Foreclosure Resistance, A Prayer

Oh Lord, save your servant who trusts in you. –Psalm 86

A prayer lifts up from the city, like the smoke of incense. A single prayer, in the myriad of others, a strand of smoke amidst a great burning.

Oh Lord, why do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? –Psalm 10

But God is listening. God hears the prayers of God’s people.

The question is, are we listening? For God, who hears the prayers of his people, is calling us to listen as well. God’s justice is a collective project.

But when we listen, we hear stories of oppression, corruption, and injustice, in the face of honesty and hard work. But listening is not enough. When we listen, God calls us from the quiet of prayer to be a healing presence in the world.

She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. –Proverbs 31:27

Bertina Jones (see video) is an accountant from Bowie, Maryland. In 2008 she lost her job of 17 years and got behind on her mortgage, a house with she had owned for 11 years. Bank of America began foreclosure proceedings against her.

In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor– let them be caught in the schemes they have devised. –Psalm 10

Bank of America told Bertina she could pay $12,289.48 and keep her house. But they lost her paperwork and did not apply the certified check they cashed to her home despite its timely delivery. At the end of this Kafkaesque process, she had $73,249.11 in the bank, but no way to apply this balance to her home and stop its sale. Whether inept or profit-seeking, the end result is the same.

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread? –Psalm 14

Bank of America sold Bertina’s home to Freddie Mac. For Freddie Mac, Bertina’s house is another sheet of bank paper bought at cut-rate prices from Bank of America, a single asset on a balance sheet. Bureaucrats process so many foreclosures they bungle or forge papers, breaking laws that require foreclosure review. This collection of automatic methods for disposing with 11 years of a person’s careful investment has been called “robo-signing.”

…trample my courts no more. –Isaiah 1

Ultimately, we are responsible for Bertina’s home. Freddie Mac is a Government Sponsored Enterprise under the conservatorship of the federal government, and taxpayers own nearly 200 billion dollars worth of Freddie Mac, despite the fact that they speculated obscenely with our mortgages, creating value from nothing in the derivatives market, inflating profits the way a government prints money.

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But what can be done? “Learn to do good; seek justice; rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” –Isaiah 1

First, we ask for your prayers to God for Bertina’s home. But the true prayer does not stop at a longing of the heart expressed to God, it moves into the world with action for change. Which is why we ask that you plead Bertina’s case with us by signing this petition, and gathering with Occupy our Homes on the 27th at noon in DC. We believe we can force Freddie Mac to back down on Bertina’s foreclosure, but if not, we will stand with her before the agents of unjust eviction.

Martin Luther King’s work was cut short by his assassination. King fought for civil rights in the deep South, but when he came north to Chicago, he worked for jobs and affordable housing, a stark reminder that injustice was not just a characteristic of provincial southern towns.

Martin Luther King and the SNCC led the way with nonviolent direct action, a way of praying with our bodies.

God is calling. It is no longer a whisper that pierces the veil of our systems of oppression, it is a trumpet. God is calling to us to be the change we wish to see in the world.


If you know anybody that wants to resist foreclosure in the DC area, please contact us of Occupy Our Homes at

Jeremy has been an activist ever since he accidentally ate the red pill instead of the more harmless blue one. He converted to Christianity while serving a six-month prison term for civil disobedience to close the School of the Americas. He blogs and tweets about faith. He serves as a volunteer chaplain to OccupyDC with the OccupyChurch movement.

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  • The whole banking institution has become so corrupt – while I feel for Bertina and her situation, we’ve kept up with our mortgage payments, and yet PHH Mortgage, the mortgage servicer US Bank sold our mortgage to, has decided to foreclose anyway – despite the fact that we’re making every single one of our monthly mortgage payments!!! (and can prove from our bank statements that we have done so) For the past six months they’ve been cashing our checks and taking our money, but not applying them to the mortgage. And there’s nothing we can do because we live in a state that effectively does not allow you to sue any business for illegal and fraudulent activity like this because you can’t seek lawyer/court costs or punitive damages (and falsely reporting you to the credit bureau as delinquent on payments is not considered an “actual” damage), and we don’t have the money to retain a lawyer (as it would cost us at least $25k to pay for the lawyer and court costs – just to make them apply our payments!), so there’s literally nothing we can do except lose our home. We can’t even get them to produce the loan documentation to prove they own the loan! There is absolutely no accountability on the part of these institutions and our government. We’ve talked to four different lawyers, all of which say we have a case, but refuse to take the case because there’s no money in it for them. So unless we can somehow find a lawyer who takes pity upon us and works to find a way to file federal charges against them – we just have to let them do this. This mortgage company has done this to countless others throughout the country – in the state of Georgia they lost a $21 million lawsuit for the exact same thing they’re doing to us. The NJ Atty General is investigating them for fraudulent foreclosure activity, the Illinois Atty General slapped them with $290,000 in fines for fraudulent foreclosures, and in New York, which is a judicial foreclosure state – meaning it has to go before the courts before a bank can continue with foreclosure – simply forgave a man his mortgage because this company could not a) prove he was delinquent, nor b) prove they owned the mortgage. But nothings seems to get their attention or stop them from doing this – and they’re one of the top 10 mortgage servicers in the nation!!! At the moment our hope rests with one US House Rep and one US Senator for our state that is trying to take it to the federal office of the comptroller and the other trying to get the state Attorney General to re-visit the complaint instead of just dumping it off on the Dept of Banking and Finance – who responded simply by saying they were too overworked to deal with our complaint, and that they had no authority to make the company comply with federal laws anyway. 

    This is the third time they’ve done this to us – we’ve paid over $27,000 over the past 13 years in additional fees, charges and payments just to avoid them foreclosing on the house. We can’t refinance because they’ve destroyed our credit and they’ve changed the loan amount on us so that the Loan-to-Value ratio makes it impossible even if another institution would overlook the credit issues. The original loan was $95,000… now they say the principal still owed 13 years later is $110,000. !!!!  

    Something HAS to be done about companies like this – but it seems all the news stories in the world exposing them doesn’t change our laws or make it so justice can ever be done. All we’ve got – is prayer. 

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