August 18, 2011 -
NYC Residents Band Together to Prevent Eviction of Elderly Bed-Stuy Homeowner.
UPDATE: The Eviction Defense prevented Ms. Ward's scheduled eviction. She and her team have bought a few days to negotiate. Her future is still uncertain.
NEW YORK, NY – Ms. Mary Lee Ward, an 82 year-old African American
grandmother who resides at
320 Tompkins Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, is facing a foreclosure related eviction from her
home of 44 years.
The current owner, “768 Dean Inc,” holder of scores of other
properties in the neighborhood, has hired
a marshal to remove her from the premises. A NYC based organization plans on being there
The group, calling itself Organizing for Occupation or O4O, vowed to
defend Ms. Ward and block
the eviction, even if it means engaging in non-violent civil disobedience in order to force the NYC
marshal to back down.
O4O is calling for folks to gather at 320 Tompkins Ave this Friday
Ms. Ward—like so many in Bed-Stuy— is a victim of deceptive and predatory lending practices
perpetrated by banks and speculators. Her lender, Delta Funding, was shut down by the government
for preying upon elderly people of color in Queens and Brooklyn. The broker at Tarheel Funding lost
his license and was prosecuted for fraud.
But her loan lived on, bought and sold by different financial institutions over the course of ten years.
When the house was sold at auction in 2008, estate speculator “768 Dean Inc” picked it up as lucrative
asset in a changing neighborhood.