St Louis: Home Defenders Now In Position to Defend Against Eviction (Updated)OccupyOurHomes on September 21, 2012
Update (original post below the fold):
Home Defenders Win Temporary Stay on Eviction
With Public Pressure High, Sheriff Drops Eviction for the Day
St. Louis citizens succeeded today in temporarily halting the eviction of homeowner Angelia Williams after a year of negotiating, going to the Attorney General's office and doing a petition. With neighbors and solidarity activists prepared to defend the home, the eviction has been cancelled for Friday, September 21st.
"I am happy for the victory today and for the support from my community. We need to continue these efforts because today clearly shows that when we stand up to the banks, we win. I owned this house before the bank ever did," said homeowner Angelia Williams, with fierce determination.
Angelia's victory, however, is temporary, as she is still under threat of foreclosure. Angelia, and many other homeowners throughout St. Louis, could avoid foreclosure if an automatic foreclosure mediation bill is passed in the city. Automatic mediation, which recently passed in St. Louis County, requires the bank and the homeowner to sit down with an independent mediator to negotiate the case before the bank can foreclose. Currently, in St. Louis City, banks can foreclose on a homeowner without any oversight from a neutral mediator, putting homeowners at an enormous disadvantage when it comes to gaining a fair process for keeping their homes. Foreclosure mediation legislation would help keep many city residents facing foreclosure in their homes.
Although Angelia's eviction was stopped today, Wells Fargo and FHA still have not agreed to give her a fair loan modification. Angelia, her neighbors, and community activists will continue to pressure Wells Fargo so Angelia can stay in her home and demand that the sheriff's office stands with people, not with banks.
St. Louis citizens will not let another wrongful foreclosure happen without a fight. On Friday, for the first time in St. Louis’ history, a group of St. Louis residents, including Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), will attempt to keep the the St. Louis City Sheriff’s Department from evicting city resident, Angelia Williams.
For over a year, Angelia Williams has been trying to work with Wells Fargo to obtain a loan modification. The bank, however, has refused to work with her.
“I called Wells Fargo for a modification before I lost my job and they wouldn’t give it to me because I was employed. After I was laid off they said they wouldn’t give it to me because I wasn’t employed,” says Williams. “It seems like no matter what I do, Wells Fargo just won’t work with me.”
In addition to trying to work with Wells Fargo, Angelia has also tried numerous legal defenses, an online petition and going to the Attorney General’s office. Angelia’s experience is not unique; repeatedly in St. Louis and nationally, the banks that crashed the economy and took taxpayer bailout money remain unwilling to work with homeowners. Having exhausted all other options and with an eviction scheduled for Friday, Angelia and others will resist the Sheriff’s attempts to kick her out of the house she has lived in for 20 years.
WHO: Homeowner Angelia Williams, her neighbors and local activists.
WHEN: Friday September 21st. While we know the Sheriff's department will come between 9am and 5pm, we do not know when. For notification of when the Sheriff’s department arrives, contact Arielle Klagsbrun.
WHERE: 4665 Penrose St., St. Louis, MO
**Ms. Williams is available for interviews throughout the day**
Contact: Arielle Klagsbrun, 617-869-8345, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Ordower, 314-267-4664, email@example.com