A Detroit-based group of activists is working through the summer to help people facing foreclosure stay in their homes.
The Detroit Eviction Defense Coalition is affiliated with the Occupy Detroit movement. They held a rally Monday at the McNamara federal building to support Detroit homeowner Jennifer Britt, who faces eviction after a lengthy legal battle.
Britt’s husband died in 2006, and she lost her job in 2008. Despite that, Britt says she exhausted her savings making mortgage payments to Flagstar Bank until the money ran out—even though they wouldn’t acknowledge her as the mortgage holder.
“I continued paying the mortgage, hoping something would give and work out,” Britt said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t. The money ran out, I stopped paying…I continued to try and talk to them, I wrote them letters, everything. And they refused to do anything.”
Britt says government-backed mortgage giant Fannie Mae now holds her mortgage, and they’ve also refused her repeated requests for a loan modification.
According to activists, Fannie Mae also rejected a community group’s offer to buy Britt’s home for its assessed value of roughly $12,000. The original home loan was for $121,000.
Even though she faces eviction as soon as this week, Britt says she won’t leave her home.
She’s not the only one. Jerome Jackson, a paraplegic, who faces foreclosure and eviction from his Inkster home, says he’s not going anywhere.
“I am not gonna lose my house,” Jackson said. “They’re gonna have to put me on the street.”
Protesters say they targeted the McNamara building Michigan's federal lawmakers because the federal government bailed out Fannie Mae and its counterpart, Freddie Mac, in 2008.
They argue a taxpayer-backed institution shouldn’t be throwing people out of their homes, and lawmakers need to do more to rein in Fannie Mae’s foreclosures and encourage loan modifications.