tagged w/ Protest / Demonstration / Rally / Uprising
Thanks to a last-minute deal brokered by New York State Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, 82-year-old great grandmother Mary Ward may not need to leave just yet
By C. Zawadi Morris and Cleon Alert
It was a no-show this morning by New York City Marshals at the home of Bed-Stuy resident Ms. Mary Ward, a victim of a predatory lending scheme, as more than 100 residents and housing activists created a blockade around her home to prevent her eviction.
Thanks to a last-minute deal brokered by New York State Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, the 82-year-old great grandmother may not have to leave the home she’s lived in for the past 44 years—at least, not just yet.
In 1995, Ms. Ward took out a $80,000 loan against her one-family frame house after finding a flyer in her mailbox from Delta Funding.
Of the $10,000 she was promised in cash up-front, Ms. Ward would only see $1,400. She tried to rescind the loan the next day. But over the next ten years, the mortgage was bounced from bank to bank, ballooning to an astronomical $200,000.
Delta Funding is now defunct. Two years after Delta made the deal with Ms. Ward, the feds sued the lender for violating the civil rights of thousands of minority residents in Brooklyn and Queens by enticing them into loans they could not afford.
Still, Ms. Ward's, who is retired and lives on a social security check could not make the high payments. And so in 2008, a housing speculator, 768 Dean Inc., purchased the home in an auction.
Today, the speculators scheduled for marshals to finally take full ownership of the property. But an eviction blockade by residents and local housing advocates kept the Marshals at bay.
“We’re here today to make sure she stays in that house because that house is hers," said Kendall Jackson, a member with the community activist group Picture The Homeless, who attended the protest. "It doesn’t belong to the bank, it doesn’t belong to the speculators that bought it. It’s Ms. Ward’s house.”
Flanked by local press and protesters on her stoop, Ward made a brief appearance at the rally and addressed the crowd saying, "Don't let nobody walk on you. My grandfather was a slave, but I'm not a slave."
According to Edna Johnson, assistant to Congressman Edolphus Towns, the lawyer for 768 Dean Inc. and a marshal went into the police precinct the evening before the blockade, in an attempt to move up the eviction. "How do you like that?" said Johnson. "They tried to push the eviction up to yesterday, but the precinct refused."
“As of this time, there’s no Marshal that’ll be knocking on Ms. Ward’s door for a few days,” said Robinson.
Robinson, along with Johnson, lawyers for Ward and a representative from the 768 Dean Inc. met early this afternoon to try to agree on a deal that would allow Ms. Ward to stay in her home.
“We were able to get Mr. Chowdhury to get to agree to at least Monday at this point,” said Robinson. “Mr. Chowdhury is supposed to be back in contact with myself and a member of the staff of Congressman Towns and also the attorneys to let them know what decisions he’s made further.”
Assemblywoman Robinson said that she’s been aware of Ward’s plight since her days as a member of the New York City Council and said, she recalled telling Ward to take her case to the attorney general
“We offered Chowdhury some options, in terms of some escrow money I understand in the amount of $70,000,” said Robinson. “We said he could have and we offered him also the possibility of him donating that property to a non-profit organization so that he would be able to get a tax write-off so Ms. Ward would be able to stay in that building.
"We wanted to get him to be able to give her the deed back right away but that’s not going to happen today. But we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to resolve this extraordinary dilemma that is taking place. We believe that reasonable people will work out a reasonable resolution.”
http://bed-stuy.patch.com/articles/eviction-blockade-for-longtime-bed-stuy-resident-keeps-city-marshals-at-bay-video#video-7425132Thanks to a last-minute deal brokered by New York State Assemblywoman Annette... more
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