June Reyno Continues Her Controversial Stance Against Foreclosure Eviction

by on October 30, 2008 · 21 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Media, Organizing

June Reyno speaks at press conference.

SAN DIEGO, CA.  Arriving at the noon press conference a few minutes late, I walked into the Mira Mesa cul-de-sac, where a few television trucks announced something was up. It was to be the ‘Support June Reyno’ media event organized by the Ad Hoc Campaign Against Eviction and Foreclosure. June Reyno was the San Diegan who had chained herself to her front porch in a dramatic display of resisting her coming eviction because of her home of almost 20 years being foreclosed.  As I walked up the short, windy sidewalk, a large rented moving van rested patiently in the drive-way.

Outside the U-Haul truck waited patiently.There, sheltered from the Santa Ana sun by the front porch was June Reyno, cradling a trove of papers in her arm, surrounded by a dozen supporters, nearly hidden by a half dozen cameras facing them. Past the line of supporters, the Reynos’ open front door beckoned into a room with shiny hardwood floors. I got out my camera and my pad.

As I approached the gathering, I heard “She’s our hero,” from Rosie Martinez, executive board member of SEIU Local 721, who then said she also supported June Reyno’s call for a national moratorium on evictions from foreclosures.

Others would speak. Fernando from the Filipino-American group BAYAN – USA called Reyno’s eviction and circumstances, “outrageous!” He repeated Reyno’s claim that “this house belongs to the people of the United States because we bought it in the bailout.” (Sorry, I didn’t get his last name.)

Another young Filipino-American from AWAKBAYAN-San Diego teared up as he described the Reynos’ plight, declaring metaphorically that they “are our uncles and aunts, our parents.”  John Parker from a Los Angeles-based group called Labor Community Coalition, expressed his group’s support, graphically condemning banks and the capitalist system. Kathy Hughart, a member of the Crown Point Condo Association, spoke out also, linking the Reyno’s situation with the economic meltdown nationwide. Kathy also described an anonymous phone call that she received that caustically demanded to know why she supported June Reyno but refused to give a name or number.

Finally June Reyno herself stood before the mikes. She prefaced her spiel with thanks to the Sheriffs and Police Department for having patience and understanding.The Mira Mesa woman explained her plight – she was the most articulate of any who spoke. She declared “this home is owned by the people of the United States of America,” and linked her troubles with the other millions of homeowners in foreclosure circumstances; she called on elected officials and Congress to do something to allow those families to keep their homes. “I will not stop until Congress does something about this,” she exclaimed, “now.” It was urgent, she explained because a 1,000 American families a month face foreclosure and eviction.

“Now is the time,” June said, “for Americans to come together and hold hands.” It was a beautiful thought.

The more critical corporate media present at the press conference were quick to undercut June Reyno’s stance, by attempts to force her to explain sales of other houses, her own foreclosure history, her business, her monied affairs. Several people  from the LA Labor Community group intervened, and cut off the sharp media questions – questions that were not polite and gently exressed. Tensions mounted, eyeballs of camerapeople rolled, voices were raised, but June, cut through it all by offering to explain everything.

She condemned the bank for wanting to have her jailed rather than allowing her to buy back her house.  She had used the money for her business, which was an effort to assist people with disabilities, to help engineer people getting licensed and to obtain houses for community care businesses. But her partner went south, and she was stuck with 6 to 7 properties out in the desert.  She couldn’t get loans due to an earlier bankruptcy filing.  The houses went on the market, and after six months without any offers, they went into foreclosure.  She had more to say, which I have to distill yet from my notes.

The scene at the press conference.Thinking about who was there in support, it seems there is some genuine support for June, that her defiance has indeed struck a strong cord among some within the American public, and there is certainly media interest. I sensed that  the Ad Hoc Campaign Against Eviction and Foreclosure is made up of three forces primarily: a couple of Filipino-American organizations – June Reyno is Filipino-American; secondly, folks around SEIU Local 721; and thirdly, the L.A.-based Labor Community Coalition – which appears to be an organization set up by some hard-left group, as they appeared to have all the rhetoric associated with those who have not integrated themselves into popular mass fronts; also among June’s supporters, there seemed to be a few sympathetic independent local people as well.

Notably, even though I received a press notice via the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice email network, there weren’t any local peace folks present, no local labor people except SEIU Local 721, and no Housing Coalition members.

