Los Angeles Times

As 'fixed' loans spiraled, tens of thousands were forced from their homes

TIJUANA, Mexico - The eviction squads arrive in convoys, whisking attorneys, police officers, bank agents and teams of movers through the gates of the Canadas del Florido housing development.

They eject the residents, seal the front doors with bricks and post signs warning against break-ins. Abandoned units blight every block of this 2,000-home community. Squatters ignore the signs and take over, their flickering candles casting an eerie glow at night.

Maria De Jesus Silva's turn came on a spring day in 2014, when she found a thick stack of foreclosure documents on her doorstep.

According to the documents, the Bank of New York Mellon, acting as trustee on behalf of bondholders, had started the long legal process to evict Silva from the two-bedroom home she bought in 2006 and shared with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.

"I was shocked because New York Mellon is a very powerful bank, and I'm a very poor person," said Silva, who makes $225 a month working at a gas station.

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