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.