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ACORN Activist Charged in Foreclosure Break-in

An activist for the ""Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now"":http://www.acorn.org (ACORN) has been charged with fourth degree burglary for helping a Southeast Baltimore woman break into her former home last week as part of a protest demonstration against foreclosures.
The community reform group says the New England homeowner is a victim of predatory lending and called its method of opposition ""an act of civil disobedience."" Louis Beverly, the ACORN representative accused in the break-in, told local Baltimore television station _""WJZ"":http://wjz.com_, ""This is our house now.""
Beverly said, ""We are actually trespassing. Legally it's wrong, but homesteading is the only means that she has left to stay in her house. And we feel as though this is the right thing to do at this particular time to save this family,"" _WJZ _reported.
According to _""Baltimore's Indypendent Reader"":http://indyreader.org_, Beverly is facing eviction himself from his home next month, but vows to fight on. ""Believe me, I am not moving out of my house,"" Beverly told the publication.
The ACORN activist broke the padlock off the front door of the foreclosed home, allowing the homeowner back into her residence for the first time in months. A day after complaints were filed against the activist, the homeowner turned herself into police and was also criminally charged in connection with the incident.
ACORN organizer Joe Cox told the _""Baltimore Sun"":http://www.baltimoresun.com _that the charges were ""not unexpected"" and said the group will assist the homeowner with the criminal case and post bond, if necessary.
The homeowner, who owed more than $260,000 when the lender foreclosed, claims the bank refused to modify her mortgage after her payments went up by $300 and kicked her out of the house in September. According to public records, the homeowner initially purchased the residence in 2001 for $87,000. She refinanced in 2005 for $270,000, went into bankruptcy in 2006, and this was the 2nd foreclosure on the property.
The $300 monthly payment increase was actually a repayment plan she agreed to in order to cover the more than $10,000 in payments that were past due. The foreclosed home was even sold to another borrower in July 2008, but the lender couldn't get the former homeowner out of the house until September, two months later.
According to media reports, ACORN is planning to stage similar foreclosure protests in six other cities across the country. The demonstrations are intended to encourage a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures. _WJZ-TV _reported that ACORN is training homeowners facing eviction on ""peaceful ways they can remain in their homes.""

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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