June Reyno’s stance continues to be controversial. Has she answered all the corporate media’s answers? Has she fully explained gaps in her story even to potential supporters? While it may be true that there are others who are even in more of a sympathetic situation, June Reyno has indeed struck a chord of deep interest and empathy if not one of deep concern and sympathy.

We’ll keep an update going.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar ocrenter October 30, 2008 at 8:21 pm

“it seems there is some genuine support for June, that her defiance has indeed struck a strong cord among some within the American public”

I would disagree with that assessment.

OB, June is a REALTOR. She is a Real Estate Professional. The loan documentations she signed is an intrinsic part of her business day in and day out.

I encourage you to go to my blog and look under the label “Silly REALTORS”, there you’ll find countless stories of greedy REALTORS that engaged in multiple flips during the real estate bubble to make a quick buck. These guys were greedy and the more profits they made the more homes they wanted to buy. Many of them were just like June, refinancing their primary residence to finance multiple properties. and when the bubble burst, they start blaming the corporate bankers.

But when these REALTORS bought up so many properties (June herself had 6 or 7), did they think about the fact that by speculating on housing, they drove housing prices way up and young families and new immigrants were forced to move away or forced to rent?

I know you mean well and you feel for June. But bottom line is she is just another greedy REALTOR that gambled and double downed and lost. She IS the poster child for the greed that drove the housing bubble. And if you look at all of the blog posts and comments out there, she is getting no sympathy, rather there’s quite a bit of call for jail time for June.

Still think June is your hero?

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avatar OB Rag Patty October 30, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I have looked at a lot of the posts and comments out there and feel it is unfortunate that the fact she may not be all she wants us to believe is casting a pall on so many others that deserve help.There are lots of heroes out there, June is not one of mine personally.

I was born in this city, my widowed mother managed to buy a house and pay it off in her lifetime. She’s one of my heroes. I bought my house when things were still sane but divorced when the inflated market was at its peak and had to refi to buy out my ex, doubling my mortgage. I guess I could have sold it… and bought what? Something half as big with twice the tax bill? Or rented and given the feds a big chuck of the equity? So I stayed, but I will never pay it off and the way the market has taken a dump I may never get back my initial investment. So it’s not much better than renting and I have to pay for the leaky roof. But hey! I’m hanging on.

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avatar Chito Quijano October 31, 2008 at 1:26 am

I think the issue is not about Reyno’s background nor the question whether Reyno has vast support or not, the fact is she is being evicted for whatever reason it maybe, the foreclosures are happening at a time when the feds is bailing out big banks and insurance companies. Her question is simple: Why is it that the Feds had bailed-out banks and not the people? It is not just about Reyno, it is about tens of thousands of families who will lose their homes because of the financial crisis that was brought about by years of economic policies of greed. Would I blame Reyno for this economic mess? Or would I blame Bush and it’s liberalization and globalization policies? I say blame the latter.

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avatar Pinoy Boy October 31, 2008 at 5:39 am

It is so unfortunate that many people including Filipinos call this person as their hero. June is a realtor who even has her own website she made money through speculating in realestate during the boom. Now she is losing her home due to bad business decision and some would say greed. She has to face the consequence of her action. I will not allow a single amount of my hard earn tax money to bail her out.

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avatar ocrenter October 31, 2008 at 8:05 am

Patty, June et al is one of the reason why you are just “hanging on” with doubling of your mortgage.

Chito said in the comment after you that we should really blame the Bush administration and not June.

Truth is we need to blame both.

The housing bubble has five villains, and here they are:

1. Greenspan, who started and flamed the bubble with the super low rates and encouragement of ARM.

2. Bush and the Republicans, who opened the flood gate by multiple and systematic deregulation of wall street.

3. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and the Democrats, who embraced that Republican doctrine as a way to acheive a “100% homeowner” society as well as sleeping with subprime lenders such as Angelo from Countrywide.

4. Wall Street, which took advantage of the deregulations and completely dismantled any prior lending guidelines to make money.

5. realtors and speculators, these are the foot solders of the bubble, they fanned fear of would be buyers with “life time renter” scenarios and they engaged in massive speculations, some bought 3 spec homes, others bought 7, but there were many that purchased upward of 20-30 homes to speculate on.

I opposed the wall street bailout because of the fairness issue and also because it would not work. Now that the wall street bailout passed, June the foot soldier wants a piece of the action.

