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Monday, March 18,2013

Educating the movement

Ingham County Register of Deeds speaks to Occupy Lansing participants about foreclosure

by Nyssa Rabinowitz
Hertel (center) speaks to Occupy Lansing participants.
Tuesday, Oct. 18 — Occupy Lansing participants received insight into the foreclosure process in preparation for their march against Chase Bank later this afternoon.
The movement invited Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr. to its encampment in Reutter Park today to speak about the role of big banks, such as Chase Bank and Bank of America, in the foreclosure crisis.
“We see fraudulent documents being used on a regular basis,” Hertel said. “These systems are supposed to be helping people, they’re not. The banks don’t care.”
Hertel visited the Occupy Lansing encampment for about an hour, discussing foreclosure problems in the state and answering questions.
Occupy Lansing spokesman Nick Cooper said community education is a key element of the Lansing movement because it makes participants more informed before marches and boosts awareness. It also helps counter beliefs that the Occupy movements consist of uninformed individuals, he added.
Spokesman Ian Eberhart said Hertel was invited to educate participants about the “criminal” activity involved in the foreclosure crisis.
“People just don’t know about it,” Eberhart said. “It just ties in to our protest at Chase later today. We wanted to give our group more information to go on in order to answer people’s questions when we get there.”
The group is scheduled to protest at the downtown Lansing branch of Chase Bank at 4 p.m. because of the bank’s role in the foreclosure crisis. The branch is at 201 S. Washington Square.
Eberhart said Chase received $25 billion in bailout money despite the fact that the bank has actively participated in fraudulent foreclosures.
Cooper said it was “liberating” that Hertel accepted the group’s invitation to speak.
“It’s nice to know that we’re supported by people,” Cooper said.
“It does show that there’s people in government willing to discuss things,” Eberhart added.
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