Category: Victories! (Page 2 of 5)

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.

Eighty-year-old Detroit woman wins back home lost to confusion over tax fees

Mary Sanders and her granddaughter, Kelley.

Campaign convinced California investor to return Detroit home for little more than what he paid at tax auction

Mary Jones-Sanders bought her home on Bewick in Detroit in 1975. This has been her home for more than 40 years. She has raised children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in this home. Ms. Sanders will be 80 years old this spring.

With support from Detroit Eviction Defense, Mary Jones-Sanders bought back her home from a California investor who had planned to profit from it. Because Ms. Sanders is living on a fixed income, she should have gotten a poverty tax exemption. But no one told her about it. Eventually she scraped together enough money to pay the taxes. Her home was sold at the fall, 2015 tax auction anyhow, because she didn’t realize she also owed $600 in fees.

Mary Sanders (left) and her lawyer (right) after discussion with the California investor who bought her home.

It was snapped up by a California investor for $2300. He at first insisted she’d have to pay six times that amount to get her home back.

Ann Arbor visit changed his mind

But a February 3 2016 protest at the investor’s management company in Ann Arbor and won news coverage on Michigan Public Radio. Within days, the investor agreed to sell Ms. Sanders back her home at a price she could manage. United Community Housing Coalition immediately offered her a loan to buy the house, and Eviction Defense hosted a fundraising event to help her with the payments.

Our elders are being victimized

Any Detroiter over 65 and in financial difficulty should immediately be handed the poverty exemption paperwork. How many long-time residents are kicked out of their homes because the city and county fail to tell people about this option?

Listen to her story on Michigan Public Radio here.

Gail Herhold and her toddler got their home back

Thanks to pressure, Fannie Mae finally changed course

In May, 2015, Fannie Mae and Green Tree Servicing were trying to throw Gail Herhold and her three-year old son out of the home she’s lived in for fifteen years. Because she had money problems back in 2012 Gail was late with three payments. Green Tree had relentlessly tried to evict her ever since.

 

How Gail found she can’t fight this alone

Green Tree had refused to accept her third late payment and suddenly, in January of 2013, Gail found out her house would be sold at a sheriff’s sale. She offered to pay everything within a few weeks, but Green Tree refused to work with Gail. Fannie Mae took over, and hired Green Tree to “service” the loan.

Gail was never one to ask for help, but after two years of trying to get justice on her own, she realized that she had to reach out to family and neighbors, and to stand up in public for her rights. When she met with Eviction Defense, she was enormously relieved to find out she isn’t alone after all.

In May 2015 Fannie Mae finally agreed to sell her back the home at market value.

Your calls helped Gail save their home!

Campaign helped Andrews Acheampong save family home

Andrews Acheampong and his children.

Our campaign convinced Bank of America to hold back on its threat to evict Andrews Acheampong, his wife and two children from his home of 25 years and finally grant the terms he needed to pay an inflated mortgage.

Mr. Andrews Acheampong, his wife and two children were threatened with eviction from his home of 25 years after Bank of America led him to believe he was on track to get a loan modification — and after he made the required payments.

Dangerous run-around nearly drove Acheampongs from their home

When Andrews had started getting fewer hours of work at his job as a truck driver, even as the mortgage payments kept going up, he reached out to Bank of America for a loan modification and in 2009 got a trial modification that cut his monthly payments from $1,261 to $997. The Bank promised that if he made three payments he’d get a permanent loan modification. But after Andrews made 5 payments, Bank of America refused to accept any more and threatened him with eviction.

After the bank turned back his payment, Andrews got a letter from an eviction firm asking if he wanted to be reviewed for a modification again. He said yes and turned in all the information, but was instead threatened again with eviction.

With support from DED, Andrews fought back and saved his home.

Lisa Boudreaux gets to keep home, after Freddie Mac tried to evict

Thanks to everyone who supported her!

Lisa Boudreaux was determined to keep the Detroit home where she grew up. Her Dad took out a $100,000 loan as housing values soared in 2006, and tried to get the loan modified before he died, after values had crashed. When he passed away the home went to Lisa, who had lived there 43 years. She turned to the Federal-State Step Forward program for aid, but as in most cases, the agency failed in its mandate to help.

Meanwhile, the home was taken over by Freddie Mac. Lisa made an offer in October 2014, but Freddie Mac never replied and instead filed to evict her. The judge gave her 30 days.

Lisa Boudreaux got in touch with Eviction Defense and lined up an investor to buy back her home and let her stay on a land contract. In April 2015 Freddie Mac finally agreed to accept her offer, thanks to the new national policy we fought for, that commits both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to sell homes they own at market value to keep the people who were foreclosed on in their homes.

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