The following is a story from Occupy Our Homes, a partner with Homes for All in fighting displacement. The campaign below is part of a new project born of this partnership, Start2.OccupyOurHomes, where anyone fighting to stay in their home can launch their own petition. The mission is to empower homeowners standing up to the banks.
By Beatrice Hardy
We want MidFirst Bank to call off the eviction and provide an opportunity for my family to stay in our home. My children and I have been in our home over fourteen years. We made a lot of sacrifices to get this far. Together, we survived abuse and neglect from my now deceased husband. For the past twenty seven years because of the “systems” rules a lot was taken from us. No more. It has been me and my children, as the head of the family I am tired of working hard “the American” and the power at be continues to take from me. We had a long journey. Despite obstacles we never gave up. Our journey has push me to the point of no return. This means we will not let anyone evict us from our home. You declined my modification. We want to continue to fight for a modification so that we can stay in our home.
Why is this important?
My name is Beatrice Hardy. I’m a working woman, a mother of three, and a grandmother of six. I am seeking to negotiate with the bank to stay in the home that our family use to own before it was lost to foreclosure. MidFirst bank now claims to own the home and is seeking to evict us from this house, board it up, and leave it vacant. For decades, this has been our home and we are seeking to find a solution that will keep it in our family.
According to property records, our home is worth an estimated $118,758.79
I purchased this home in 2000 for $59,000. Since my purchase my mortgage has been sold to multiple banks. Unfortunately personal misfortunes joined with the recession my life began to unravel. In 1991 I lost my husband which placed me in a deficient with three children from age 3 to 10 to raise on my own. Nevertheless, I never saw myself as a victim and was able to support my three children as they pursued their degrees and secure jobs to bring better income. In 2000 I purchased my home making 8.25 an hour and went to school full-time as well.
Responsibility of raising three children on one income was a day to day challenge, I never so it as a hardship. As of February 2009, I lost my job and began receiving unemployment benefits. During that time I looked diligently for work and worked odd jobs, I created jobs, named it I did it. Therefore, I created me a job. I work with various organizations in the community teaching life skills through art. I have used my home to start a summer art camp. Violence in my community has given me the opportunity to pay it forward to the youth and families in the Roseland community.
2010 I have begun to receive calls from my son’s friends in Dekalb, IL that he was acting strange. He went missing for some time. His actions caused me to spend time back and forth trying to locate him. One day his friends found him in 2010 and brought him home. It was obvious something seriously was wrong with him. As far as the job and financial opportunities was beginning to look up again. One day I was called home by my neighbor stating that my son was acting strange. I came home and realized that his situation was worse than I thought. His behavior did not allow for me to leave him in the home alone. I tried to get support for him but I was unsuccessful because of his age. He began to be violently aggressive, police were called numerous times. His behavior became unsafe for himself and me. I sought all the resources that were available. They all stated because of his age he will have to ask for help. However, he was not mentally able to make that decision. This went on up until November of 2011. In which that time his aggressive behavior were directed at me, so much so, the police was called and he was taken to Jackson Park Hospital. I then received calls that he left the facility. Now he was wondering on the streets of Chicago until I was contact in January 2013 that he was hospitalized at Northwestern.
Through the grace of God and friends, my journey started at the age of 25. I am now 52 and I am tired. I did all that was asked of me and justice was not there. For twenty seven years me and my children have endured a lot. No more will allow the system to keep taking from me. I am only human; therefore, that is when everything took a toll on me. Life challenges finally broke me down. As a veteran of the United States, single mom who handled life obstacles, I am asking for justice and compassion. Grant me and my family the opportunity to keep our home. Now that I was able to work with my sons case manager to house him I finally had time to focus on me. Since then I have secured several employment opportunities and to provide the youth in the community with a place (my yard) to come to for comfort.
September 2013 my home was sold back to MidFirst bank at the auction. I tried to stop the sale and the judge denied it. We got a notice from Midland Mortgage/Midfirst bank and a real estate agent with Kallen Realty Services. I had know these people or how they are involved. At this point I do not know who own my home before and after foreclosure. Ihave received serval phone calls from Midland Mortgage and a letter to seeif I am still living in the home. With this information, MidFirst Bank are preparing a summons to evict my family and I from our home. We are currently in court fighting the eviction.
Struggle on, Beatrice! Come September, I would pursue buying back your home through the FHA Back to Work program. A better option would be to create buy back programs in all states. Also, lenders should allow former owners to be renters to further stabilize families, homes, and local housing markets.