Home is Worth Fighting For!

CFRC Mission Statement

Our goal is to reverse the disastrous trend of foreclosures, evictions and sinking housing values. We continue to bear witness to the predatory and fraudulent actions of the financial and mortgage industries and stand arm in arm with those individuals and communities victimized by them. Through education, sharing of resources, legislative changes, community outreach, and direct actions, we seek to keep people in their homes, support our communities, and work for an economy that benefits all people.


Questions Worth Raising

CFRC member Martin Wirth, of Bailey, Colorado, challenged the legality of Colorado and national laws regarding foreclosures and the rights of homeowners for years. On Wednesday, February 24th, Martin Wirth, who resided in Park County, was confronted by Sheriff Wegener and seven other law enforcement officers intending to evict him from his home. Mr. Wirth and officers exchanged gun fire, with Mr. Wirth and Deputy Carrigan dying in the exchange, and two other officers injured.

• Sheriff Wegener of Bailey Colorado claimed in a Denver Post Article (http://www.denverpost.com/…/sheriff-calls-slain-park-county…) from Friday, February 26th, that the eviction they were serving “was something we do on a routine basis…We did not force a violent confrontation yesterday, Mr. Wirth did.”

• The same article states, “But on Wednesday, about a week after an eviction notice was tacked to his door, Wirth was out of options.”
• However, on Friday the week prior, February 19th, which would be two days after the eviction notice is purported to have been placed on his door, a friend of Wirth’s reports that they spoke at length to him, and that most of the hour and a half conversation revolved around how he would respond when he received the notice. Wirth agreed in the conversation that when the sheriffs came to place the notice, he would simply go inside his home and avoid any contact with them.

• Wirth shared in that conversation that he was planning to move out of the Bailey home once the notice of eviction was posted and spend some time with his parents in another state.

• The Denver Post reports (http://www.denverpost.com/…/park-county-sheriffs-deputy-kil…) that “Eight members of the sheriff’s office—including Sheriff Fred Wegener—converged on the…three acre property on Wednesday morning for what they termed a “high-risk writ of restitution.””

The public cannot know, except for statements from Sheriff Wegener, what the actual timeline of placing the eviction notice was, but it seems possible from the above information that Martin Wirth was unaware of any notice of eviction having been posted. We do know, however, that after or around the time Wegener claims that an eviction notice was tacked to Wirth’s door, he was speaking by phone to a friend about how he would be moving out once he received that notice.

The events of February 24th in Bailey, CO, are sad for those in law enforcement and for friends of Martin Wirth. Shouldn’t we all be wondering if the deaths of Deputy Carrigan and Wirth were necessary? And in asking that question, other questions are appropriate. For example, given Wegener categorized this as a high-risk eviction; and that one of Wirth’s neighbors, Rich Gabrish reported to the the Flume newspaper in this article (http://m.themountainmail.com/…/article_fd59eca6-dbd4-11e5-8…):

"Wirth had made numerous threats that he would shoot police officers if they tried to apprehend him or removed him from the property. Gabrish said he called the Park County Sheriff’s Office about 6 weeks ago to warn the department about the threats Wirth had been making. Gabrish said the officer he spoke with said they would watch Wirth and be careful."

In addition to Gabrish’s warnings, Wirth reported on his Facebook page on January 22nd that a Jefferson County cop repeatedly punched him in the face and knocked two of his teeth out, and that Park County cops drew their guns on him. Should we not wonder then, why Wegener would seek to downplay (see http://www.denverpost.com/…/sheriff-calls-slain-park-county…) the risk in this eviction, given the warning his office apparently received to the contrary and the recent confrontation Wirth had had with his officers? Per the linked article:

" Wegener said that since the 2014 eviction had come without violence, there was no reason to believe Wednesday’s would be any different.

In my history, when we talk about a high-risk eviction, it’s usually I need more help moving stuff out of the building,” Wegener said of why eight officers were present. “This should not have happened.” "

With all due respect, Sheriff Wegener bears responsibility for how Wirth was approached. Given Gabrish’s alleged warnings, would it not have been prudent to make contact with Wirth, for example by phone, and discuss the timeline for his leaving the home peacefully? If for some reason the eviction notice Wegener claims was posted on Wirth’s door was not found by Wirth, as seems possible from his conversation with a friend days later, could this entire incident be the result of lack of communication? We likely will never know the answer to these questions, but we do know that a phone call to Wirth would not have needed to provide details or any other information about the Sheriff’s planned eviction that would have increased their risk; rather, it could have, in the best case, resulted in lives saved on both sides.

