Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Neighbors, friends and community organizations File Lawsuit Against GMAC on Rosemary Williams Foreclosure Case.
April 20, 2009
Neighbors, friends and community organizations
File Lawsuit Against GMAC on Rosemary Williams Foreclosure Case.
Wednesday, May 20, 9:00 a.m.
Location: GMAC Mortgage, 380 Jackson Street, Suite 700, St. Paul, MN
The Central Area Neighborhood Association, and neighbors of Rosemary Williams, a resident of south Minneapolis facing eviction as a result of a foreclosure on her house, have filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court to try and prevent her eviction by GMAC Mortgage LLC. The lawsuit alleges that GMAC will be creating a private nuisance, harmful to neighbors and the community, by creating another vacant house on a block already hard hit by the foreclosure crisis.
Williams, called a "pillar of the community" by her neighbors, has lived on the same block in south Minneapolis for over 55 years. The lawsuit alleges that vacant houses on the block have been magnets for crime and are poorly maintained by the financial companies that take possession when owners are evicted. Several houses on the block where Williams lives have already been stripped of copper and other valuable items, driving down property values. Neighbors seek to have Williams be allowed to stay in her home as part of an effort to stabilize the neighborhood and prevent additional harm to residents.
Steff Yorek, from the MN Coalition for a Peoples Bailout said, "Low income neighborhoods with high concentrations of people of color have been the hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. I live six blocks from Rosemary Williams, I see first hand how this hurricane of foreclosures is devastating my neighborhood."
Cheri Honkala is a neighbor of Rosemary Williams, of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign. The PPEHRC office is located in the Central neighborhood, states "Rosemary Williams is on the front lines of the fight against foreclosures. We are organizing in our neighborhood and our neighbors are behind her. We will do everything in our power to prevent her eviction."
This lawsuit is being filed ahead of Ms. Williams' trial on the foreclosure related eviction proceedings, which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 9am at the Hennepin County Government Center.
For more information contact:
Steff Yorek / Minnesota Coalition for a People's Bailout @ 612-865-8234
Cheri Honkala / Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign @ 267-439-8419
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Home of MN PPEHRC members Leslie and Tecora Parks was illegally broken into by Indymac Federal Bank.
Manuel Levins Holden
Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 19, 2009 - The Home of MN Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign members Leslie and Tecora Parks was illegally broken into by Indymac Federal Bank. The bank changed the locks in an attempt to prematurely evict the two women who've lived at their Park Avenue residence for over twenty years.
MN PPEHRC is planning a demonstration on May 29th at the Sheriff's office the day the home was scheduled to be sold at a sheriffs' foreclosure sale.
This crime, ten days before the home is scheduled to be sold has persuaded the women to attempt to obtain a restraining order against the bank to prevent them from re-attempting an illegal violation of their human rights.
Monday, May 11, 2009
MN PPEHRC secures meeting with Wells Fargo, upcoming actions, photos from Mother's Day Press Conference, and more!
- Join us for a rally for Rosemary Williams at the Hennepin County Government Center at 8am on May 26th before she goes to court to save her home and our neighborhood!
- On May 29th at 9AM, we will hold another Sheriff's Sale demonstration as they try to sell Leslie Parks and her mother's home. We must stop them from selling their homes!
by contacting Deeq Abdi at email@example.com
Mothers who've been foreclosed on seek help
By Jana Shortal, KARE 11 News
Updated: 5/11/2009 7:44:16 AM
If a home is the family castle, in many cases, the castle is crumbling.
On Sunday, three mothers stood with the group 'Minnesota Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign' to state their cases about being foreclosed upon and beg for mercy from the lending institutions.
"There have been three generations of Parks' to live in my mom's house," Leslie Parks said breakind down. "My mother, me, and my 88-year-old grandmother and to throw us out on the street makes no sense.
Leslie says her mother's home will be taken from them in a matter of weeks. Victims of a predatory lender, Leslie says, who sold them a mortgage her mother couldn't refuse and now a mortgage she couldn't possibly pay.
"We've been in that house 21 years, it just shouldn't happen."
Ann Patterson has a job, a husband and children.
She claims her bank will "not" work with her on a new mortgage and the result will be homelessness.
"The myth is not true; people that lose their houses deserve a break, a second chance, my children do not deserve to lose their house," Patterson said.
On Sunday the group came to call elected officials, the city and the county to action. They ask for help they say. They will pay their way but they want some help to find a mortgage rate that is livable.
Sheila Nelson came to the rally today to advocate for renters rights. Nelson has 4 children and says she was evicted after her landlord, unbeknownst to her, stopped paying his mortgage.
