Judy Stratton said she and her husband Harry have tried since January 2009 to modify the mortgage on their home in Stayton, Ore. after a drop-off in demand for Harry's floor maintenance services. In August, Stratton said, they received a rejection letter from their bank saying they did not qualify for help per the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program.
"This was a lie -- 100 percent lie," Stratton said. "We ran off the guidelines. We met every single qualification to get a HAMP mod."
Nevertheless, Stratton said a foreclosure sale is scheduled for Nov. 24 on the home they've lived in for the past 10 years. She reached out to her friend Peggy Merrill, who attends the church where Stratton is music director. "I got together with Peggy and I was in tears: 'We're losing our house over a pack of lies!'"
Merrill started doing some research into HAMP and did not like what she learned. "I was concerned about their house, but the more I got into it -- it's my tax money, $75 billion worth," Merrill told HuffPost. "It's just a scam and the banks are getting everything."
So they took to the streets. Merrill helped the Strattons organize what might have been the first grassroots anti-HAMP protest on Friday and Saturday. A group of six people picketed outside the state capitol in Salem, Ore. for six hours each day with signs that said things like "HOMES FORECLOSED - Your Tax $'s At Work."
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