Firstly, banks use bookkeeping magic to electronically create money which they lend out to the public & government at compound interest. They don't actually have all that money - only a small fraction. This is called fractional reserve banking. It's intrinsically unstable because the economy can never grow exponentially along with the debt.
Over the last 15 years the Federal Reserve under Greenspan suppressed the prime interest rate, causing an enormous bubble in home prices. Criminal 'control fraud' organizations such as Freddie Mac committed various crimes such as fraudulent inducement, securities fraud, fraudulent conveyance, etc., to bundle mortgages which were likely to collapse as AAA securities. They got fat bonuses and Freddie Mac used its government backing to basically create insurance for bondholders in the event of default, then resold these securities again. In Nov 2011 FreddieMac was forced to pay the federal govt tens of millions $$ for orchestrating staggering securities fraud at the executive level (bundling Alt-A mortgages as AAA etc)
In order to create these fraudulent securities, the banks set up a go-between shell organization called MERS, Mortgage Electronic Registration System, which unlawfully poses as the legal entity with authority to foreclose on people for basically any reason, though it usually doesn't have the mortgage note in a valid chain of title. MERS was used to obfuscate any path to ameliorate housing issues, i.e. you could never even reach the responsible party on the phone, if you could determine who they even were.
Housing prices across the US finally started to crash around 2007-2008. The whole system had been predicated on rising prices which only occurred because the money was magically created thru fractional reserve at suppressed interest rates. As prices fell, thousands of homes had mortgages where the principal demanded exceeded the value of the home - these went 'underwater' as homeowners entered negative equity despite making years of payments. If they quit paying they entered foreclosure, further depressing local prices, a vicious spiral. Today the banks possess millions of empty homes and keep them off the market in order to create the illusion that market prices have stabilized, but in fact price discovery has been halted and 'fake prices' rule the day.
Don't say the "F" word or else!
In the political system 'regulatory capture' has taken over most levels wherein no official with any kind of power, i.e. Sheriff Stanek, Mayor Rybak, are willing to even say the word 'fraud' and defend the public welfare from organizations that orchestrate these crimes & no decisions are taken in favor of the Little People. The housing court in MN does not offer any redress for fraud or in the case of the Cruz house, bank errors wherein the bank demands an unachievable amount of money for their own mistake.
Therefore a broad network of people have undertaken a direct action campaign to resist the political functions occurring under the regulatory capture such as sheriffs sales and evictions. Through demonstrations and occupying the homes directly, the figures who have the arbitrary power, such as the bookkeeping-magic powered banking industry & the feckless politicians who collect political contributions from the compound interest machine, are forced to let people retain their homes and reduce the principal due on the underwater mortgages, which was never necessary in any sense and was only a lever to consolidate wealth into an ever-smaller group of people.
That's the theory anyway -- the authorities are willing to carry out extreme levels of state violence to maintain momentum in the regulatory capture & control fraud system which prevails today.
People who care are forced to join Occupy Homes because:
The US federal government sent the Banksters $13T, the entities which created this mess.
What did the Banksters' do with their welfare? It didn't direct money to solve title problems, it gambled the trillions on more toxic debt around the world.
Experts such as Ellen Brown urged full redress. She and others suggested a massive settlement that left the banks feeling the sting -- along with the restructuring of banking itself. Too Big To Fail meant Too Big To Manage. The FRAUD was seen as systemic. Robosigning/liar loans and the scourge of adjustable rate mortgages were to be abolished - whether by regulation or the imposition of State banks.
Instead, the AGs in the US accepted a bandaid rather than rehab to the heavily-bleeding victims, the taxpayers and shareholders..
Hopefully - in the name of fairness - local registrar of deeds and local judges will slap Banksters hard, because elected officials - many owned by Banksters and who could conceivably slap them - haven't: and logic dictates, won't.
And in the urge for fairness, it would seem that banks that participated in fraud should not be collecting interest on the monies paid out for VICTIMS. But they are; that's how State banking "regulation" is not working these days. Make a fraudulent attack on the public: Get paid for it.