A St. Louis Park woman credited Occupy Minnesota protesters on Wednesday for winning a two week delay in the eviction from her foreclosed house. The eviction delay also headed off a plan by protestors to march into a U.S. Bank branch and publicly close their accounts.
Speaking at a small rally of about 50 people on the Hennepin County Government Center plaza, Ruth Murman, 47, thanked the demonstrators for keeping her and her 80-year-old father in their home another two weeks and holding off U.S. Bank and “the corporate tiger.”
A spokesman for U.S. Bank said Wednesday it had nothing to do with any attempt to evict her. Tom Joyce, a bank vice president, said U.S. Bank was only the trustee for the mortgage backed securities that included her mortgage and that GMAC was the servicer for Murman's mortgage.
But Murman insists it was U.S. Bank that was trying to evict her and referred me to her attorney Zach Crain. He forwarded me the "eviction summons" which states that it is a case of "US Bank National Association vs. Ruth L. Murman...." Crain also sent along a court document filed in Hennepin County District Court demanding Murman vacate the premises. The plaintiff is listed "US Bank National Association as Trustee" and lists two lawyers as US Bank attorneys.
Gina Proia, head of communications for Ally Financial, of which GMAC is a subsidary, said she does not know what is on the court documents but stated, "In this case we handle he foreclosure process and that includes the eviction." While she noted that the eviction date was set for Oct. 31, she declined to comment on Murman's claim that it was postponed as a result of the planned protest.
The protesters had originally planned to march across the street to US Bank Plaza building at the intersection of 3rd Ave. S. and 5th St. and go up to the skyway level where an organizer said that at least a dozen people planned to withdraw their money and close their bank accounts with U.S. Bank to protest foreclosures and support Murman.
But after the announcement of the demonstration was posted on the Internet, Murman said that US Bank, which had declined to give her an additional two weeks, called her on Tuesday and agreed to her request for a two week delay in evicting her and her 80-year-old father.
Nick Espinosa, a rally organizer, said that after the bank agreed to the delay, the protesters decided not to close their accounts on Wednesday. He said that they will do that, instead, on Nov. 5, as part of a nationwide action where he said protesters will be closing their accounts at some banks in a general protest.
Banks have been targeted by Occupy demonstrators across the country for winning huge bailouts for themselves and for their role in foreclosing on people’s homes.
“We won two weeks for Ruth and her father,” Espinosa told the protesters over a bullhorn on Wednesday. “We are winning,” the demonstrators chanted.
They then marched across the street, and rallied on the sidewalk next to the bank. Then they marched half way around to the other size of the bank building and held another short rally before returning to the Government Center plaza. A large numbers of officers watched from police cars and other vehicles.
Murman said that she ran into financial trouble after the economy soured and her business lost money. She operates a boarding, day care and convalescence center for pets. She stopped making payments on her house, and it was foreclosed on in March and sold to U.S. Bank, she said. She said that the bank had demanded her out out on Oct. 31 and was previous unwilling to let her stay until Nov. 15.
She said she is selling her pet care business and she and her father are moving to the country of Belize in Central America.