"I've got four kids, living on the streets. The shelters are full and we have been on the streets 3 months now," Nelson told the group.
The Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign Demands To Meet with Banks -To Save Homes & Neighborhoods! TODAY!
Cheri Honkala-National Organizer
The Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign Demands To Meet with Banks -To Save Homes & Neighborhoods! TODAY!
Neighbors & members of the PPEHRC have decided to join together to try and take on the big banks in order to save each others homes. Inspired by Rosemary Williams who is battling GMAC in order to keep her home after living on her block for 55 years, other families step forward to join in the fight.
"I have gone everywhere looking for the Obama money so that me and my children don't lose our home and I can't find it anywhere! Where's my families' bailout? If I wait any longer, my family will lose our home like many of my neighbors who are gone now." said Ann Patterson of MN PPEHRC.
Beginning with Wells Fargo, we intend to meet with each of these banks. If they refuse to meet and negotiate than we will set up a Tent City today at 1pm at the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Headquarter son 28th and 4th in Mpls. (Old Honeywell Building).
Mr. Blair is also intent on meeting will Wells Fargo in order to save his home. Mr Blair is past the 6 month redemption period, worked as a social worker for Mpls. for years with homeless families. Now disabled, he faces losing his home any day now
Friday, May 8, 2009
Press Release: Mothers Vow To Resist Evictions
May 8, 2009
Cheri Honkala, 267-439-8419
Manuel Levins Holden, 612-919-1064
Mothers Vow To Resist Evictions
On Mothers day May 10th at 2:00 pm a press conference will be held to announce that several south side residents are pledging to fight to keep their homes, and resist evictions brought on by the current foreclosure crisis.
With the support of Minnesota Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign
These families are committed to the prevention of their children becoming homeless. Together they are demanding the opportunity to re-negotiate the terms of their mortgages, with their mortgage companies.
Where: 3221 Bloomington Ave S.
Those fighting for their homes include:
- Marsha Myhre
- Leslie Parks
- Essie Jenkins
- Ann Patterson
- James Blair
- Sheila Nelson
- Donna Fletcher
- Rosemary Williams
"What's happening in our neighborhood and in our city is just morally wrong, we need to keep our families off the streets."
- Pastor Charles Graham
Macedonia Baptist Church
NY TIMES: Leaving the Trailers: Ready or Not, Katrina Victims Lose Temporary Housing
Leaving the Trailers: Ready or Not, Katrina Victims Lose Temporary
It is a slow yet steady process. Before the price of aluminum fell to 30 cents a pound, from 85 cents, he had accumulated more than $10,000, he said, almost enough to pay the electrician. But despite such progress, last Friday a worker from the Federal Emergency Management Agency delivered a letter informing him that it would soon repossess the trailer that is, for now, his only home.
"I need the trailer," said Mr. Hammond, 70. "I ain't got nowhere to go if they take the trailer."
Though more than 4,000 Louisiana homeowners have received rebuilding money only in the last six months, or are struggling with inadequate grants or no money at all, FEMA is intent on taking away their trailers by the end of May. The deadline, which ends temporary housing before permanent housing has replaced it, has become a stark example of recovery programs that seem almost to be working against one another.
Thousands of rental units have yet to be restored, and not a single one of 500 planned "Katrina cottages" has been completed and occupied. The Road Home program for single-family homeowners, which has cost federal taxpayers $7.9 billion, has a new contractor who is struggling to review a host of appeals, and workers who assist the homeless are finding more elderly people squatting in abandoned buildings.
Nonetheless, FEMA wants its trailers back, even though it plans to scrap or sell them for a fraction of what it paid for them.
"All I can say is that this is a temporary program, it was always intended as a temporary program, and at a certain point all temporary programs must end," said Brent Colburn, the agency's director of external affairs. He said there would be no extensions.
As of last week, there were two groups still in the agency's temporary housing program: more than 3,000 in trailers and nearly 80 who have been in hotels paid for by FEMA since last May, when it shut down group trailer sites. Most are elderly, disabled or both, including double amputees, diabetes patients, the mentally ill, people prone to seizures and others dependent on oxygen tanks.
Of those in trailers, more than 2,000 are homeowners who fear that the progress they are making in rebuilding will come to a halt if their trailers are taken.
"They had helped me out up until this point, and I couldn't believe that they suddenly decided, no, we're not going to let you finish the house, we're just going to take the trailer, and you can sit here on an empty lot," said Philipp Seelig, 70, a retired handyman. He said he was about two months from being able to move back into his duplex in the Broadmoor neighborhood. A grant to elevate his house to the required height did not come until December.
