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We meet every Thursday, 6 p.m., at Old St. John's church, located at 2120 Russell, next to Eastern Market, Detroit. It's just off I-75, and has ample parking -- enter from the parking lot side door. See map.
In 36th District Court on Dec. 3, 2015, enants in Detroit's Ryan Court Apartments have for now avoided getting evicted by owners who got millions of dollars in tax breaks to rehab about 200 subsidized apartments.
The law says the owners must provide alternative housing to the tenants while the rehab is underway and then move the tenants back into the rehabbed units -- or provide moving expenses and Vouchers to tenants who want to leave. The owners instead tried to evict tenants for bogus reasons to avoid their legal responsibilities.
Thanks to all who came to court to help the Ryan Court tenants stand firm. While these evictions were dismissed, the owners may be trying in other ways to get the tenants to leave. Please stay tuned. We've had enough of vulture owners who attack our neighborhoods. Find out more.
Ray Mandry gets settlement, not eviction
|Video tells the shocking story of how Ray Mandry, a vet who has disabilities, had to fight the government he served, as it tried to evict him from his home.|
|Photo by Daymon Hartley|
|Over 60 supporters of Martinez had marched on a Chase Bank branch.|
|UAW President Bob King was among those who rallied in support of Mr. Martinez.|
|Metro Times did a great story on the Paramount homeowners & the day they got the Pension Board to give them a spot on the agenda. Read the story|
|The Detroit News carried an excellent front page story about the "Metro homeowners left in lurch"' by the Paramount scandal.|
|When a dumpster arrived unexpectedly & police prepared to evict the Cullors, a crowd quickly gathered to defend the family.|
|At a spirited rally at the downtown Federal Building, 60-70 people protested Fannie Mae's refusal of the offer by Michigan Lending Solutions to buy Jennifer's house at its appraised value and keep her in her home.|
|UAW Local 600 made this inspiring video of the protest vs. the Britt eviction at Flagstar Bank.|
|U.S. Rep Hansen Clarke told 70 people at Britt's house that "Fannie Mae is using our tax dollars to bail out the bank and evict our neighbors from their homes." See video highlights of the rally.|
People's campaigns saved homes
& exposed foreclosure abuses
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#whitfield
|"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..." Detroit Free Press article|
Lela Whitfield wins tough battle for her home!
Sept. 13 support concert at Lela's home
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 Nov., 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.
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.
When Lela's Mom had 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.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#gratiotMcdougall
|Lawyer Vanessa Fluker snaps a picture of Gratiot-McDougall activists at event where they thanked her.|
Gratiot McDougall families celebrate victory after developer tried for years to evict them
After years of fighting to save their homes in the courts and the community, the 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.
Stephens family regains home in 7-year battle
Kept bank from evicting 93-year-old Mom
Denise and Bernard 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."
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#sanders
A group visited the investor's management company to get them to sell Ms. Sanders back her home.
80-year-old Detroit woman wins back home lost to confusion over tax fees
Campaign convinced California investor to return Detroit home for little more than what he paid at tax auction
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 for the Detroit home she's lived in for 40 years. 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.
It was snapped up by aCalifornia investorfor $2300. He at first insisted she'd have to pay six times that amount to get her home back. But a Feb. 3 protest at the investor's management company that won news coverage on Michigan Public Radio. helped convince him toto sell Ms. Sanders back her home at a price she can manage.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#hernandez
|In a video by Excellent Schools Detroit, the Hernandez sisters talked about what their home means to them and how the threat of eviction weighs on them. See video.|
|Twice last fall, crowds of 50+ rallied in support of the family.|
Hernandez family buys back home after long fight vs. deceit & eviction
They fought eviction for over a year, also regained money stolen by mortgage imposter
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 we twice visited his home, alerted neighbors, and complained to the Attorney General, Sandoval had to leave his luxury home and was imprisoned. The stolen amount was returned to the family, which used it to buy the home back.
