by Steve Babson, People Before Banks
In the last week, Detroit Eviction Defense has won two victories fending off imminent eviction— one in the streets, and one in the courts. These are both great stories…
1) After receiving an emergency plea for help, neighbors and friends in Detroit’s Rosedale Park rallied this morning, Oct. 31, to the defense of the home of Jerry and Gail Cullors against eviction by Bank of America and Fannie Mae. Eviction Defense only got news of the imminent eviction yesterday afternoon, after the bailiff had dropped the dreaded dumpster at the side of the home where Jerry and Gail live with their son and his grandmother— who is 88 years old and suffers from Alzheimer’s. Jerry Cullors is a bakery truck driver and member of Teamsters Local 51 who recently had to take a steep wage cut that made it hard to pay the mortgage originated by Countrywide, the predatory lender owned by Bank of America. The bank gave the Cullors the usual runaround about a trial modification before denying them relief and bringing eviction proceedings on behalf of Fannie Mae, which now owns the mortgage. The Cullors had expected to get help from their former lawyer and mortgage counselors, but found out too late that they were on the verge of eviction. As indicated in the attached photos, the neighbors apparently thought the dumpster was there for bulk pickup, so it was soon filled with leaf bags and couldn’t be used by the bailiff and crew when they arrived today. During the delay while the bailiff and police waited for additional dumpsters to be sent, a growing crowd gathered in front of the home and an emergency motion was filed in 36th District Court to stay the eviction. When two more dumpsters arrived, the police announced they would arrest any or all of the 25 people in front of the house if they tried to block the wrecking crew preparing to enter the home. But at the last minute, the Judge— having received the motion and (we assume) news of the looming confrontation— stayed the eviction pending a hearing on Nov. 13 where the Cullors will contest the eviction, represented (this time) by competent counsel.
2) Last Friday, Paramount Homeowners and their supporters packed the Circuit Courtroom of Judge John Gillis 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 gave the lie to that claim. After attorney Bob Day argued against both the substance of the Pension Board’s arguments and the receiver’s blatant failures of due process, the Judge 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 are living in the homes and improving the properties. The attached flyer calling for support of the Homeowners provides some of the key details to this case.
Join the Cullors, the Paramount Homeowners, and their supporters in Detroit Eviction Defense at our weekly planning meeting this Thursday, Nov. 1, at 6 pm in the back room of the Anchor Bar, located at 450 West Fort Street in downtown Detroit, between First St. and Cass Ave. Free parking in the lot next to the bar.