But people remember what folks like June told them during the bubble, “you got to buy otherwise you’ll be priced out forever.” They see what June did with the purchase of 7 homes in the hope of flipping for profit.

If you truly want the public to back a bailout of main street, you don’t get behind June, you go and find the retired couple next door who answered the phone call from a subprime lender who tricked them into changing from their almost paid off 30 year fix loan to an exploding ARM.

June is no hero, she just belong in jail.

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avatar John Parker October 31, 2008 at 9:34 am

The demand for a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions is rooted in history. During the depression era 25 states had a moratorium on foreclosures and it was challenged by the financial institutions and won again in the U.S. Supreme Court.

It was the work of those “hard-left groups” mentioned above that led the struggles to win such progressive legislation. Part of the strategy to stop evictions was to galvanize the community and move furniture back into the homes of those evicted.

The activists didn’t stop to consider who deserved to be defended from eviction, they simply supported their neighbors – all of their neighbors under attack by monopoly bankers (hard-left rhetoric – but the truth, sorry). It was unity that made these struggles powerful, compelling and victorious.

If we were to support a call for a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions should we say “only for those who didn’t buy into the idea pushed on every working person to have your own business, sometimes in real estate.” Should we have multiple exceptions and invite divisions amongst ourselves that our enemies would exploit, making our efforts weak and impotent.

No, if we are to demand a moratorium on foreclosures we must have a united voice and not allow the corporate media to define our debate, nor make us defensive and distrustful of working people who will have the courage to stand up and defy them, no matter what mistakes they may or may not have made in the past.

As long as the banks are being bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars and the economic crisis persists no working or poor person should be foreclosed or evicted – period.

John Parker
Labor Community Coalition to Stop Foreclosure and Evictions (made up of SEIU Local 721, Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, International Action Center)
For more info: (310) 677-6407

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avatar Peter Toner October 31, 2008 at 9:36 am

Hmmm … According to some she hadn’t made a mortgage payment since August 2006 – see link below. As I understand one of the reasons June is upset that the Bank who reposessed her house won’t sell it back to her at the vastly reduced auction price.

http://bubbletracking.blogspot.com/2008/10/june-reyno-just-trying-to-survive.html

You might wnat to read the brutal comments on NBC’s site too:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Woman_Fights_Foreclosure_Chains_Herself_to_Home.html?corder=regular

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avatar John Perez October 31, 2008 at 10:03 am

I read all the comments here and did my own research about this person. She is a realtor who made a lot of money from people who were in the same boat she is now. Unfortunately for her , her own bubble bust and now suddenly she becomes the champion of the unfortunate who are loosing their homes. While I do feel sorry for other people who are loosing their home due to unscrupulous bank. I don’t feel sorry for June Reyno who gambled in the real estate and loss (remember she used to have 7 homes in her name). Actually I do feel strongly against banks, mortgage company and unethical realtors which she belong to.

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avatar ocrenter October 31, 2008 at 10:47 am

John, so it doesn’t bother you one bit that this woman has been living there rent free and mortgage free for 2 years? or the fact that she took $670,000 of other people’s money and would not have to pay it back? or the fact that she was able to cash out so much from her Mira Mesa house due to inflated appraisal?

none of that matter?

there’s plenty of blame to go around, but this woman knew what she was getting into (this is what she does for a living) and she played a role in the speculation that led to the bubble.

like I said before, if your agenda is to get the support for a blanket moratorium on foreclosures and evictions, this is the worse possible person to stand behind and give your support for.

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avatar ocrenter October 31, 2008 at 11:15 am

something JP already mentioned at an earlier post.

June already got her bailout. She got the $670,000, and since she’s been living at the house rent free and mortgage free x 2 years, that’s $31000 in free rent as well.

So all in all, as far as this property is concerned, June got her bailout of $700k.

Now John you want the rest of us to say yes to more free rent for June. Please explain to me why $700k of bailout money for June is not enough. At what point would it be enough? another $300k to make it an even $1 million dollar gift to June?

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avatar StatePen October 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm

June Reyno is a scam artist and thief. She pulled $500K out of her home already. She bought numerous other properties that she could not handle. She had a previous BK so she has a long history of financial ineptitude. She was a typical flipper trying to get rich on the real estate bubble. She should be in jail. She has a website where she charges people who are behind on their mortgages. Her real estate license is inactive.

