Since California’s Homeowner Bill of Rights, a new law limiting the power of banks to foreclose, came into effect on January 1, homeowners in Richmond and Oakland have taken a more proactive stance in resisting foreclosures, protesting inside banking halls at Wells Fargo’s braches across the East Bay and forcing the bank to reschedule home sales.

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Bishop J.E. Watkins of Jack London Square Chapel, which holds services in Liberty Hall, speaks at Tuesday's press conference. Photo by Charles Berkowitz.

A coalition of tenants and concerned community members seeking to stave off the eviction a church and its programs from a historic West Oakland building held a press conference Tuesday morning at which speakers called the property an important neighborhood gathering point, and urged the city to help the Jack London Square Chapel Church and its media education and community outreach programs remain in the building.

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Oakland residents converged Tuesday on an East Oakland street that has been blighted by foreclosures, calling for a freeze on foreclosures until the Homeowners Bill of Rights comes into effect in January, 2013. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on July 2, which and will prevent banks from forcing families their homes while they are still negotiating mortgages settlements.

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