"Fort Hernandez" is no more. The Van Nuys home on Leadwell Street had been the site of an Occupy protest for more than four months, after the homeowners, the Hernandez family, received a foreclosure notice in August. Protesters set up camp outside the house while the Hernandezes continued to live in the house until all were evicted yesterday by the Sheriff's department. Javier Hernandez bought the the three-bedroom house for himself and several relatives in 2006 for $546,000. But when monthly payments on his adjustable rate mortgage went up in February 2008, he stopped making payments. Hernandez applied repeatedly for a loan modification but was turned down every time by Bank of America. This summer the house was valued at $242,000.
A Sheriff's department spokesperson said the eviction "went as smooth as silk." The Daily News reported that "members of the Sheriff's Community Transition Unit met with the family early this week. Hernandez said they offered a quick release if he and his brothers wanted to be arrested for symbolic reasons. But he said he'd been through enough in the past four months already, so he decided to walk out on his own." It seems the 100 law enforcement personnel and armored vehicles on hand weren't necessary after all.
Hernandez called the eviction "sad, but we feel we've accomplished a lot." Other protesters felt they had helped to draw attention to unfair lending practices. One protester said that a citywide "anti-eviction campaign" will begin in January. [Image via Huffington Post]
· Van Nuys' 'Fort Hernandez' sit-in ends; deputies evict Occupy protesters, family [LADN]
· Occupy LA to Occupy Houses in South Gate, Inland Empire [Curbed LA]