Category: Victories!

Rebecca gets the deed to the home she saved

Rebecca and her baby.

Escaping from a domestic violence relationship in 2013 and living in her van with her children, now ages 4 to 19, Rebecca found a home on the west side. As she explained to a Detroit News reporter:

“We were literally on the verge of freezing to death in my van,” she said. “So I went into a house that was wide open, and I secured it, and I started fixing it up, cleaning it up. … It’s taken four and a half years to finally get the deed to the property, and I could not be happier.”

British owner stops trying to evict & gives up house he’d left empty and dangerous

 After DED helped Rebecca put pressure on English developer Peter Kirby and his management company, Kirby gave up tryng to evict her. He walked away from the property in Detroit that Rebecca had moved her family into. Since Kirby didn’t pay his taxes, she had to fight tax foreclosure in the fall of 2015.

She applied to a program open to Detroit residents who have lost their homes due to foreclosure and completed a year-long course. She paid $1,000 and saved $100 a month to put toward property taxes. In addition she, and many friends and supporters, replaced some of the windows and upgraded the plumbing. On August 14 she received the deed to her house from Mayor Duggan.

Of course she has plans to make the house self-sustaining with solar panels, rainwater collection and composting toilets.

The path to home ownership was years in the making for Rebecca, and there were many dark days. But as a mother and activist, she refused to give up!

Congratulations, Rebecca!

 

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Tonya Won Her Home!

Another Black Woman in Detroit fought to keep her home – and won!vzm-img_20160703_123958-2-11-1

HUD oversees Freddie Mac, who bought Tonya’s house for $300. Freddie Mac was trying to evict Tonya, but Detroit Eviction Defense joined with her to say she is here to stay. We organized a rally in front of the HUD offices at the Federal Building.

Tonya was eventually able to reach a settlement with Freddie Mac and JP Morgan Chase Bank. The eviction case was dismissed and she now owns her home free and clear of any mortgage.

The background: Tonya Pace bought her home from her Grandmother in 2003 to keep it in the family. Tonya had been working with Chase Bank on a modification. The bank was wasting Tonya’s time and gave her the run around, doing the well known “bank paper shuffle” for 9 months. Without notice, Continue reading “Tonya Won Her Home!”

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Hines family wins chance to buy back their home

Fannie Mae responds to pressure, backs off eviction attempt

Hines family, with Samuel on the right.

Samuel Hines, a 59-year-old Detroiter suffering from stage four cancer, was threatened with eviction from his family home of thirty-five years. Fannie Mae, the federally-run mortgage company, was planning to evict him by April 5, 2016.

Samuel had lived in the home with his mother Dorothy, who had taken out a reverse mortgage with Financial Freedom. In the confusion after her death, Fannie Mae filed an eviction action against the family.

The Hines family tried to buy the home from Fannie Mae at market value. After adamantly refusing the offer, Fannie Mae finally backed down.

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Pat Hale-Green and daughter win back their home

When Pat Hale came to Eviction Defense,she had been trying for two years to get CitiMortgage to modify her mortgage. Ms. Hale-Green had paid off her original mortgage, but fell behind on a second mortgage after she suffered a major pay cut and divorce. Then she discovered her house had been sold at the Sheriff’s sale even as she was trying to get help from the Step Forward program.

Even though Ms. Hale had a right to buy back her house in the redemption period, she got a notice of eviction. The LLC company that had bought her home at the Sheriff’s sale was hard to even locate.

Thanks to DED support, she now has won back full title to the home.

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Gratiot McDougall families celebrate victory after years of facing eviction


After years of fighting to save their homes in the courts and the community, 15 Gratiot McDougall families threatened with eviction by developer Peter Barclae finally won the right to buy their homes.

Barclae had turned his back on the promises he originally made to the families when they moved into their homes in Detroit’s Gratiot-McDougall area. But he finally gave in to years of pressure and agreed to sell all 15 homes to United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC), the Detroit non-profit that will sell the homes to the families.

Congrats to all who helped them win

They picketed Barclae’s business properties, joined rallies and fundraisers, and packed city council, court and mayoral meetings. They made phone calls urging Barclae to settle and contributed to UCHC to help them buy the homes. But the real key to victory was the amazing way the families held together through all the pressure, kept the faith, and refused to give up.

Stopping the selling of their homes

Peter Barclae, the Oakland County developer not only refused to make good on his promises, but also tried relentlessly to evict them. He claimed all their payments were for renting. But after he got a Singapore-based company, Midas, to start selling their homes, 40-plus people braved the pouring rain to protest at Midas’ office in Pontiac.

Picketing Midas.

Channel 2 and other media showed up as the group provided Midas evidence of Barclae’s illegal bait-and-switch. Within hours, Midas had removed all the homes from its listings.

Confronting Mayor Duggan at a District 5 Detroit meeting

On September 25, at a District 5 Detroit meeting, a group wearing new T-shirts showing their support for Gratoit -McDougall families got Mayor Duggan’s attention in their crusade to stop the unjust evictions.Detroit had given taxpayer money to Peter Barclae, a failed developer from West Bloomfield, to build affordable homes in the Gratiot McDougall area.

Confronting Mayor Duggan.

The Mayor agreed they got a “raw deal” and says he’ll do whatever is in his power to help them get justice.

Barclae ploys foiled in Court

Barclae kept insisting the $40,000 – $70,000 he’s collected from these homebuyers was only “rent” and they were “tenants.” The homeowners sued to stop this arrogant breach of contract, enforce their right to buy the homes, and save their neighborhood from the blight that will follow if they are evicted.

Supporters joined them at a June 20 hearing where the Judge was so surprised by Barclae’s marketing of homes in dispute that she delayed the company’s demand for escrow.

Subsequently, on July 25 and Sept. 5 the families fought back against bogus motions to evict them so the developer could sell their homes. Each time supporters were there to back them up. Barclae’s various attempts to evict failed in court.

The happy conclusion

In the end,  the Gratiot McDougall families won the right to buy their homes. The determination of the families — and with the support of DED — and their willingness to publicize their stories was key to their success.

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Stephens family regains home in 7-year battle

Kept bank from evicting 93-year-old Mom

Victory came with persistence,.

Denise and Bernard Stephens were determined to fight the unfair eviction case against her 93-year old mother and win back the family home lost to a bank’s unjust foreclosure action. Now the bank has finally sold them back their home at a price they can afford, and they took possession of the deed on March 11, 2016.

“We are David going up against Goliath but remember David won the battle!!” said Denise, who also gave “Thanks to Detroit Eviction Defense for all you do.”

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