Progress on renovations has been slow for many reasons: contractors who did shoddy work or simply absconded with money, baffling red tape and rule changes, and inadequate grants. The opening of new rental units began to accelerate this year, but many projects have been stymied by the recession.
FEMA says it has done everything it can to help those in temporary housing. But, as is so often the case when it comes to Katrina issues, the agency's clients give a different account. Agency officials insist, for example, that they have been working "extensively" to help families in trailers and hotels find permanent solutions.
"A lot of people are involved in the process of making sure that no one falls through the cracks," said Manuel Broussard, an agency spokesman in Louisiana. "Everyone's been offered housing up to this point several times. And for various reasons, they have not accepted it."
But the dozen temporary housing occupants interviewed for this story said they had received little if any attention from FEMA workers and were lucky to get a list of landlords, much less an offer of permanent housing.
In Baton Rouge, Troy Porter, 47, had been staying in virtual isolation at a $100-a-night Courtyard Inn by Marriott since last June. There, his normally manageable depression deepened until, he said, he would go for weeks without leaving his room.
"The only time I've seen FEMA workers was in the last couple of weeks, where they come and give you the paper saying this month is your last month," Mr. Porter said. "They handed you the paper, and they turned around and walked off."
Mr. Porter perked up last week when he was visited by Sister Judith Brun, who has been working with Katrina evacuees. In her view, the type of case management endorsed by FEMA — which primarily involves handing someone a list of phone numbers for other overtaxed agencies and, according to numerous Katrina victims, declining to return phone calls — lacks the type of personal engagement that someone like Mr. Porter needs to become self-sufficient.
"Because nobody comes in at a personal level to help him recover," Sister Judith said, "it costs us tons of money."
Last year, the Louisiana Recovery Authority was supposed to unveil a more intensive caseworker system for people in temporary housing, but it never materialized. The authority has now asked homeless service organizations like Unity of Greater New Orleans and the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless in Baton Rouge to help find stable housing for the hotel occupants.
FEMA officials also say that residents can buy their trailers, sometimes for as little as $300. But virtually all of the residents interviewed said they had offered to do so and been told they could not.
Residents said FEMA workers had started visiting them in the past two months, advising them not to move out and saying extensions would be available to those who showed hardship or progress in rebuilding. But agency officials said that was not the case.
Jane Batty, Mr. Seelig's longtime tenant, who has her own trailer next to his, was not surprised. "There is only one way to categorize this kind of behavior: it's crazy making," she said. "They've always had a different answer or had a different ploy to get us out of trailers that we had already agreed to buy."
Monday, May 4, 2009
For Immediate Release -- FORECLOSED HOMEOWNER FIGHTS TO STAY
April 30, 2009
For Immediate Release
Larry Dansinger, 525-7776 (Thursday)
Jaime McIntosh, 607-280-0813 (Friday AM)
FORECLOSED HOMEOWNER FIGHTS TO STAY
Searsmont resident Barbara McIntosh, whose home had been taken in foreclosure in 2008, will have her day in District Court in Belfast on Friday, May 1 at 9:45 AM. Ms. McIntosh, who was within hours of being evicted from her home of over 15 years, has submitted a request to postpone a Writ of Possession by the property's owner, Aurora Loan Services, for at least 30 days. Judge Patricia Worth will hear the case. A media briefing about the case and her situation will be held in front of the District Court in Belfast at the corner of Church and Spring Streets at 9 AM.
Ms. McIntosh has serious health problems, including a very bad back, osteoarthritis, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), which are environmental allergies. The MCS makes it especially hard for her to find another permanent place to live, since most dwellings have chemicals in them that would make her seriously ill. Her only current alternative is to live in her truck, which could cause her health to deteriorate even more.
Because of her environmental allergies, Barbara McIntosh may not be able to present her own case, since the chemicals in the courthouse may prevent her from being in the building. She is hoping the proceedings can be moved to a safer venue or that her daughter, Jaime McIntosh, can present her case.
Jaime McIntosh and two other supporters, Dawn Marie Clark and Nancy Galland, also met with Waldo County Sheriff Scott Story on Wednesday, April 29th, urging him to follow the lead of other sheriffs around the country who have stopped evictions of those who have lost their homes to foreclosure. While Story appeared sympathetic, he made no commitments to McIntosh supporters at the meeting. But Barbara McIntosh and her supporters believe that no one who has been foreclosed on should lose their homes and hope the sheriff will support that position.
An added factor in the case is L.D. 1418, a bill in the Maine legislature requiring mediation in all foreclosure cases. On Friday, Barbara McIntosh may request a postponement of any eviction until the legislature takes action on the bill, which could allow her case to go to mediation.
Trial to stave off activist's eviction gets pushed back for more talks
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