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avatar Frank Gormlie October 31, 2008 at 5:35 pm

John Parker – thanks for clarifying the organizational network that came out in support of June Reyno.
“Hard-left” lefties to me are those who have unbending and dogmatic world view, whose rhetoric is hinged with words like ‘yellow journalists’, blood-sucking banks, ‘capitalist pigs’ – which may be good choices to use in certain situations, but when an organizing project is using the capitalist media to get the word out, there has to be more self-reflection, and more of an obvious attempt to mitigate some of the rough edges of June’s story – having anticipated that the corporate media would jump on some of the obvious gaps in the story, plus more of an attempt to be transparent in the facts of her case.
Hard-line lefties have not integrated their practice into the daily lives of ordinary people, thus get away with using rhetoric that just bounces off the walls, may sound correct but doesn’t advance anyone’s struggle. And raising one’s voice doesn’t do it either, trying to outyell the piercing media questions.
Don’t worry, I know what I’m talking about – I had to go to hard-line addiction classes to shake the habit for weeks – or was it months.
It is tough to handle the crudest corporate media, but anticipate where they’re coming from, and be prepared to be upfront, transparent and common sensible. Explore the weak areas before they’re blasted across the screen.

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avatar jp November 1, 2008 at 6:37 pm

No one is asking the 500k question:

What did she do with half a million dollars???!!!

The biggest expense is a roof over your head. She lived for free since August 2006. She made 2 payments on 2 properties in Palm Springs which were 44k each ($260 a month) and defaulted.

From what I understand, she defaulted and was foreclosed on other properties, so clearly not making payments there.

She said she used money to pay bills, credit cards and start her business.

How long does it take to start this business that never happened? Have any fictitious business documents even been filed? Any business accounts opened? I’m doubting it. She can’t even keep her real estate license current, from what I understand.

So what the heck did she do with 500k in 2 years? What bills were incurred and credit card purchases made that amounted to 500k?

I beg anyone that needs a cause to fight for to pick a better subject than June. If you insist to support her, then make a trip to Vegas. You will have many other gambling candidates who need your assistance.

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avatar Monty Reed Kroopkin November 2, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Why are so many posts here obsessed about the details of one person’s foreclosure situation? That simply is not the issue. The issue is the massive number of people being thrown out of their homes.

The publicity this story is getting has NOTHING to do with who the person being evicted is. It has EVERYTHING to do with the widespread public support for stopping the wave of foreclosures and evictions. Who profits from all these foreclosures and evictions? Why are we allowing anyone to profit from this glaring failure of (dare we use the word?) capitalism?

John Parker has it right to say can’t build any effective movement to stop the foreclosures and evictions if we start making all kinds of exceptions.

People in the labor unions here in San Diego ought to be ashamed (I am) that we have union activists from Los Angeles coming down to San Diego to defend us. Where is the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council on the housing crisis? Why don’t we see our local labor leaders calling for a foreclosure moratorium? Whey will they get around to it?

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avatar Dr. Truth November 3, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Leave June alone! ZP ripped-off both June and myself! We were swindled! Can’t you all understand that! Ask June about ZP!

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avatar DAVe November 3, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Best point of the discussion yet, by ocrenter:

“If you truly want the public to back a bailout of main street, you don’t get behind June, you go and find the retired couple next door who answered the phone call from a subprime lender who tricked them into changing from their almost paid off 30 year fix loan to an exploding ARM. ”

If we’re going to consider canonizing Ms. Reyno as the matron saint of the anti-foreclosure movement, I’d like to see a lot more information on this alleged failed business plan to help the disabled. Right now what I see is a Realtor who, while probably not as intrinsically evil as some might want to believe, got caught up in a scheme that most of the country got caught up in and ended up over her head.

Do I feel bad for her? Yes, it sucks to lose your home, your credit, your honor. Do I feel she’s already been “bailed out?” Yes, she’s gotten over a year’s worth of free rent, and, for however noble reason she did it, she took hundreds of thousands of dollars from a series of banks and squandered it, forcing them to take a loss.