Sheriff’s offices across the country perform evictions on behalf of banks, but perhaps it is time we consider the wisdom in having them put their lives and the lives of homeowners on the line to take property on behalf of banks. During the height of the recent foreclosure crisis, banks would pay sheriffs to expedite evictions or even to do so on their own time. It is reasonable to reconsider this relationship between law enforcement and banks, and some sheriffs have made the decision to refuse to operate (see http://www.sourceoftitle.com/blog_node.aspx?uniq=402) as mercenaries for lenders. Why not have lenders provide their own employees to serve eviction notices, a step that might further motivate them to work with homeowners who would prefer to work out a deal to stay in their homes?

Martin Wirth was a man truly outraged that banks and mortgage servicers were allowed to take people’s homes, far too many of whom went in to default not because they didn’t make a payment, but because the bank misapplied those payments. Others were told they needed to miss three payments in order to get a loan modification, only to find that the banks quickly foreclosed upon them after they had taken the advised steps. Wirth cared deeply for those who were losing their homes and was fighting in court not only for his home, but to expose weaknesses in Colorado’s quasi-judicial Rule 120 Hearings and the lack of protection homeowners could and should be able to count on. By all accounts in the media, Deputy Carrigan, whose life was also lost, was a man who also cared about his community. Inserting armed law enforcement into the relationship between bank and borrower in this case led to both of their deaths.

While Sheriff Wegener’s decisions are questionable in this case, why should he ever have been put in the position to lose the lives of those he was responsible for and risk the life of a homeowner so that a loan servicer could increase their bottom line? We should all be asking questions.

Darren O'Connor
Mikel Whitney
CFRC Members



We at the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition are deeply sorry to share that Martin Wirth, so long active working to end fraudulent foreclosures and evictions, is reported to have died in an incident with authorities this morning in Bailey, Colorado. Our condolences go out to the families of Mr. Wirth and Officers Carrigan, Martin & Hancock. We hope that a thorough independent investigation of the events resulting in these unnecessary and tragic deaths will be conducted in a timely, professional manner.

Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition (CFRC) has not actively met as a group in over six months due to restrictions on the time of activists involved. The events in Bailey today were in no way involved with our group, nor the efforts our group made on Martin’s behalf in July of 2014.

Martin took extraordinary efforts in the past several years to shed light on and bring an end to the mass of unjust foreclosures that have ruined the lives of so many. He worked on actions to help others stay in their homes, filed federal and state lawsuits, and even ran for Colorado State Senate, earning 25% of his districts votes all in an effort to expose the prevalence of unjust and fraudulent foreclosures.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation stated that Martin had turned and reentered his home, and after officers quickly followed him in the shootings took place. Although it is not clear what exactly took place inside the home, a friend of Martin’s who had spoken with him recently, has stated that knowing authorities would be serving an eviction notice soon, he intended to go back into the house to avoid any confrontation as the officers posted the notice on his door.

The Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition is steadfastly committed to nonviolent protest of injustice. We hope that the final moments of Martin’s life do not overshadow the great efforts he made throughout the years to help others unable to defend themselves against injustices.

Our Heartfelt sympathies go out to all impacted by these tragic events.







Text Box

Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition will no longer be meeting at Coffee at the Point out of protest. CFRC has been meeting regularly at Coffee at the Point, a black owned business in five points, for more than a year. This business has served as a meeting place for many community activist groups.  Due to recent statements by the owner, Ryan Cobbins, CFRC urges all activist groups and people of conscience to consider no longer meeting or spending money at this business.

It came to our attention that on January 28th , two days after the killing of unarmed 17 year old Jessie Hernandez, Cobbins made the statement below, starting with “We love our Denver Police Department.” The statement was released by Coffee at the Point in response to a flyer about a police accountability meeting scheduled at the coffee shop. Several CFRC activists, who also work on police accountability issues and who have experienced police militarization and public endangerment themselves, were insulted by the blanket statement of police support and proposed we move our meetings.

During our usual meeting on February 28th, before the scheduled agenda topic regarding moving the meeting came up, we were interrupted by a confrontation between the owner, Ryan, and a man asking patrons for money to buy some food. The man in need appealed to Ryan as a fellow black man to help him out. As CFRC activists intervened, offering to buy a meal for the person being forced to leave, the owner stated that although he would take our money and we could buy this man a meal that he would have to eat it outside.  Unfortunately this kind of treatment of those in need is common in Denver’s business community. We chose not to give Coffee at the Point any more of our money and walked our new friend down the street to A Taste of the Caribbean to get a meal.

