Friday, April 25, 2008

Detroit Groups Fight Foreclosures: Coalition Vows to Help People Stay in Their Homes

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Groups fight foreclosures

Grass-roots coalition vows to help people stay in their homes even as banks reclaim them.

Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- A coalition of grass-roots organization vowed Wednesday to help Detroiters facing foreclosure live in their homes even as the banks reclaim them.

Several community groups, including Michigan Welfare Rights and the Call 'Em Out Coalition, came to help Michelle Maxwell move the last items they rescued from a waiting Dumpster back into her home on Blaine Street near Linwood Avenue.

Bailiffs from the 36th District began moving her items from her home on Thursday.

"I left to pick up my kids from school and a neighbor called and said people are in your home," Maxwell said.

"They tore up" my home. "The sinks, the walls, the fixtures."

Maxwell has gone into foreclosure over a $31,000 mortgage debt that started out as a $4,000 bill. Maxwell, a 34-year-old home health aide for her mother, said her home is worth less than $15,000.

Demonstrators showed up to protest the foreclosure and eviction of Maxwell. They carried signs that read "Moratorium Now to Stop All Foreclosures" and "Bail Out People, Not Banks."

Maxwell is among thousands of Detroit and Wayne County homeowners that organizers are attempting to help save from home foreclosures.

"We got to halt this," said Marian Kramer, a member of the Michigan Welfare Rights organization. "The (government) can bail out all these companies. They can bail out all these banks. They need to bail out the poor people losing their homes."

Maxwell and attorney Jerome Goldberg will go to court Friday in an effort to work out a plan with the new lender to let Maxwell stay in her home while the matter is worked out.

You can reach Oralandar Brand-Williams at (313) 222-2027 or

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