In the News
Rochester Resident Facing Bank Eviction, Pledges to Stay in Her Home
Rochester resident, Elizabeth McGriff of 618 Cedarwood Terrace, facing eviction pledges to stay in her home with the support Take Back the Land Rochester. She has attempted to negotiate with Midfirst Bank to work out a fair settlement for her to stay in her home. As early as August 7th 2015 Midfirst Bank with the backing force of the Rochester police department could remove Elizabeth and her children from their home of over fifteen years. Below is a letter from Elizabeth to Midfirst bank written in September of 2014 detailing her struggles with the bank
Rochester resident, Elizabeth McGriff of 618 Cedarwood Terrace, facing eviction pledges to stay in her home with the support Take Back the Land Rochester. She has attempted to negotiate with Midfirst Bank to work out a fair settlement for her to stay in her home. As early as August 7th 2015 Midfirst Bank with the backing force of the Rochester police department could remove Elizabeth and her children from their home of over fifteen years. Below is a letter from Elizabeth to Midfirst bank written in September of 2014 detailing her struggles with the bank.
My name is Elizabeth McGriff, and I live at 618 Cedarwood Terrace in Rochester, NY. When I purchased my home in 2001 with an FHA loan, I was thrilled that I owned a part of “The American Dream.” My home is my safe place, a place of comfort for my children and me, a place of celebration for graduations, birthdays, and all the milestones of life that I cherish. However, when the economy took a downturn, like many people, I fell on hard times and I applied for a mortgage modification. MidFirst Bank denied my application and is choosing to put my family out in the streets, leaving us homeless. There is something wrong with this! An ethical bank should work with homeowners to help them stay in their homes, especially after MidFirst Bank was bailed out for the explicit purpose of helping homeowners stay in their homes. People who have paid their mortgage for years, kept their property up and paid their taxes should be given the opportunity to negotiate to remain in their homes.
I tried to reach an agreement through the court system and a number of home modification applications. MidFirst Bank rejected every plan set up by the Rochester Housing Council. Finally, through deceit, MidFirst Bank utilized the court system to obtain an unjust Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale. Even though banks are not allowed to dual-track the foreclosure (i.e., review a modification application and move forward on the foreclosure at the same time), that is exactly what they did.
I have invested 13 years into my home; I paid money to MidFirst Bank in interest, fees and principle, and the original selling price of my home was only $56,552.00. If MidFirst Bank gets my home, they will get reimbursed from the government, and then sell my home. MidFirst Bank would profit three times on my house. While I will be homeless and my credit ruined. I am not willing to give up my home without a fight. I have invested too much just to walk away with nothing.
The same MidFirst Bank which was bailed out by the federal government is now making a profit on FHA-backed loans by foreclosing, and getting still another bailout from the government through the FHA insurance fund. When President Obama was elected, he advocated for homeowners to negotiate with the banks through HUD. Today, FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac government programs are quickly selling properties at a lower than market value, often to investors. They should sell the homes back to the people who put time and labor into those properties, the homeowners. The city of Rochester resembles Detroit, Michigan with massive numbers of boarded up homes.. A change in policies could put an end to the ever-growing blight.
I am requesting a reasonable home modification with MidFirst Bank. I am hoping that you are willing to negotiate. If not, then with the help of Take Back the Land Rochester, we will stop the MidFirst eviction on Cedarwood Terrace through people power. I hope you will have for the foresight to work with us, not against us.
618 Cedarwood Terrace
Rochester, NY 14609
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro
U.S. Federal Reserve, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs
U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Comptroller
Consumer Protection Financial Bureau
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren
Take Back the Land Rochester
Metro Justice of Rochester
Band of Rebels