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.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#sims
Marie Sims wins fight to regain home
Fannie Mae had ignored her right to rebuy home & sold it to someone else
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 her 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 & her defenders finally convinced the buyer to sell the home back to her at a fair price.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#FHCvictory
Fight vs. unjust evictions wins change in Ferndale Housing Commission policy
Charmonique Hopkins gets to stay in her home, is paid the past rent & bills the Commission had denied her
|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 3 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, and 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. (See Oakland County115 write-up on the victory.)
Organizing made the difference -
This victory was won due to the stand-up efforts of both Ms. Hopkins and Ms. Benton and the solidarity and direct action of Detroit Eviction Defense and Detroit Tenant Defense. Both women spoke eloquently about the struggles they went through, stress and homelessness, the impact on their families caused by the racist actions of Ferndale Housing Commission.
Eviction dismissed, Smith regains home!
|In her fight to save her home, Tsehaya Smith (r.) created this beautiful banner that Jerry Cullors helps hold up.|
Tsehaya Smith is buying back home she saved from blight
On August 7, 2014, Fannie Mae, the federally-controlled mortgage company, agreed to dismiss the eviction case against Ms. Smith and hammer out a deal to sell her back her home.
Ms. Smith and her lawyer bargained hard for a reasonable selling price, and United Community Housing Coalition is chipping in with a loan.
Smith was threatened with eviction from her family home of 50 years just as the December holidays approached. With Eviction Defense help, she organized tirelessly and did a great job presenting her case. She had already paid Fannie Mae thousands of dollars, and put thousands more into repairing the home. The fight caused her stress and lost income, but thanks to our solidarity and Tsehaya's strong stance, Fanny Mae's terms came down to earth.
|In June, 2013, in Southwest Detroit, over 75 people marched on Chase Bank to help Gregorio Martinez save his home.|
|Photo by Daymon Hartley.|
Gregorio Martinez gets his home back!
During the year Chase Bank tried to evict Martinez, it learned that he could not be moved without a fight. After two marches, packed courtrooms & other popular pressure, the bank officially withdrew its eviction request. By working with HUD, Martinez finally got back his home at a reasonable price in Sept. 2013..
Chase Bank had paid $2800 at sheriff’s sale to purchase Gregorio Martinez’s home. He could have redeemed his home for that amount-- if he had known it. But all notices were in English, not the Spanish Gregorio can read. Gregorio later offered to pay Chase Bank the $2800 to save his home, but Chase Bank refused to negotiate & moved to evict.
Gregorio is a retired autoworker, has lived in his home for more than 15 years, and has been active in the community even longer. After retirement, Mr. Martinez had temporarily fallen behind on his mortgage, due to extraordinary financial needs of family members.
At one point more than 60 people rallied and marched through his embattled Southwest Detroit neighborhood to picket a Chase branch. State Rep. Rashida Tlaib and a UAW official sat down in the bank.
Paramount homeowners stop mass eviction, win back homes
After we packed courtrooms, Pension Board meetings
|Some of the homeowners & supporters who filled the courtroom.|
At a packed Circuit Court hearing in December, 2013, Judge John Gillis set aside the Detroit Police and Fire Pension Board's motion for mass eviction of 57 homeowners who had been defrauded by the now-defunct Paramount Land Holdings. The Judge restored the right of each homeowner to due process, and at least 47 have now bought titles to the homes they had been led to think they already owned.
Trying to make homeowners scapegoats for fraudulent investment
Paramount was a scam developer funded by the Detroit Police and Fire Pension Board. When Paramount collapsed, homeowners discovered their titles were never registered, and they were also socked with bills for back taxes Paramount had promised it had paid. The Pension Board moved to evict the homeowners rather than negotiate a fair deal. Homeowners were also threatened with foreclosure by the County for Paramount's unpaid taxes.
Homeowners were finally allowed to make their case to the Board after they and their supporters crowded a previous Pension Board meeting, getting excellent press coverage.
Pat Hale-Green & 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.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#herhold
Gail Herhold & her toddler got back their home
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.
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!
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#dexter
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.
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.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#burkes
Tax foreclosure nightmare ends:
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.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#crockett
Angela Crockett gets to buy back her home
Fanne 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.
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.
Ray Mandry fought eviction & is now safe in his home.
