Neighbors and activists ask for fairness in the Mitchells’ pending foreclosure

Friends, family and neighbors of Dixie Mitchell joined her and Washington CAN at her 21st Ave home today to show their support for Dixie’s efforts to modify her home loan. She is facing foreclosure after she and her husband Luster ran into health issues. Dixie is a cancer survivor, and Luster has been paralyzed by a stroke.

Dixie has lived in the home 44 years, having raised several children and foster children during that time. She says she fell victim to a predatory loan shortly before the housing bubble burst, and has been fighting to keep her home for several years (see our post from March 2010). Her request today was simple: She wants to be able to pay back what she owes.

“I want to stay in my house,” she told reporters and supporters gathered on the front lawn of her home.

“I made that debt, and I’m not trying to get away from it.” She has gone through all the proper channels to get her loan modified, but responses from her ever-changing creditors have yielded no results. Her home is scheduled for auction October 28.

Today, shortly before the press conference on the Mitchells’ lawn began, members of a Washington CAN ally organization delivered a petition with over 7,000 signatures and the Mitchells’ reworked loan modification proposal to the Ocwen Financial headquarters in Florida.

With her home set to go to auction October 28, she has requested a loan mediation session under Washington’s Foreclosure Mediation Program, which went into effect in July. 500 homeowners have already applied for foreclosure mediation under the law.

The law requires lenders to have a face-to-face meeting with homeowners to discuss loan modifications and attempt to come to an fair, negotiated and voluntary agreement. Banks have 45 days to set up the mediation session.

“There’s no reason to put this woman out of her house,” said one neighbor. He and others said they had discussed renting a room in the home to help pay the loan, but two of Dixie’s children have already done so.

7 thoughts on “Neighbors and activists ask for fairness in the Mitchells’ pending foreclosure

  1. —–I attended this gathering, and was proud of the the dignified, well spoken appeal that Mrs. Mitchell made. She maintained her long running stance that she owes this money and wants to be able to pay it back. She admitted that the loans came as a result of legal fees and presure from lawyers required to defend certain complicated parental issues related to a small child in her care. She received calls from financial institution representatives offering to assist in those dark days of pain and fear. She accepted this offer, and much like my grandparents, knew she would pay it back. Then she got cancer, her husband got sick, and had a stroke ( now confined to a wheel chair ), all the while she was doing the right thing and paying her payments. She began to see she was going to have problems with the loan payments, and began looking to refinance, hoping to get lower interest, and spread the payments. Each banker seems to have dug her financial grave a little deeper, and now she faces foreclosure, and loss of the home she and her husband took 44 years to make into a home, not only for themselves, but for many other children and needy folks along the way.
    —–Rumors have flown about the money being used for casino debts, trips, cars, and a wildly excessive life style. My understanding, not from Mrs. Mitchell, but a close supporter, is that her children ( not sure if this is one of the many loving foster children or her own genetic children, as they all adore this wonderful woman ), took her to a local Indian casino to celebrate a special day. Again, I understand she was a guest, and that this was only meant to brighten the gloom beginning to decent arround her. Yet somehow this has grown into the reported lavish life-style. I challenge you to drive by this home, and tell me someone living there is living a lavish life style!
    —–All our neighbor is requesting, and I aplode NOW for their support, is to work with Mrs. Mitchell in adjusting her loan terms to see what can be done to keep her and her husband off the street. She has contacted way too many public agencies to no avail, been patted kindly on her head and then ignored. Even her much publisized meeting with Governor Gregoir resulted in assurances of help, only to die after the re-election cameras were gone.
    —–Please, just look at the current needs and situation of our neighbor, and look past the rumors and anger.

  2. @Chilo, thank you for taking the time to dispel some of the nasty rumors that have swirled around this situation. I hope that the bank is able to prepare a plan that works for everyone. Please keep us posted.

  3. While I applaud the community in gathering together for this cause, I’m a bit confused to the details as they don’t seen to add up. She’s been in the house 44 years, has fostered many children, yet none of them are coming to her aid right now? Also, can we get some more details on the scam that got her into this mess? I mean, if the deal was to reduce payments by 500% or something equally absurd, should we really be helping her out? I’ve made some bad decisions in my life but have never asked for a handout. I’m not saying she doesn’t need help, all I want is a clearer picture on how she got here.

  4. Let’s get this home properly foreclosed on. It is a clear case where the resident cannot afford the home even at the grossly reduced current value. Move this and all other homes onto the market. This improves the economics for new buyers and property managers. If we can get the deadbeats out of the houses and force the banks to eat their losses – then we can move on to good pricing for new buyers and renters. By getting all the foreclosures done the Mithchel’s will be able to find affordable rental properties like so many other local folks live in every day. It is surely very frightening to ‘lose’ a home. But it is just a house and they will be better off living a simple affordable rental life. Time to downsize, simplify and relax. If I were having so many health and financial problems I would be extremely happy to be rid of that monsterously expensive home and all the needed maintenance. Free yourself!

  5. @TheTruth – care to elaborate why? They’ve had their 44-year run in the home, certainly don’t need that much room now that it’s just two of them and it would free up some very needed cash for their mounting medical bills. What’s the issue here? Nostalgia?

  6. i am sure that nostalgia may play a role in wanting to stay in your home. How could it not after 44 years? I also think that some of the adult children/extended family also reside there, hence the need for a larger home. In light of the fact that one of the owners is in a wheelchair due to a stroke, some home health workers may do some type of rehab therapy in one of the rooms. So, i dont think its just single reason as to why not downsize. JMHO. stacy