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Bank locks out homeowners

Eight homeowners facing foreclosure will return Friday to a Bank of America branch in Albany Park where they were locked out last week.

Like other community groups, Centro Autonomo of Albany Park has held many similar actions at bank branches, with foreclosure victims and their supporters showing up to ask for face-to-face attention – and often they get results like loan modifications, principal write-downs, or just postponements, said Roberto de la Riva.

“Usually when we show up, the bank sends out a p.r. representative and we can have a decent conversation — we can talk to a flesh-and-blood person, get them to look at the case, and often we end up moving forward,” he said.

But when they showed up at the Bank of America branch at 4747 W. Irving last Friday, the bank locked the doors.

So Centro Autonomo and eight Bank of America clients are returning to the branch on Friday, October 12 at 12 noon.

The homeowners include Luis Ponsiano, whose whom went into forclosure after the bank stopped making autonomic withdrawals – which he could afford – from his account, according to CAAP.

There’s Lisa Nadig-Mehdipour, whose troubles started with a difficult divorce.  After repeated demands for resubmission of paperwork from the bank, her application was lost.  A month ago another BOA department told her to submit a new application, and a third department initiated foreclosure.

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Albany Park residents want input on library

Albany Park residents concerned about lack of public input and interruption of services while a new branch library is built will hold a hearing Saturday, July 24, 2 to 4 p.m., at the Albany Park Library, Foster and Kimball.

Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th Ward) “made a closed-door decision to build a new library by destroying the present library and the affordable housing next door without holding an open community hearing to find out what library users and community people want,” charges a release from the Committee to Save and Improve the Albany Park Library.

The city has refused requests to establish a temporary library during the two-year construction period, instead offering a bookmobile and small outposts at scattered sites, according to the committee.

Participants at the hearing will vote on four options:  renovating the existing library building, renovation along with a two-story addition, building a new library with a temporary library in the neighborhood, or the alderman’s plan.

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Stopping a Thanksgiving weekend eviction

Two families facing eviction due to foreclosure – one scheduled for eviction the day after Thanksgiving – are refusing to leave, and Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction is mounting a public campaign to pressure their lenders to give them mortgage modifications.

CUAFE has posted Youtube videos asking people to call lawyers for HSBC Bank and IndyMac/OneWest Bank to consider offers the group says banks have ignored.

Arturo Martinez and Remedios Sanchez have lived for 25 years in their Albany Park home, now shared with a daughter and several grandchildren.  Martinez began struggling with his mortgage after his hours were cut at work; because of a mix-up when court papers were served, he didn’t know his home was in foreclosure until after it was sold, according to Chris Poulos of CUAFE.

They were recently informed that they’re scheduled for eviction Friday.

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