a look at this Congresswoman who would encourage ACORN to break the law she’s elected to uphold.
Marcy Kaptur of Ohio is the longest-serving Democratic congresswoman in U.S. history. In an interview with Amy Goodman on Feb. 4th, this is what Ms. Kaptur’s advice was to homeowners facing foreclosure:
Now, she is recommending a radical foreclosure solution from the floor of the U.S. Congress: “So I say to the American people, you be squatters in your own homes. Don’t you leave.”
She criticizes the bailout’s failure to protect homeowners facing foreclosure. Her advice to “squat” cleverly exploits a legal technicality within the subprime-mortgage crisis. These mortgages were made, then bundled into securities and sold and resold repeatedly, by the very Wall Street banks that are now benefiting from TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program). The banks foreclosing on families very often can’t locate the actual loan note that binds the homeowner to the bad loan. “Produce the note,” Kaptur recommends those facing foreclosure demands of the banks.
“[P]ossession is nine-tenths of the law,” Rep. Kaptur told me. “Therefore, stay in your property. Get proper legal representation … [if] Wall Street cannot produce the deed nor the mortgage audit trail … you should stay in your home. It is your castle. It’s more than a piece of property. … Most people don’t even think about getting representation, because they get a piece of paper from the bank, and they go, ‘Oh, it’s the bank,’ and they become fearful, rather than saying: ‘This is contract law. The mortgage is a contract. I am one party. There is another party. What are my legal rights under the law as a property owner?’ “If you look at the bad paper, if you look at where there’s trouble, 95 to 98 percent of the paper really has moved to five institutions: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wachovia, Citigroup and HSBC. They have this country held by the neck.”
Kaptur recommends calling the local Legal Aid Society, Bar Association or 888-995-4673 for legal assistance.
This may not be bad advice if you’re in the negotiation portion of the process that she seems to be referring to, although it would appear she’s merely offering a legal technical battle of “Produce the note”. But it would seem all ACORN heard of this was the “squat” part. I don’t see where Ms. Kaptur said at any point that you should break and enter to regain a house that has already been officially foreclosed on – and certainly not resold. In fact, Ms. Kaptur says just the opposite:
The onerous duty of physically evicting people and dragging their possessions to the curb typically falls on the local sheriff. Kaptur conditions her squatting advice, saying, “If it’s a sheriff’s eviction, if it’s reached that point, that is almost impossible.”
ACORN officials can certainly read, but can they comprehend what they read and translate it into anything lawful? It wouldn’t appear so. I would be interested in hearing Ms. Kaptur’s response to ACORN’s laying their lawbreaking efforts at her feet.