Thursday, August 6, 2009

Deal falls through for Minneapolis woman fighting eviction

A potential buyer for the home of Rosemary Williams could not complete the deal, but negotiations continue between the mortgage company and the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corp.

By ALLIE SHAH, Star Tribune

Last update: August 4, 2009 - 9:58 PM
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I'm a "crazy far left liberal"....
and even I think this is ridiculous. Someone earlier mentioned responsibility, and that poster is correct. My wife and I also took out a small loan against our house to pay off some debt. I'm a social worker and she's a teacher, so it's not like we're rolling in money. What we did was make sure it was a FIXED interest rate loan and that we could afford the payments. I understand that this woman lost her job, but so have millions of other americans. It's time to give up the house and go find an affordable apartment. Sorry, that's the way the world works...

A last-minute deal to stop the eviction of a Minneapolis woman from her foreclosed home has fallen through, but on Tuesday, supporters of Rosemary Williams said discussions continue to find a way for her to stay put.

"There are some continuing negotiations right now. Whether they're fruitful or not, I don't know, " said Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, who has been involved in the public fight to prevent the eviction.

Last month, Williams, 60, expressed relief and joy when she heard that a deal had been reached that would help her avoid immediate eviction and continue living in the home she and her mother built in south Minneapolis.

Under that tentative agreement -- reached hours after she was served eviction papers on July 24 -- the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corp. (GMHC) would buy the house for $90,000 as an intermediate buyer.

A third party would then purchase the home from GMHC, and Williams would continue to live there under a rental or other arrangement.

But the deal fell apart last week because the buyer, an undisclosed nonprofit agency, couldn't secure the necessary financing.

Jeannine Bruin, a spokeswoman for GMAC Mortgage, which owns the house, said in a written statement that company executives are still in discussions with GMHC and continue to evaluate every alternative.

Authorities, meanwhile, say they're holding off on an eviction.

"The court [eviction] order is still valid. At the same time, the mortgage company is still in talks, so we're not taking any action until we learn more," said Lisa Kiava, a spokeswoman for the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

Mick Kelly, an activist with the Minnesota Coalition for a People's Bailout, said supporters of Williams still plan to use civil disobedience tactics if authorities try to evict her.

Williams has become somewhat of a poster child for local and even national activists fighting eviction of poor people from their foreclosed homes. Her troubles began after she took out an adjustable-rate mortgage to get $12,000 to pay some bills.

Her monthly payment rose from $1,200 to $2,200 when the rate increased. She lost her job and stopped making payments. As a result, the house went into foreclosure and was sold at an auction last fall.

She was ordered to leave the house by March 30 but refused to leave. The new owner, GMAC Mortgage, then went to court to have her evicted. The Williams family has lived on Clinton Avenue for more than 50 years.

Allie Shah • 612-673-4488

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