UPDATED: A Heartwarming Story (I Guess)

This comes from Atlanta, and it’s a report from a local TV station about how the sheriff’s office and the movers sent by Deutsche Bank to evict a 103-year old lady and her 83-year old daughter from a house in foreclosure couldn’t go through with it.

Naturally, it’s nice to see that old lady not get put out of her house. And our prayers are with her daughter, who fell ill when the sheriff showed up and had to go to the hospital.

The lefty blogs are crowing about this. Think Progress was one of the sites picking it up. And here were some of the comments their readers made…

Good for them! Hurrah for Common sense and respect for our elders!

Score one for human decency and common sense.

Put this one in the good news column and a shout out to that Sheriff for doing the right thing.

Great story…finally a win for the underdog.

Which is fine and all, and nobody wants to see anyone foreclosed on.

But in none of the articles on this situation has there been any reporting on why the house is in foreclosure. How much is owed on it, what’s the note, how overdue is it?

Because before the lefties make the Lees a cause celebre, let’s make sure that we’re not talking about somebody who’s been stiffing the bank for years on a mortgage note.

Deutsche Bank is anything but a sympathetic party here. I get that. Not only is it a giant bank (and one supposes the Lees’ mortgage was with a community bank DB swallowed up later, so you can’t really say the Lees chose to take out the mortgage with them – at least that’s my speculation), it’s also a giant foreign-owned bank.

But if you owe somebody money, you generally can expect bad consequences if you don’t pay it back. That’s basic stuff, and it’s something we Americans have always agreed on. Why is it a good thing to stiff the bank in this case?

Because the stiffers are senior citizens? The Lees are getting taxpayer money from Social Security. At 103 and 83, they’re assuredly long past in returns whatever they put into the Social Security system. So it’s our tax dollars funding their lifestyle, and our money is not going toward paying that mortgage.

So what’s it being spent on?

Sorry for asking such mean, pointed questions. And if I was one of those movers I wouldn’t want to evict those old ladies either. But just because the folks sent by the bank didn’t have the heart to go through with it yesterday doesn’t mean the problem isn’t solved.

Will all those lefty bloggers and the community activists WSB-TV interviewed get together and help the Lees get that mortgage straight with the bank?

Or will they just raise hell when they try to enforce their rights the next time?

UPDATE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the bank is going to try to work something out with the borrowers, and as it turns out there’s a deadbeat relative involved…

The bank administering a second mortgage on the northwest Atlanta house where Vinia Hall lives will work out an arrangement so that she and her 83-year-old daughter, Kathelyn Cornelius, don’t have to move. The bank, JPMorgan Chase, announced the decision Wednesday afternoon.

“We will work out a resolution to keep them in the home,” Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for the bank, said in an emailed statement.

“That’s a blessing,” Hall told Channel 2 Action News.

The bank’s decision caps a series of telephone calls and negotiations that involved a former Atlanta City Council member, a state senator and the office of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

But wait – it’s all about to fall into place…

In 2002, Ali Muhammad, the grandson of Vinia Hall, got a second mortgage on the house from Deutsche Bank National Trust, according to Fulton County Civil Superior Court records. That loan ultimately was administered by Chase.

Muhammad was listed as the owner, though his grandmother had lived in it for decades. Seven years after getting the loan — in March 2009 – Deutsche foreclosed on the property.

Hall remained in the home while Muhammad fought the foreclosure, said Derrick Boazman, a former Atlanta City Council member who said he negotiated with the banks to keep the two elderly women from eviction. Joining him was state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta. Officials representing Reed also contacted the banks.

So Ali Muhammad, who we don’t imagine is a dyslexic boxer but nonetheless has a remarkable name, swindles his grandmother into mortgaging her house so he can get his hands on a few bucks – about $20,000 worth – and then doesn’t pay the loan back.

And years go by – SEVEN YEARS, in fact, between 2002, when the loan is taken out and 2009, when the bank forecloses – and it’s not taken care of.

If you can’t pay a $20,000 loan off in seven years, the bank was pretty damned generous to give you the loan in the first place.

So the bank forecloses in 2009, and for two years there’s a big fight. Complete with “community activists” and politicians beating on the bank about forgiving the loan so the old ladies can stay in the house. And today the bank backed off.

And of course, there’s this

“We are extremely elated for all the people in the city who rallied behind them,” Ali Muhammad said, who told CBS Atlanta the home holds many memories for his mom and grandmother. “We’re just extremely gratified.”

Hall’s grandson told CBS Atlanta he failed to make several mortgage payments, and the home went into foreclosure.

“I am the person who is responsible,” said Ali Muhammad. “I take full responsibility in this, but beyond that they don’t need to be thrown out of their home, no matter what.”

It’s good to know he takes responsibility for being a deadbeat. Maybe it would have been better if he’d just paid the loan back before it got to this.

And thank God for Derrick Boazman, the former City Council member who now spends his time helping people.

Chase, Boazman said, “should write this off at a loss.”

Of course they should. Why should people have to pay back money they owe?



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