Minneapolis-- Three days before Connie Gretsch’s eviction hearing, she was shocked to receive good news: The Attorney General’s office had discovered that her prosecuting bank, Pacifica, did not own Connie’s south Minneapolis home, or even have a license to do business in Minnesota. Pacifica’s attorneys quickly called off the eviction hearing.
“I feel so lucky that we caught this in time,” said Connie. “How many people out there lost their home because of a bank error they never knew about?”
Pacifica has asked Citibank, which currently owns the property, not to pursue an eviction.
When Connie Gretsch lost her job as a special ed teacher, she began negotiating with Citibank to adjust her mortgage. They informed her that she had to be two months behind on payments before they could consider her for a loan modification, and advised her to not make payments for two months.
After a year of consideration, Citibank rejected her application. They sold her mortgage to Pacifica, which quickly foreclosed on her because she had missed two months’ payments--the payments Citibank had advised her not to make. This summer, Pacifica filed to evict her.
“Fraudulent banking practices like these are unfortunately not uncommon, and often go unnoticed in the automatic foreclosure machine,” said David Smith, an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. “We are forced to work around the bank’s mistakes, sloppy paperwork, and unethical practices. Connie’s case makes it clear that we need to be investigating fraudulent practices in all foreclosures.”
When her home fell into foreclosure, Connie thought she would have to leave her home of 17 years where she taught her daughter how to read and cook. Today she is unpacking her boxes and inviting her neighbors over to celebrate her eviction cancellation. Along with Occupy Homes MN, Connie is building community support to pressure the bank to negotiate with her.
This Sunday at 6:00pm, she will have a celebration BBQ for her neighborhood. Her house is at 4112 10th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN.