Eviction Defense group holds off evictions, asks for community support

Occupy Detroit Eviction Defense Supporters and Detroit Police. Courtesy Photo

From the Michigan Citizen

Staff Reports

DETROIT — Occupy Detroit Eviction Defense has recently won two victories fending off imminent eviction.

Jerry and Gail Cullors of Detroit’s Rosedale Park received an emergency plea for help Oct. 31. The Cullors have resided at their 14503 Artesian residence for 23 years, living with their son and his grandmother, who is 88 years old and suffers from Alzheimer’s. The family faced eviction from Bank of America. Jerry works as a bakery truck driver and is a member of Teamsters Local 51. He had recently taken a pay cut, therefore making it difficult to make mortgage payments.

Bank of America, which denied relief, brought upon eviction proceedings on behalf of Fannie Mae, who now owns the mortgage. After a dumpster showed up at the Cullors’ residence, and after a crowd gathered to protest the eviction, an emergency motion was filed in 36th District Court. The eviction has been stayed, pending a Nov. 13 hearing where the Cullors, under the representation of counsel, will protest the eviction.

A rally will be held at the Cullors’ home Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. Those gathered will march to the Bank of America branch at 174540 Grand River Ave. Supporters are then asked to show up at 36th District court, 421 Madison St., in Judge Patricia Jefferson’s courtroom Nov. 13 at 9 a.m., as well as call Bank of America and local elected officials.

Additionally, Paramount Homeowners and their supporters packed the courtroom of Judge John Gillis, at Wayne County’s Third Circuit Court, on Nov. 2 to contest the claim of the Detroit Police and Fire Pension Board that it should take exclusive title to their homes.

The receiver representing the Pension Board claimed the homeowners, who’d been swindled by the now-defunct Paramount Homes (using monies borrowed from the Pension Board), “may not even exist.” The standing-room-only crowd of angry homeowners signaled otherwise.

After attorney Bob Day argued against both the substance of the Pension Board’s arguments and the receiver’s blatant failures of due process, Judge Gillis ruled that proceedings would be stayed pending the proper notification of all parties. The delay allows the Paramount Homeowners to pursue their legal claims demanding that the Pension Board negotiate a settlement that will transfer legal title to the buyers who were victimized by Paramount’s fraud and are still living in the homes and improving the properties.

“They should have recorded those purchases and an arrangement needs to be made where they can keep their homes,” said Miriam Pickens, an organizer for ODED. “(The homeowners) are willing to pay there are escrow accounts and everything.”

Occupy Detroit Eviction Defense holds its next weekly planning meeting Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. in the back room of the Anchor Bar, 450 W. Fort St., Detroit, where it will further discuss the Cullors and Paramount Homeowners.

“The (eviction) crisis is huge,” Pickens said. “People are losing their homes through no fault of their own. They are trying to make payments; they are sick or (have) sickness in the family; they have been hit with layoffs; the general crisis has hit them and I felt this is one place we could organize and make a difference.”

For more information, e-mail DetroitEvictionDefense@gmail.com or call Joe McGuire at 313.969.7076

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