After this disturbing treatment of a fellow community member, CFRC activists spoke with the owner, Ryan for about 45 minutes regarding our concerns over his statement of support for DPD and our intent to no longer patronize his establishment. During this conversation, the owner Ryan told several stories of incidents he himself has had of Driving while Black and other profiling by the DPD. He also shared stories of times he called the police as a business owner and they responded in which he valued their service. Over the course of our discussion, CFRC activists requested several times that Ryan and Coffee at the Point reconsider their statement, and make an additional statement that acknowledges the many recent killings, shootings, and beatings of people of color in Denver.  Although Ryan, politely listened to our concerns and had a long dialogue with us, it became clear that he valued the patronage of the Mayor, the Denver Police Department, and other business concerns over the many victims, known and unknown, who have experienced, and will continue to experience, trauma at the hands of DPD. We at CFRC believe that violence at the hands of the Denver Police Department will only cease when we as a community, including citizens, activists, members of law enforcement, and business owners, all stand together to demand that the killings and beatings of our community members at the hands of DPD be met with criminal charges, firings, and reparations to the community.

Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition will now be meeting at Whittier Café at 1710 E 25th Ave. every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, from 5 to 7 p.m.

 

Coffee at The Point (Statement made on Facebook 01-28-15)

We love our Denver Police Department. It has come to our attention that there is a flyer being circulated regarding an anti-police event with Coffee at The Point’s name on it. Coffee at The Point was unaware of this event, the group, or this flyer. Although we respect the opinions of all, it is important for Coffee at The Point to communicate that we love our Denver Police Department. DPD has a tough job. Let’s recognize that DPD protects our communities. As with most things, there are bad apples that tend to taint the waters. But let’s not categorize all police this way. We love our Denver Police Department. #‎Denver #‎DenverPolice @DenverPolice @DenverPoliceDepartment #‎CaTP

https://www.facebook.com/ajax/sharer/?s=2&appid=2305272732&id=879387808748154&p%5B0%5D=122834647736811&p%5B1%5D=1073742295&sharer_type=all_modes



We Are Here To Help

Dear Homeowner,

If you are struggling to make payments, or if you are facing foreclosure and feel that you have been working earnestly with your bank to stay in your home, we are here to help.

Many people seem to feel that they are immune to the foreclosure crisis. That it is simply a financial crisis that affects only people that are irresponsible or have fallen on hard times. The Truth is that no one is immune! This foreclosure crisis and recession were driven by bad business practices on the part of mortgage servicing companies and supposed "financial experts" devising and selling mortgages that were destined to fail.

We are the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition, which is made up of Occupy Denver, Occupy Littleton, Home Defenders League, Occupy Our Homes, MoveOn, and private citizen members who have also gone through this ordeal during the financial crisis.  We want to let you know that you are not alone and we want to help.

We are not attorneys and we do not give legal advice; we do not consider ourselves to be practicing law and further suggest that you do consult an attorney; however, we can offer moral support and, if your situation qualifies, will work hard to try to keep you in your home.  We have helped three people achieve loan modifications and stay in their homes after being foreclosed on. We encourage you not to go through this process alone, as lack of knowledge on your part is helpful only to the banks.

If you are facing foreclosure, a big first step in fighting back would be for you to join us at a Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition meeting, held the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month at 5:00 p.m., at Coffee at the Point, 710 E. 26th Ave, Denver, CO. Getting support and taking steps as early as possible will improve your chances of keeping your home.

We are so sorry you are in this situation right now.  You have probably been made to feel that losing your home to foreclosure is a source of shame and a social stigma, just like most of the hundreds of thousands of homeowners who already have or soon will lose their homes feel.  Remember, the big banks want you to feel isolated, but working together we have the power of solidarity.







Darren O'Connor of Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition present for Governor Hickenlooper's signing of HB14-1295, sponsored by Representative Beth McCann (next to O'Connor, in pink) and co-sponsored by Representative Angela Williams (at right, in green).
Date: May 9, 2014
Colorado Foreclosure Res
istance Coalition Addresses Passage of Legislation To Protect Homeowners

Darren O’Connor, an activist and organizer with the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition was invited to and attended the bill signing ceremony for House Bill 14-1295 today with the bill sponsors, legislative leaders, and the Governor. The bill sets out guidelines in the foreclosure process to require the foreclosing party provide a homeowner with a single point of contact, and attempts to prohibit dual tracking.

District 7 Foreclosures


Representative Williams Shares The Importance of the Colorado Mortgage Accountability and Housing Stabilization Act Before She Led The Effort To Kill It

W
e were at Representative Angela Williams' legislative wrap up Town Hall, on Wednesday, May 15th to ask why she failed to protect her citizens by when she led the killing of HB13-1249, The Colorado Mortgage Accountability and Housing Stabilization Act, in her committee. Watch this video to understand the depth of need for this protection for her constituents in District 7
.
Representative Angela Williams from 
House District 7 recently took CFRC
member Darren O'Connor to court 
attempting to 
Magistrate Catherine Cary ruled 
that Mr. O'Connor was exercising 
his right to political speech and 
upheld the 1st Amendment. She 
shared that Williams'own witness 
referred to O'Connor as a 
gentleman. You can read the 
entirety of the 




Video Stories

"So I say to the American people, you be squatters in your own homes. Don't you leave."
From 2009 speech on US house floor.
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who represents Northern Ohio's Ninth Congressional District, is currently serving her fifteenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is the senior-most woman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

Idaho Springs Occupation by Occupy Denver of Sarah Donahue's Home of 25 years.
The Colorado Foreclosure 
Resistance
Coalition and Occupy Denver 
delayed the eviction of Sahara Donahue in Idaho Springs from her home of 24 years. When the Realtor arrived to her house on Wednesday October 24, 2012, a houseful of occupiers stated that they were not going to leave the house. The Realtor left stating he would return October 30th with the Sheriff. The delay in the eviction allowed time for some prized memories be safely removed from the house. 

  • Foreclosed On Denver Veteran Finds Foes And Friends In Search For Help From VA August 21, 2014  ​ Denver, COArt Perreault, like too many Veterans of the modern era, is homeless.  He served his country, worked hard his entire life, and bought into the ...
    Posted Aug 21, 2014, 2:36 PM by Darren O'Connor
  • Denver Magistrate Upholds Citizen's Right to Challenge Politicians November, 27th, 2013 In Denver yesterday, a county court magistrate struck down the attempt of Colorado State House Rep. Angela Williams to silence one of her many outspoken critics. By ...
    Posted Nov 27, 2013, 8:49 AM by Steven Bailey
  • Green Shadow Cabinet Shows Solidarity with DOJ protesters HOUSING: DOJ should be locking up bank execs, not housing rights protestersMay 22, 2013Sandy Perry, Secretary of HousingThe Green Shadow Cabinet stands in solidarity with the millions ...
    Posted May 23, 2013, 8:52 PM by Steven Bailey
  • US Bank walks away from foreclosure on Aurora woman BUSINESSUS Bank walks away from foreclosure on Aurora womanPOSTED:   05/11/2013 12:01:00 AM MDTUPDATED:   05/11/2013 11:54:49 AM MDTBy David ...
    Posted May 12, 2013, 10:36 AM by Steven Bailey
  • Clear Creek Courant Letter To The Editor (Darren O'Connor and Sahara Donahue) October 30th saw the most violent police response to a peaceful eviction resistance seen in the entirety of the United States since the crash of the mortgage market and ...
    Posted Jan 2, 2013, 11:29 AM by Darren O'Connor
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 28. View more »

Other News ‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎(National)‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎

  • Obama AWOL as 15.7 Million Homeowners Underwater http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tracy-van-slyke/obama-economy-foreclosure-banks-_b_1543699.html
    Posted May 29, 2012, 3:41 PM by Darren O'Connor
  • The Great American Foreclosure Story: The Struggle for Justice and a Place to Call Home After losing her Florida home to foreclosure in 2009, Sheila Ramos has made a home for her family on a patch of rural land on Hawaii's Big Island. (Paul ...
    Posted Apr 26, 2012, 7:03 PM by Steven Bailey
Showing posts 1 - 2 of 14. View more »

Foreclosure Education Teach-Ins

  • Video: Teach-In Panel – Defend Our Homes, Protect Our Communities May 5, 2012 in Featured, Teach-In, VideoOn May 3, 2012, the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition presented a teach-in panel called “Defend Our Homes… Protect Our Communities: A ...
    Posted May 5, 2012, 2:04 PM by Steven Bailey
  • Capitalism, Foreclosures and the Politics of Responsibility. Chad Kautzer delivers the second part of his Occupy Economics series: Capitalism, Foreclosures and the Politics of Responsibility. This teach-in occurred on February 2, 2012 and was put on ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2012, 9:22 AM by Steven Bailey
  • OCCUPY Foreclosure Fraud Teach-In with Corrine Fowler Corrine Fowler The director of The Colorado Progressive Coalition speaks to OCCUPY DENVER Teach-in. Descriptions of fraudulent foreclosure practices by the banks and the attempts by banks to pay ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2012, 9:37 AM by Steven Bailey
  • Foreclosure Teach-in with Attorney Keith Gantenbein Keith Gantenbein is a Colorado attorney, focusing on foreclosure-related issues. He has represented major lenders in the mortgage industry while working at the largest foreclosure firm in Colorado. Keith ...
    Posted Apr 2, 2012, 9:31 AM by Steven Bailey
Showing posts 1 - 4 of 4. View more »
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