After a year-long journey fighting her wrongful foreclosure, Rose McGee has won a settlement with CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae to stay in her home.
“We are working on final details for a settlement resolution, and I will be staying in my home,” said Rose.
70 community members gathered to support Rose in a prayer vigil circling the Government Center water fountain Tuesday afternoon before she went into settlement court, where she finally reached a deal with CitiMortgage and Fannie Mae.
Rose, a community leader known for her storytelling and sweet potato pie business, fell into foreclosure after losing her job at a nonprofit. Immediately she contacted CitiMortgage to let them know. They assured her they were working on a modification—but then sold her home at a sheriff sale May 18, 2012. This process, in which banks foreclose on their customers during the modification process, is known as “dual tracking.”
With the help of Occupy Homes MN, Northside Community Reinvestment Coalition, Jewish Community Action, and MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Rose began organizing a public campaign to save her home, with protests at Citibank branches, a letter delivery to Fannie Mae headquarters in D.C., and a “Housing is a Human Right” bus tour. In January, Rose’s story helped launch the Homeowner Bill of Rights, a bill in the Minnesota legislature that would ban dual tracking and other foreclosure abuses.
As negotiations with Fannie Mae stalled, Rose joined a national campaign to pressure President Obama to fire Ed DeMarco, who administers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. At a rally before Rose’s April court date, Rep. Keith Ellison spoke out against DeMarco, urging Obama to replace him. On May 1, President Obama nominated Rep. Mel Watt to replace DeMarco. Watt still faces a lengthy Senate confirmation process.
As the legislative session draws to a close this week, the legislature has yet to take up the Homeowner Bill of Rights.
“We must not give up,” Rose said. “I will be staying in my home, but nobody should have to fight this hard for something so simple. The legislature must immediately pass a strong Homeowner Bill of Rights as a small step towards making sure no one else has to go through such an arduous journey.”
Rose will speak at a press conference for the Homeowner Bill of Rights at the Capitol Wednesday at 11 am.
When my monthly mortgage payments jumped from $800 to $1300, I contacted US Bank right away to see how I could modify my loan. They told me there was nothing they could do until I missed a few payments--so I took their advice and went into default. But they sent me the wrong paperwork for a modification--and instead of working with me to correct their mistake, they foreclosed on my home of 13 years.
Can you sign my petition asking US Bank and Freddie Mac to negotiate?
I thought there was nothing I could do until I met my neighbor Caylin Crawford, who was fighting the banks with Occupy Homes MN. Caylin had also been foreclosed on by US Bank and Freddie Mac. And, oddly enough, she had also fallen into foreclosure because US Bank had told her to stop paying her mortgage.
Please sign my petition asking US Bank and Freddie Mac to negotiate!
Caylin won a settlement from Freddie Mac to stay in her home, and I'm still fighting. But what happened to Caylin and me wasn't an accident. Wall Street banks targeted our communities to take away our homes. And despite increasing evidence revealing fraudulent activity and two federal settlements, no Wall Street executives have yet been prosecuted for their crimes against our communities.
As a mom, I know that without consequences, there are no changes in behavior. But the Obama administration insists that the banks are "too big to jail." That's why I'm going to Washington, D.C. next week to join with homeowners around the country at the Department of Justice to demand the Obama administration prosecute the Wall Street executives who crashed our economy. Only with a strong showing of victims of the banks' greed from around the country can we get the Obama administration to show the banks there are consequences for their actions.
Read more about our national week of action in Washington, D.C. May 18-23 here.
Dear JP Morgan Chase,
My name is Jaymie “Jayne D.” Kelly and I was born in the house on the other end of the block from where I currently live. I lived in that house for 24 years. To assert my independence, I moved half a block down and rented a 1 bedroom right next to my brother’s family. When my late husband and I married in 1979, we wanted to buy a house near my elderly parents to help care for them. We jumped when this house became available, excited to raise a family on the same block where I have lived for 55 of my 63 years. Now, Chase Bank wants to throw me out.