Homeowners get settlement, not eviction
Three homeowners who testified at our People's Hearing won settlements with Fannie Mae that kept them from being evicted. Confidentiality clauses keep us from giving details, but they are:
Ray Mandry, a veteran with disabilities who was unemployed during the Great Recession Hear his story; Thea Simmons, who fell behind on her mortgage after the City of Detroit laid her off; and Edward Khammo, who went into default after becoming seriously ill.
Our hearing got their attention
All three had applied for modifications from the two banks servicing the mortgages for Fannie Mae, Chase and Bank of America. The banks then "lost" paperwork, switched personnel, and ran up profitable late fees during phony trial mortgage modifications or forbearance before suddenly seeking eviction orders on behalf of Fannie Mae.
We apparently got Fannie Mae's attention at the People's Hearing held in May, 2013, even though Fannie Mae officials who had promised to attend backed out at the last moment. The day after Ray Mandry testified to the empty chairs we had placed in the hall for the missing officials, Fannie Mae lawyers called and talks began for a settlement. Mandry got a "reasonable" loan modification that allows him to remain in his home.
|Jerry Cullors and his daughter|
With action from Eviction Defense
Cullors family saved their home of 23 years
In response to an emergency call for help, neighbors in Detroit's Rosedale Park rallied early Hallowe'en morning, Oct. 31, 2013, to defend the Cullors family from being evicted and having all their belongings tossed into the dreaded dumpster they discovered next to their home. The crowd delayed the wrecking crew just long enough for an Eviction Defense lawyer to rush to court and win an emergency motion to halt the eviction. The Cullors family was targeted for eviction by Bank of America & Fannie Mae - but when the Cullors refused to leave and supporters packed the courtroom on Nov. 13, the judge agreed to delay eviction. The protests convinced Fannie Mae to drop the case and send it back to Bank of America to negotiate a modified mortgage.
The Cullors now have a mortgage they can afford and are secure in their home -- and are active with Eviction Defensehelping other homeowners.
How this courageous family almost lost their home:
Jerry Cullors is a retired bakery truck driver who lives with his wife and daughter and her 88-year-old grandmother (who suffers from Alzheimer's) in a lovely home they've owned for 23 years.
When Jerry had to take steep wage and pension cuts to keep Wonder Bread solvent, the family had trouble paying the mortgage serviced by Countrywide, the predatory lender now owned by Bank of America. They were told they owed $180,000 on a home that would sell for less than a sixth of that price.
Bank of America led the Cullors to believe they would qualify for a trial modification before denying them relief and suddenly bringing eviction proceedings on behalf of Fannie Mae. The Cullors expected to get help from their former lawyer and mortgage counselors, but found out at the last minute they were on the verge of eviction.
Bank of America has pled guilty to foreclosure abuse and is obligated to buy back mishandled mortgages from Fannie Mae and reduce principal for “underwater” homeowners -- only after we put on the heat, did it do so!
|Big crowd turned out at Detroit home of Alma Counts to support her.|
Alma Counts gets back her home, foreclosure stopped!
Alma is a paralyzed senior citizen on fixed income who fought being foreclosed on by Chase Bank and Freddie Mac, the federal agency that took over her mortgage. Even after the bank had pedged to modify mortgages and stop foreclosure fraud, it nullified Counts' previous modification and doubled her payments. UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, community leaders, and Vanessa Flucker, who fought for Counts in court, were among those who addressed the crowd that gathered outside her home to support her.
It took over a year, but in May, 2013, Ms. Counts won the right to buy back her home at the real market value, which is a fraction of the outrageous payments the bank had been demanding.
Judge holds off eviction of the Armstrongs
Thanks to all who supported them in 36th District Court
Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong paid the property taxes they owed on their Detroit home – but then were shocked to discover that Detroit kept the money for future tax bills instead of passing it on to Wayne County. The County sold their home to a management company, which then took them to court to evict them.
Because the Armstrongs were not properly notified that they were foreclosed on, Judge Ruth Ann Garrett refused to approve the eviction order. As the group of supporters in the courtroom helped bolster their case, the family won a 30-day reprieve.
|Mr. & Ms. Orozco|
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. 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.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#hines
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, wasithreatened 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.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#rebecca
Rebecca F. wins home she saved
British owner stops trying to evict & gives up house he'd left empty & dangerous
After we helped Rebecca put pressure on English developer Peter Kirby and his management company, Kirby gave up tryng to evict her, and is walking 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. But for now, Rebecca and her four small children and teenager have a home.
