The Mitchells will be able to stay in their home.
Last week, neighbors and activists held a small protest at the home of Dixie and Luster Mitchell protesting the pending auction of their home for 44 years, located on 21st Ave just north of Marion. Dixie said she fell victim to a predatory lending scam and was simply asking her creditors to restructure her loan so that she can pay back what she owes.
“I made that debt, and I’m not trying to get away from it,” she told the people gathered in her front yard October 18. She had gone through all the proper channels to get her loan modified, but responses from her ever-changing creditors had yielded no results.
Now, Washington CAN, one of the organizations fighting for Dixie and the scores of people in similar situations around the state and nation, says the Mitchells and Ocwen Financial have come to a deal that will put her on a sustainable repayment plan. The announcement comes just days before the house’s scheduled August 28 auction date.
From Washington CAN:
On Friday evening, Dixie Mitchell, long-term Seattle resident, cancer survivor and foster mother, received word that Ocwen Financial will modify her loan, following a national campaign launched by Washington Community Action Network. After years of fighting for a loan modification and numerous attempts at working with Ocwen, the Mitchell’s will finally be able to rest easy. Although no paperwork has been signed, Mitchell got word that for the duration of the loan she’ll pay a fixed interest rate of 2% and the monthly payments will be within the range she’s able to afford.
Due to an outpouring of national support, as well as help from local organizations and national partners, Mitchell’s story is one of success. Mitchell has been fighting to save her home for years, but the movement started gaining traction when Washington CAN!, in partnership with New Bottom Line, launched a national petition highlighting Mitchell’s story. Since then, Mitchell has gathered 7,558 signatures from people across the country, appeared on MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes and most recently held a press event at her home while activists in the other corner of the country simultaneously delivered thousands petition signatures and her loan modification paperwork to Ocwen Financial’s headquarters in Florida.
While celebrating with friends and family, Mitchell said her story is connected to the larger fight to demand that big banks be held responsible to stop foreclosures and pay their fair share to fix the economy. “It’s not just about me,” said Mitchell. “Millions of families across the country are going through this as well. We won’t stop fighting until we’re able to make the big banks pay their fair share.” Mitchell joined activists outside of the King County Administration Building on Friday to protest a foreclosure auction and continue putting pressure on the big banks.
“Millions of people struggle as their homes are taken away through fraudulent foreclosures. The big banks have cost us, but its everyday people who are picking up the tab,” said Tracy Van Slyke Co-Director of The New Bottom Line. “The New Bottom Line was happy to work with Washington CAN! to launch an online petition to shine a spotlight on Ms. Mitchell’s story and to gather more than 7,500 signatures of support. This is only one story, but millions of people are demanding that it’s time that the big banks to pay us back.”
Mitchell and other activists won’t stop fighting until real change has been made that will help families stay in their homes. It’s time for big banks to pay their share to help fix our economy.
So relieved to hear this…and just in the nick of time. I wish every victim of predatory lending could get this much attention and press. In this case, it was my neighbors, and I am thankful they are staying. I know many, many more aren’t so lucky.
And if they can do it for one, they can do it for many, but it’s a crying shame it takes so much pressure. November 5th – time to walk away from those big banks.
It’s good to know that citizen action can make a difference.
So happy for our neighbors who get to keep their home and our whole community who gets to keep our neighbors. The smiles and wisdom of community elders are irreplaceable.