- Chicago Newstips by Community Media Workshop - http://www.newstips.org -

76-year-old woman fights Fannie Mae

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A 76-year-year-old disabled woman facing eviction by Fannie Mae will announce that she will not leave her home, as supporters hold a candlelight vigil tomorrow evening (Wednesday, January 16, 7 p.m., 2334 N. Mason).

Mary Bonelli, whose family has lived in the house in Belmont-Cragin since 1921, was current on mortgage payments when Fifth Third Bank’s online payment system stopped taking deductions from her account, said Sabrina Morey of Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction [2].

When  she became aware of the problem and contacted the bank, she was told it was too late, Morey said. Bonelli and her 83-year-old sister hired a lawyer who took $2,500 up front before dropping the case, she said.  Her home went into foreclosure last spring.

Fannie Mae acquired the mortage in September, but representatives there have refused to meet with Bonelli, Morey said.  She said supporters have written and petitioned Fannie Mae on Bonelli’s behalf.  At a court hearing last month, Fannie Mae lawyers told Bonelli that her home would go on the eviction list on January 16.

“I have no place else to go, and moving in my condition would be a nightmare,” said Bonelli, who has lymphoma.  “To see all the hard work that three generations of my family have put into our home slip away because of the bank’s mistake would be devastating.”

CUAFE is prepared to carry out an eviction blockade if the sherriff attempts to remove Bonelli, Morey said.

The group has organized numerous homeowners who say they were unfairly foreclosed on and are “occupying” their homes in defiance of eviction notices.  All of them have been able to remain in their homes; in one case a homeowner won a loan modification, Morey said.

She said eviction blockades in other cities have been “very successful.”