Occupy Atlanta staged a protest Monday afternoon in front of Buckhead's Atlanta Plaza, home of Fannie Mae's regional headquarters.
The group protested at the building at 950 E. Paces Ferry Road across from the Lenox MARTA Station because it said the mortgage agency refused to restructure the loan of a Snellville family. The family's home was foreclosed upon, and the family evicted.
Occupy Atlanta spokesman Tim Franzen said the group would protest at the Fannie Mae building weekly until an arrangement is worked out with the family of Chris and Tawanna Rorey, who have three children. The Occupy Atlanta group occupied the Roreys' home after it was foreclosed upon, but left when threatened with arrest for trespassing, after which the family was evicted, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Tawanna Rorey was present at the protest, but declined to speak to reporters. Franzen said the family is a symbol of the foreclosures against families across Atlanta and the nation. Chris Rorey is a DeKalb County police officer, and the Roreys have the financial resources to pay their mortgage, he said.
"Fannie Mae is committed to helping homeowners avoid foreclosure whenever possible," said Amy Bonitatibus, Fannie Mae's director of communications, in Washington. "We have a Mortgage Help Center in Atlanta where homeowners can meet with a trusted housing counselor to discuss their mortgage situation and options to avoid foreclosure. Unfortunately, the homeowner did not seek assistance from our Help Center."
A group of about 15 to 20 Occupy Atlanta members gathered at the sidewalk, blocked from entering Atlanta Plaza by security guards. MARTA and Atlanta police kept an eye on the protest.
Franzen said the occupation of the home was a first for the Occupy movement across the country, and that such tacrics would be a new direction for the group.
"Where does Occupy Atlanta go in winter?" he said. "We start saving homes."