Zaki Alshalyan came to the Occupy Oakland Foreclosure Defense Group more than a month ago, looking for assistance in staying in his home after the Bank of America had threatened him with foreclosure and eviction. This is his story, from the time before he became a US immigrant from war-torn Iraq, to the time he got rolled by BofA.
First there was an action by the OOFDG at a local Bank of America branch, then continued pressure by Zaki and some OOFDG peeps on the bank official responsible for the loan.
Ultimately, as nothing continued to happen slowly, we put together our own loan modification proposal and sent it to the bank official. Finally, on Friday, October 26th, 2012, ten days before the foreclosure auction was scheduled, Mr. Alshalyan received a letter from Bank of America stating that his loan modification proposal had been approved — as written!
Sometimes it takes demonstrating outside a bank. Sometimes it takes occupying inside a bank. Sometimes it takes phone calls, press releases and dramatic videos. Sometimes, as with this effort, it also takes know-how to put together a proposal and the audacity to send it to the bank. And when all else fails it may take bodies willing to defend against the sheriff and the mover, as with Ft. Hernandez in Los Angeles, still there after more than two months(story, Facebook, twitter, pictures), and its offspring Ft. Lucero (story, Facebook, twitter, pictures).
Banks are perfidious creatures. Zaki has not yet won in full. The bank granted him a “trial modification.” He has to comply with the terms of the modification for three months, and if all goes well, the bank will theoretically make it permanent. Banks have been known to renege on such promises (Surely I’m joking? No, I’m not.), but OOFDG will be there with Zaki Alshalyan keeping careful watch; making sure that if they try to pull such shit they will be called on it and, who knows, occupied.