Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Judge Stays Lower Court 'Boot' Order; Reprieve For Widow Not Named On Title To Deceased Hubby's Home Refused Loan Mod; Says Notice Never Received

In Rochester, New York, the Democrat and Chronicle reports:

  • A Rochester woman who was evicted from her home this spring and moved back in two months later, is again being evicted from the house. City Court Judge Melchor E. Castro today granted a warrant of eviction and told Catherine Lennon that she and the other occupants need to leave [] by Wednesday. “You have no legal basis to permit you to remain on the premises,” Castro said.

  • Lennon was originally evicted from her home on March 28 after a court proceeding. She failed to pay her mortgage and was unsuccessful in renegotiating the terms of the loan. In May, Lennon moved back into the home without permission.

  • Ryan Acuff, a member of Take Back the Land-Rochester, a group dedicated to “elevating housing to a human right,” fighting foreclosures and making mortgage companies renegotiate loans under some circumstances, said he was disappointed with the judge’s decision. “It never should’ve gotten to this point,” he said. “The problems can be worked out.”

  • According to Acuff, Lennon had lived in the home for seven years, but struggled with mortgage payments after her husband, Jascha Lennon, died of brain cancer in 2008. When she tried to renegotiate the loan to lower the payments, the bank refused because her name was not on the deed and Jascha Lennon did not have a will that transferred ownership to his wife, Acuff said. Lennon then tried to get her name on the deed, but foreclosure proceedings were nearly complete. Lennon [then] claimed she never received a foreclosure date.

For the story, see Previously evicted woman told to leave home again.

For follow-up stories, see:

  • WHAM-TV Channel 13: Judge Orders Hearing on Disputed Foreclosure:

    A Monroe County judge ordered(1) Countrywide Home Loans to show cause for evicting Catherine Lennon. Lennon was forcefully evicted from her foreclosed home in March. [...] Lennon claims she’s the victim of a Western New York foreclosure mill under federal and state scrutiny.(2) The lender has said it tried to work with her. Lennon has gotten support from the activist group, Take Back the Land Rochester, which has held demonstrations at the house. The group breaks into foreclosed houses and secretly moves people in.

  • Democrat and Chronicle: City woman gets eviction reprieve:

    [S]tate Supreme Court Justice Ann Marie Taddeo signed a court order late Tuesday that halted the eviction pending a review of the underlying foreclosure action, which Lennon and members of the activist group Take Back the Land Rochester say was carried out under fraudulent circumstances.

    Victory will be mine,” Lennon said at a news conference [...] as about 25 neighbors and activists applauded. Lennon can remain in the home at least until Aug. 30, when Taddeo has scheduled a hearing on the case to examine the claims of irregularities. "The entire (foreclosure) process is going to have to be justified now,” Lennon said.

Thanks to Bill Collins at Frontier Abstract, Rochester, NY for the heads-up on the story.

(1) Go here for Judge Taddeo's Order & Catherine Lennon's Affidavit in Support of Order To Show Cause To Vacate Default Judgment.

(2) According to the court order, the foreclosure mill involved is the notorious Steven J. Baum, P.C.

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