Occupy Delaware tries to stop sheriff sale

Members of Occupy Delaware briefly interrupted this morning’s sheriff sale in Wilmington, but they were unsuccessful in their effort to put a hold on the sale of dozens of foreclosed homes.

A handful of protesters stood silently in the back of New Castle County chambers while the Sheriff’s sale was underway.  As the proceeding got underway, one of the protesters asked for the sale to be halted so an independent review of the mortgages and foreclosure could be completed.  

“There was a petition to ask for the stop of the sale of homes until further investigation could be done by an independent expert to determine if the people had had the opportunity to pay their mortgage or fairness in the process,” said Judy Schneider of Wilmington.

That request was denied, and the protesters were asked not to interrupt again.

“We wanted to come in because we don’t believe there is valid proof, with all the homes that have been foreclosed upon, whether rules were followed,” said Meshal Rivera of Wilmington.  “There’s not really an understanding [in] a lot of situations who actually currently holds the real mortgage.  They’ve been shuffled around all over the place that [when] you’re buying a foreclosed home you can’t even say who you’re buying it from other than the sheriff taking it from a family.”

Other than the brief interruption, the sale continued as scheduled.

Rivera has been sleeping outside as part of the Occupy Delaware protest.  The group is currently set up across the street from the Redding City/County Building where the sale was held.  “It’s actually been really, really positive,” she said of her experience interacting with people in downtown Wilmington.  “People who pass us on the street sometimes come sit down, talk to us and we do a lot of exchange of ideas and even some of the police officers have given us good vibes as they’ve driven by.”

Monday night, the group decided not to pay the city permit fee that would have allowed them to stay at Spencer Plaza.  Instead, they moved to the sidewalk in front of the plaza along French Street.  The group originally established itself on Saturday at Fletcher Brown Park before moving to Spencer Plaza which is in the middle of federal, state and city government buildings.

Where the group goes from here has been a big part of the behind the scenes operations at Occupy Delaware.  Some members have been in contact with ACLU.  They would like the city to waive any permitting fees so they can continue their protest. 

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal