Author: Detroit Eviction Defense (Page 2 of 6)

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.

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.

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Barclae had turned his back on the promises he originally made to the families when they moved into their homes in Detroit’s Gratiot-McDougall area.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.

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.”

Angela Crockett gets to buy back her home

Fannie Mae stops eviction process

Long-time Detroit resident Angela Crockett and her son were foreclosed on by Citibank while participating in the Home Affordable Unemployment Program (HAUP), in violation of the rules. After years of fighting eviction in the courts with DED support, Angela finally got Fannie Mae to agree to sell back her home in March, 2016.

As Angela kept paying, bank foreclosed

HAUP was designed to protect and assist unemployed homeowners. Angela was laid off from her engineering position at Ford Motor Company. She returned to school and got a master’s degree in 2008, but couldn’t find work in her field, and fell behind in her mortgage payments.

CitiMortgage, as a participant in HAUP, agreed to stop foreclosure and collections against participants. Nevertheless, it foreclosed without notifying her, using forged documents, and continued to collect payments.

Fannie Mae planned eviction

Fannie Mae took over the mortgage and twice turned down Crockett’s offers to buy her home back at current market value. But Angela, her family and supporters didn’t give up!

Lela Whitfield wins tough battle

After a grueling two-year legal battle and Eviction Defense support campaign, Lela Whitfield’s fight for her home was down to the wire — Fannie Mae asked the court for an eviction order in November 2015.

But Fannie Mae’s request struck Judge Cylenthia LaToye Miller as so unreasonable that she delayed signing the writ for 30 days to “see if we can’t work something out so that [Lela] stays in her home and Fannie Mae doesn’t have another vacant property in Detroit.”

The Judge recognized the people in the courtroom supporting Lela, and two reporters were taking notes.

“Whitfield’s problem began in 2005, when her mother fell prey to one of the mortgage industry’s most notorious types of loan — the reverse mortgage…” Go to Free Press Article here.

When Lela’s Mom died, Lela didn’t realized her mom had taken out a reverse mortgage. By the time she found out about it and that she had the right to buy the home, Fannie Mae had taken over the mortgage and moved to instead evict her. Fannie Mae spent huge amounts of taxpayers’ money to try to throw a hard-working woman out of a home appraised at just $9000.

Supporters stand with Lela Whitfield (center, blue shirt).

A children’s violin group prepare to play.

On September 13, 2015 DED organized, with neighbors — particularly the Feedom Freedom Farm across the street — a free concert attended by 150 supporters. Featuring local musicians, it was held in a lot just up the street from Whitfield’s home. The music ranged from neighborhood rap to blues to classical, gospel and much more. People came not just to be entertained but also to show solidarity with Lela Whitfield, a woman who was determined to save her home.

Victory at last – in battle that never should have happened

Listening to local rappers.

That launched months of tough negotiations and in March 2016, Lela finally won her right to buy back the home she grew up in at market value. Eviction Defense had mobilized support, including a community concert.

Go to Free Press article and video here.

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