Bel Air News
Occupy LA Helps Woman Stay In Home
By Aaron Jones
Oct 25, 2011 - 9:03:17 AM

Occupy LA protestors. Photo courtesy of group's website.
BEL AIR—Thanks in part to demonstrations going on all over the world, and in particular one held outside of wealthy bank executive’s Bel Air mansion, a woman is being allowed to keep her home.

Rose Guidel, a 35-year-old resident of a working class suburb and member of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), as well as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), recently fell on hard times after the death of her brother in a drive-by shooting. Compounded on the loss of a household income was the additional loss of income from California’s furloughs as a result of the state's economic meltdown, which led Guidel, who lives with her parents, fall behind on their mortgage payments. The family eventually recovered, but when they were ready to resume their payments, they found that OneWest Bank had already begun the process of foreclosure.

In response to this, Guidel, supporters from ACCE, SEIU, along with countless neighbors and co-workers started a vigil outside the home and swore they would not leave the premises, risking even arrest by Los Angeles County Sheriffs. The group then took their case directly to the home of Steve Mnuchin, chief executive officer of the Pasadena-based OneWest Bank, who claimed that they were simply complying with rules set forth by Fannie Mae, the owner of the mortgage. The protest was subsequently taken to the Pasadena Fannie Mae office, where Guidel and six others were arrested.

Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County did not want to evict the family, which included Guidel’s mother who is confined to a wheelchair. He then contacted OneWest Bank and Fannie Mae, hoping to persuade them to reconsider displacing the family and assist them in modifying their mortgage. Shortly thereafter, OneWest Bank and Fannie Mae agreed to sit down for a mortgage modification, and the Sheriff’s Department informed Guidel’s family that they will not enforce the eviction order.

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