Category: Victories! (Page 3 of 5)

They fought eviction for over a year, also regained money stolen by mortgage imposter

March through the neighborhood, 11/8/13.

The Hernandez family – Ludim and Gabriela, their three daughters Kriscia, Yelinne, and Litzy – refused to be evicted from-the Southwest Detroit home where they’ve lived for over a decade.

All-day vigils helped stave off eviction

In the fall of 2013 an outpouring of people rallied for the family, to stop the unfair eviction ordered for September. We marched, organized in the neighborhood (including a Halloween party), and camped out in a non-stop vigil at the home until the eviction order expired two months later.

Mortgage impostor stole their savings, got jailed

When they tried to buy back their home during the foreclosure process, the family got fleeced out of their life savings of $15,000 by Kenneth Sandoval, a wealthy man who presented himself as a mortgage representative. But after DED twice visited his home, alerted neighbors, and complained to the Attorney General, Sandoval had to leave his luxury home, was arrested, sentenced and imprisoned. The stolen amount was returned to the family, which used it to buy the home back.

Hernandez family and supporters celebrate victory.

Fanny Mae, which took over the home after foreclosure, finally relented on its systematic refusal to sell homes back to the families living in them. After demanding absurd amounts for a home in a neighborhood hard hit by foreclosure, it finally agreed to a reasonable price and sold back the home in the summer of 2015.

When Excellent Schools Detroit heard about the Hernandez family’s fight against being evicted from their Southwest Detroit home, they came out to talk with the family’s three daughters, Kriscia, Litzy, and Yelinne. The three explain the effect that the process has had on them, as the community rallied together with Detroit Eviction Defense to try to put a stop to this life-altering event.

¡No más! from Excellent Schools Detroit on Vimeo.

Marie Sims wins fight to regain home

Fannie Mae had ignored her right to rebuy home and sold it to someone else

Victory is sweet!

After Marie Sims couldn’t make her inflated mortgage payments, her Detroit home went into foreclosure.

The federally-owned Fannie Mae mortgage company bought it at a sheriff’s sale. Marie knew she had the right to buy her home back and made an offer of $5000. But instead Fannie Mae sold it for just $3600 to a man who wanted to evict her.

Under Michigan law, there’s a six-month “redemption period” after the sheriff’s sale, where a person has the right to buy back their home.  On top of that, Fannie Mae was supposed to follow a new policy that should have let Marie buy back the home at its real market value.

With support from Eviction Defense, Sims was determined not to leave. On April 24, she and her defenders finally convinced the buyer to sell the home back to her at a fair price.

Daryl & Lula Burke saved their home!

It had been sold in tax auction for one-tenth what they put into it

Daryl and Lula Burke had lost their home in 2014 tax auctions. They turned to Detroit Eviction Defense for support and won the right to buy back their home at a fair price.

The Burkes are lifelong Detroiters, and Daryl is a Vietnam veteran. In early 2014, shortly after falling into a coma and being stuck with a huge medical bill, Daryl had his Veteran Affairs pension check cut in half.

The Burkes got a foreclosure notice, but Veteran Affairs assured him they would take care of the back taxes.

They didn’t. On Christmas Eve, 2014, a representative from an investment corp. showed up at their home and told them that the company had bought their home for $5,500 in the auction – about a tenth of the money they’d put into the home. Under pressure, the company sold them back the home.

See article in Detroit Tax Foreclosure Is Crushing Families and Robbing County Funds

Fight vs. unjust evictions wins change in Ferndale Housing Commission policy

More than 60 people showed support for Charmonique at a Rent Party in September.

On January 21, 2015, the Ferndale Housing Commission voted to CHANGE THEIR POLICY which stated they wouldn’t give a housing voucher to anyone attempting to rent a home with a boarded-up house within three blocks.  This effectively removed Detroit as a housing option, and prevented people who want to live in Detroit from doing so.

They also returned housing vouchers to Ms. Charmonique Hopkins and to Ms. Teresa Benton and made Ms. Hopkins “whole” by paying her back rent and utility bills. This means  Ms. Hopkins and her family will remain in their home near Livernois and Fenkell. It means Ms. Benton and her family can return to the home they had been forced to vacate on Prevost in Detroit.  This is an important victory for these women and for the broader community.

This victory was won due to the efforts of both Ms. Hopkins and Ms. Benton and the solidarity and direct action of Detroit Eviction Defense and Detroit Tenant Defense.  Both spoke eloquently about the struggles they went through, including stress and homelessness, and the impact on their families caused by the racist actions of Ferndale Housing Commission.

See Oakland County 115 write-up on the victory here.

The Dexter family.

Freddie Mac was set to evict, but finally gave in to pressure, accepted her offer

Viewing a powerful video by Detroit Eviction Defense might have shamed this federally-owned mortgage company into halting its senseless drive to evict this family in November 2014.

By the time Lorraine Dexter realized that a checking account had been hacked and some mortgage checks bounced, Chase Bank had already moved to foreclose on her. Even after she had worked frantically to get the money she owed to the bank in time, Chase went ahead and foreclosed. Freddie Mac took over her home in the Sheriff’s sale and won a court order to immediately seize the home and put Ms. Dexter on the street.

Even after families in all the other homes on her block were evicted she vowed, “I’m the last one standing and I refuse to go easily.” Ms. Dexter’s courageous fight and support from Eviction Defense got Freddie Mac to cancel one eviction hearing after another and finally settle in early 2015.


Orozco family wins settlement

The Orozcos.

The Orozcos came to us in the fall of 2013 when they were facing possible eviction from their Southwest Detroit home during a time of economic distress. The federally-owned mortgage giant Fannie Mae had taken over, and an eviction hearing was set for December.

DED and supporters from UAW Local 600 marched through the neighborhood and onto the West Vernor business district in the heart of Southwest Detroit. As we passed the Orozco home, Mrs. Orozco and her son passed out cups of hot chocolate! With support from Eviction Defense, the family got a settlement they’re very happy with. They continue to offer strong backing to other distressed families.

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