When Rebecca, a survivor of domestic violence, rented this Detroit house through an ad in Craiglist, thieves and addicts had trashed it and it was left wide open. The landlord who took her deposit disappeared but Rebecca's managed to turn the abandoned house into a warm home.
Although Kirby had left the home vacant and neglected since 2010, his management company tried to evict Rebecca.
After she won support from neighbors and ten minutes before our planned picket of the management company, they gave up their ploy to evict and said that Kirby will walk away and let the property go into tax foreclosure.
By turning this dangerous eyesore into a home, Rebecca took a courageous stand against one of the many predatory investors who run roughshod over Detroit's neighborhoods as they try to make a quick buck in a city they neither understand nor respect.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#boudreaux
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 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.
To link to this story copy: detroitevictiondefense.org/success.php#andrews
Campaign helped Andrews Acheampong save family home
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.
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 3 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.
2014 Tax foreclosure victims get back their homes
Four courageous homeowners refused to be evicted by investors
|Proud homeowners display titles to the homes they fought to keep. From left, Urealdene Henderson, Mr. and Ms. Cruz Valdez, and Kyley Givens.|
|Photo by Terry Hall, Occupied Detroit Free Press|
When four homeowners-- Urealdene Henderson, Mr. and Mrs. Cruz Valdez, and Kyley Givens -- found out their homes had been bought out from under them at tax foreclosure, they courageously resisted being evicted by the investors who took over their homes.
Detroit Eviction Defense helped organize activists, neighbors, and union members to publicly back them in the courts and the streets in their fight to regain their homes. All four proudly brought their newly signed deeds to our April 25 meeting to share their victory with supporters.
Urealdene Henderson won home back
After Metro Property threatened, demanded huge payment
|40 supporters picketed Metro Property Management leasing office|
Ms. Henderson had lived in her Detroit home for 36 years. She worked at Great Lakes Steel as a member of the Steelworkers union for 34 years, but after being diagnosed with cancer she was off work for three years. She returned to work in 2009, only to be laid off, and got behind on her property taxes. She now is retired on disability.
Ms. Henderson had a deal with the Wayne County Treasurer to pay $2,100 to prevent tax foreclosure. Through no fault of her own, her payment arrived three days late -- and the Treasurer had already sold her home to Metro Property Management for $7,000.
Jennifer Britt fended off eviction, saved home!
Detroit's Grandmont-Rosedale neighborhood offers key support
Jennifer had paid $46,000 to save a Rosedale Park, Detroit home that's worth $25,000; 100 people held dawn-to-dusk vigil for 2 months to prevent eviction.
|As vigil began July 19, Jennifer told her story to WWJ reporter, who found bank's actions "unbelievable."|
|Video by Bob Ingalls|
With quick dual action:
We stopped eviction of
Bertha and William Garrett
The Garrett family fell behind on their mortgage when the daughter was laid off and the father suffered a stroke. William is legally blind and disabled and refused to leave the single-story Detroit house where the family has lived for 22 years.
How we won
When we found out that Bank of New York Mellon Trust planned to evict them, we quickly organized a rally at the bank's offices. At the same time, a group held a vigil at the Garrett home. When the dreaded dumpster arrived, it couldn't get to the house. The bank retreated, and the Garretts bought back their home for the auction price.
After 100-plus people marched on Bank of America:
Rob and Debbie Henry fought eviction
& won modified mortgage
|See video of news conference where Henry's told their story|
The Henrys couldn't keep up with their Bank of America mortgage after Debbie had a stroke and could no longer work full time. The value of their house had plunged by two-thirds, and the bank and its insurer had been bailed out with billions of taxpayer dollars. Yet it abruptly ended the Henry's reduced payment plan and without explanation, tried to instead evict the family.
We joined Occupy Our Homes in backing the Henry's fight against the bank's cruel intentions. The public outcry helped this family get a modified mortgage and stay in their home!