But enough on June Reyno. There are people out there that need help and would make much better poster children for the movement. Lots of people are duped into accepting loans they don’t understand. It could be the borrower’s education level, it could be their inability to decipher documents in English without a proper translation available, it could be (in all too many cases) that the mortgage broker flat-out lied about the terms. These people need help, but what kind of help they should get is debatable. Can we really just say that there should be no more foreclosures, and that everyone in America should have a permanent holiday from paying housing costs? If we want to go that route, what happens when the banks lose their revenue streams, are no longer willing to make loans (or they just don’t have the capital), and your money on deposit is sucked up just running the day-to-day operations until the banks go broke? Don’t tell me you think the FDIC has enough money to insure you, something like 15% of their reserves went into cleaning up the IndyMac mess, a relatively insignificant regional bank in the grand scheme of things.

Do we decide to just give hundreds of billions of dollars to the banking industry? Of everything I could think to do, that’s got to be the stupidest idea I can imagine. At this point, I believe we’re looking at a massive redistribution of wealth upward in the financial markets, where the big banks (think Citi, Wells Fargo, B of A) keep acquiring the smaller ones by merger or by buying their assets at pennies on the dollar after governmental intervention (think Countrywide, WaMu, National City, or lots of others too small for the corporate media to care about). This in turn creates entities the government deems “too big to fail,” implying the entire economy could go kaput with the sinking of one of these Titanics, and allows them to cut to the front of the line when it comes time for the handouts. What this will eventually do is kill the small community and regional banks with a couple or a couple hundred outlets in favor of feeding the giants with thousands or more locations. Can I get a show of hands – who thinks a mega-corporation like Citi cares more about investment in your community than a small regional player with 100% of their involvement in the SoCal economy?

I’ve got a kinda hare-brained suggestion for bailing out Wall Street and Main Street simultaneously, but this rant is already too long to be worth reading…how about we get banks to get into the principal-forgiveness game, with the federal bailout money helping to offset some of their losses and homeowner guarantees to offset the government’s loss. Did you buy a house worth $500K a few years ago with 10% down and a $450K loan, only to find out that same house is now worth $350K and there’s no way you can afford a $450K loan even if you wanted to? How about the bank reduces the principal balance on your loan to $315K (90% of what it’s now worth) and sets a fixed rate and payment structure you can actually afford? The government gives the bank $67.5K to offset half the loss they’re taking by forgiving the debt, the borrower signs an agreement preventing them from refinancing or selling without a consequence for a period of years…say that if they sell the property within a year of the restructuring, the bank gets 50% of the proceeds after settlement costs and the other half goes back into the government bailout fund. These percentages could decrease for a number of years, thus preventing speculators from accepting the bailout and then dumping the properties scot-free while rewarding owner-occupants and long-term investors with an eventual restoration of their full ownership interest.

Time to end the rant before I get into my feeling about how radically this bubble is going to alter the concept of land ownership in this country forevermore…

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avatar Frank Gormlie November 3, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Dave, or anyone else: we publish what we call a ‘reader rant’ – so feel free to submit one anytime – simply go thru our contact page – see top bar.

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avatar John November 4, 2008 at 3:34 pm

June Reyno, did you tell your “supporters” that you took out over $500k from your houses? Did you tell them that you speculated and bought over 7 houses? How can you possibly manage to afford 7 damn houses, especially in California?! After essentially gambling your money away, you want the government and the taxpayers to bail you out?! You lived at your house for 19 f’in years – you should’ve had a good portion of your house paid off by now! Oh wait, you refinanced, took out equity, and didn’t know what an ARM was. You’re a f’in real estate agent! Even if you’re not a real estate agent, you’re making the biggest purchase of your life and you sign papers without even knowing what you’re getting into? Please… Whatever happened to taking responsibility for your actions…

CHITO QUIJANO: Here’s an answer to her question regarding why the Fed bailed out the banks and not the homeowners. The banks needed to be bailed out because there was too much systematic risk, which could result in the failure of the U.S. or even the global economy as a whole. The banks offered these risky loans, yes, but it was up to the homeowner to accept and understand how these loans work. Because I offered to sell you a car and told you that it can also fly, you’re going to buy it without taking it for a spin or doing some research? The economy is in the gutter but I still have my house and making my mortgage payments. Why is that? It’s called be a responsible citizen.

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avatar OB Joe November 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm

John – c’mon, man, move on; others have already made your point, and made it better. I hope you voted, as there’s a lot more important things to do today than to hammer against this woman.

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avatar Vicky November 4, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Does anyone know if the sheriff has come out and removed her from the house yet? Or if she gave up and left on her own?

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avatar megan March 22, 2009 at 10:45 am

i used to live in one of her houses in palm springs.

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