The activist group, Occupy Minneapolis, claimed victory on Monday with the announcement that a south Minneapolis man who faced eviction following foreclosure on his house will be allowed to stay in his home.
The group said that Bobby Hull had negotiated a deal that involves U.S. Bank and Bank of America to stay in the house. Nick Espinosa, a spokesman for the Occupy group, said that under the deal, details of the arrangement could not be disclosed.
Jumana Bauwens, a spokeswoman, for Bank of America confirmed in email today that Hull will be able to stay in his house.
"Yes, we have offered Mr. Hull a modification," she wrote me. "The paperwork has not been finalized."
I wrote a blog in December describing a rally of about 75 people, many of them Hull’s neighbors, outside his house at 3712 Columbus Av. S. The house was sold at a foreclosure sale last August, and the redemption period ended this week.
Since then, there have been petitions and other rallies at the house.
Occupy Minneapolis is part of the group that staged and around-the-clock demonstration at the Hennepin County Government Center during the fall. The group blamed U.S. Bank for attempting to throw Hull out of his house, but a bank spokeswoman said that the bank was merely a trustee, with no authority to renegotiate with Hull, and referred questions to Bank of America which serviced the loan and had “full authority” to take action on the property.
When I contacted Bauwens of Bank of America Loans, she emailed me as follows: “We have worked with Mr. Hull for the past two years to help identify a home retention solution. During that time, we offered him a modification and later reviewed him for HAMP but unfortunately he did not meet the guidelines for the program.
HAMP is the Home Affordable Modificaton Program, an industry-wide program, administered by the Treasury Department. When I emailed her to ask if Bank of America would be prepared to negotiation with Hull so that he could stay in the house, she responded, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the house was purchased by U.S. Bank.”
Hull, who is a retired U.S. Marine, said in a statement on Monday, “I stood up and told the banks I wasn’t leaving until they negotiate, and I won. This means the world to me and my family, but we aren’t satisfied yet. We will continue fighting until our neighbors and Americans across the country get the same deal that I did.”
Hull’s case got some national attention back in December, including a live interview with Hull on Ed Schultz’s MSNBC news program, as supporters stood in the background.