Police Arrest Protesters Defending Bassett Woman on Verge of Eviction [UPDATED]
Things were different when Rose Gudiel bought her home in Bassett six years ago. Her brother was still alive. The economy seemed stable. So did real estate investment. So did her career as a state worker.
Then the real estate bubble burst, and the economy took a turn for the worst. Gudiel was required to take furloughs in her job as a state employee. In 2009, her brother was gunned down in La Puente.
After her brother was killed, she needed help. She wanted to work with her bank to reduce her $2,456 monthly payment. But two years later, she says hasn't gotten the help that she was looking for and she was scheduled to be evicted this morning, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Gudiel has not made any payments for the last two years, according to ABC 7. She said the banks haven't been taking her payments, because she is in the modification process. Most banks require borrowers to be in default before they consider modification, according to the Tribune. Fannie Mae officials said they offered her financial relocation assistance, but she refused the offer. But Gudiel said she has been given the runaround and now she is being evicted for being in default.
Now Gudiel, her 63-year-old mother Rosa and a group of community activists decided to take Gudiel's struggle public. Their targets are anyone who has anything to do with her loan: Fannie Mae and OneWest. Yesterday these protesters staged demonstrations at Fannie Mae's regional headquarters in Pasadena. Some of the protestors later they went to the San Marino home of Wells Fargo CFO Tim Sloan, according to the Tribune.
A representative for Sen. Ed Hernandez D-West Covina came to the protest in West Covina and read a letter in support of Gudiel. He asked that Fannie Mae negotiate with Gudiel.
"Ms. Gudiel has done nothing wrong," Hernandez's spokesman said.
During the protest, a representative from Fannie Mae said that corporate headquarters in Washington, D.C. would not allow them to meet with her. OneWest, in a statement, said there's not much they can do for her: "OneWest Bank is the servicer and Fannie Mae is the owner of the loan. As the servicer, we are obligated to service loans pursuant to the servicing agreement and rules established by the owner of the loan."
At yesterday's protest at Fannie Mae regional headquarters, where the Tribune said 70 protestors showed up, nine including the Gudiels were arrested for unlawful assembly. But Rose told reporters she would do it all over again.
"We're going to keep coming back," she said. "And I think it's time for local and national elected officials to come and help us fight these banks. I'm not the only one going through this and it's time they stand with us."
Now protesters are camping out at Gudiel's residence in Basset, and they promise to stay put until Gudiel gets a loan modification.
"We're going to wait it out until we can't wait it out no more, until the sheriff's come in and try to take us out," Peggy Mears told ABC 7. "We'll be here."
UPDATED: Fannie Mae canceled the Gudiels' eviction and agreed to come to the bargaining table. We have an updated story here that includes more information on the group that helped the Gudiels.