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Occupy Lansing to protest Chase Bank branch

Participants of the Occupy Wall Street-inspired Occupy Lansing will protest the downtown Lansing branch of Chase Bank Tuesday afternoon. In a press release sent out this morning, the protests were explained:

“Chase Bank is one of the abusive lending institutions responsible for the sputtering economy,” said Ian Eberhart, one of the Oct. 18 spokespersons. “The company took $25 billion in tax payer bail out cash, yet they continue to refuse to issue payroll credit to small businesses in Michigan. On top of that, they have avoided paying tens of millions of dollars in state and local title transfer taxes, robbing local communities of vital fire, police and other services.”

Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel, Jr. filed suit earlier this year against Chase and other banking institutions to recoup title transfer taxes. Those taxes, Hertel argues in his filings, were avoided by transferring titles through the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS). MERS facilitated transfers which in turn allowed banks to sell mortgages on the market. Many of those mortgages and titles were transferred hundreds of times.

But that is not all the protesters are upset about.

“In addition to the bail outs and tax dodging, Chase manipulates accounts in order to cause excessive overdraft fees for customers,” said Nick Cooper, the other Oct. 18 spokesperson, who is a former Chase account holder. “Then to add insult to injury, this tax evading company is cavorting with mortgage foreclosure companies who have knowingly filed fraudulent foreclosure documents in order to steal the homes of hard working men and women in this country and state.”

Protesters also noted that Linda Orlans, the owner of Orlans Associates, recently held a fundraiser for Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. Marshall Isaacs, an attorney at Orlans, has been accused in a national robo-signing scandal.

In addition to the protest from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., protesters say Hertel will join them at Reutter Park to educate them on the foreclosure process and abuses.

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