On a clear, unseasonably warm day in early February, Tanya Dennis led about 30 people in a demonstration outside of a bank branch in Oakland, Calif. Dennis and the group were there in support of 77-year-old Katie Mitchell and her family, who had entered the bank minutes before to request a modification of her home loan. Dennis hadn't planned to be an advocate or an inspiration for San Francisco Bay Area homeowners facing foreclosure, nor did she want to be one a year ago. Dennis' experience fighting foreclosure would thrust her into the media spotlight, and lead others to follow her example. Her story illustrates some of the complexities of the current foreclosure climate and illuminates a trend by a subset of homeowners facing foreclosure who choose a proactive approach in negot...