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Protesters Occupy Home in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward Neighborhood

Occupy Atlanta activists say they're trying to stop foreclosure on a home that has been owned by the same family for generations.

Carmen Pittman has lived in her Old Fourth Ward home with her mother, father and three siblings since third grade.

It’s the house that her grandmother and great-grandmother called home.

But Pittman and her family face eviction because a bank has started foreclosure proceedings on their house on Glen Iris Drive.

"This has always been a family house," said Pittman, 21. "It's always been here for anybody to come back to. ...You want to come sleep here, you can, you're more than welcome."

Now, the family has invited Occupy Atlanta protesters onto their property in a bid to save their home and raise awareness in the neighborhood about the foreclosure crisis.

About ten protesters arrived Tuesday to set up tents in the front lawn and signs with messages critiquing the banks, including "Wake up America, they've got our money, now they're taking our homes." The Pittman home was part of a move to occupy homes across the U.S. to try to block foreclosures, according to the advocacy group Occupy Our Homes.

The house brick, built in 1953, has been in the family for generations. Pittman's grandmother, who worked for 40 years as a school secretary and passed away on Nov. 29, inherited the house from her mother.

Pittman, who stopped working at a nearby supermarket to help care for her grandmother, Eloise Pittman, said that the foreclosure process began suddenly while her health was failing.

The family was taken by surprise, but Eloise was too sick to explain what had happened. Occupy Our Homes has referred to the pending foreclosure as the result of "one of the most predatory loans we've ever seen."

Pittman said losing the house would be devastating to her family.

"We would have nothing to fall back on. That was the family house, the house we thought we'd have forever,” she said. “We'd be homeless."

For now, the Pittmans are putting their faith in the protesters.

And Carmen Pittman is becoming part of the movement, helping to canvass her neighborhood to talk to people about the foreclosure issue.

The occupation of the home on Glen Iris follows a similar move last month .

When Occupy Atlanta occupies a home facing eviction, there are some specific goals, according to an Occupy Atlanta fact sheet. The first is to save the occupants from eviction and "act on their behalf, consider their needs and wants and let their voice be heard."

The advocates also want to tell the stories of the residents and their community to help unite people around the cause and build a base for the movement.

Earlier Tuesday, protesters turned out in front of courthouses in Fulton and DeKalb counties to protest the monthly auctions of foreclosed properties.

The protest at the Futon County Courthouse in downtown Atlanta included Sen. Vincent Fort and The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, who called for a six- to nine-month moratorium on all foreclosures and evictions.

What do you think of this latest action by Occupy Atlanta?

Tim December 08, 2011 at 02:26 PM
The property tax would not be the issue - if it was too high they would just need to cahllenge it, but being that an elderly person is the owner, there are many tax breaks as well. Maybe they kept refinancing and taking money out for other reasons? Any info on how long since they paid their mortgage? Realy need more details.
almitybalbag666@yahoo.com December 08, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Keep up the good work Occupy Atlanta..
Bob F December 08, 2011 at 07:59 PM
Yes, I'd like to know the details on "one of the most predatory loans we've ever seen". When you click on the link there aren't really any details on the reason for the loan or the loan itself.
Enchante Moore January 07, 2012 at 11:56 PM
If there is no problem with the payments, why there is eviction? It takes a long time for the foreclosure to move to eviction phase. The residents should also develop finance savvy to stay away from "predatory loans". Could not concur here.
Robyn January 09, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Yeah... I'm confused and annoyed that a reporter will write such a spotty article. Banks only take back houses that people don't pay the mortage on. Right?? If they owned it after all these years.... then someone must have refinanced. ..and yes, that is a terrific tree house next door!

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