Michigan family fights to save home from Bank of AmericaShab Bashiri on April 25, 2013
By the time Michael Bentin, a homeowner in Portage, Michigan reached out to Occupy Our Homes for help, he had just 10 short days until his family was scheduled to be evicted from his home.
Michael had been trying unsuccessfully for years to obtain a loan modification from Bank of America. After getting the runaround from different representatives, his options started to run out. Last year, Bank of America sold Michaels home in a foreclosure sale, and didn't even bother to notify him that they had done so. The only notice he got was a letter from the bank's attorney letting him know his 6 month redemption period had ended.
Like many in Michigan, we were hit hard by the economic crisis, and have yet to pull out lives and finances out. Soon, we started to fall behind on our mortgage payments. Bank of America representatives called to try and find out why we were falling behind, and I explained our situation. I gave them all my income and expense information, and had hope as they claimed I was being reviewed for a modification. Weeks went by and then months as we waited to hear back. There were dozens of phone calls in both directions. Each Bank of America representative I spoke to gave me a different piece of advice or information. I was told by one rep to miss 5 months of payments on my mortgage, only to be told later by another one that to reinstate my loan, I needed to pay the equivalent of 5 payments at once. They suggested I get a roommate to add to my income, which I did, only to be told I still didn't meet the criteria. For 2 years the bank told us that a short sale wasn't an option because it was too close to the sale date. The only option they gave us was foreclosure. They say we have to be out of our home by the 25th of this month. The foreclosure process began in January 2010, and after many sale dates set and cancelled, our home was actually sold in June of 2012. The bank never notified us of the sale, and we didn't find out about it until the bank's attorney sent us a letter that the 6 month window to protest the sale had ended. We now have 10 days left until we are officially homeless. We haven't been able to find a suitable apartment or rent a property to move to, and are still bewildered by how little regard was given to us through this process. We are a hard working family, always willing to go above and beyond to try and help others, yet Bank of America didn’t seem to see a need to try and work out any agreement with us.
After getting signatures on his petition, and working with members of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta and Moratorium Now to set up an action at a local Bank of America branch, Michael finally received a call this week from the bank! They've agreed to postpone his eviction for now, and review his case for a modification. This is great news, but Michaels family is not in the clear yet. Click the button below to sign the petition support their fight!