NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Faced with eviction, an elderly Brooklyn woman vowed to keep fighting for the home she’s been living in for more than four decades and seems to have succeeded.
Mary Lee Ward, 82, has lived in her Bedford-Stuyvesant home for 42 years, and said a real estate company was trying to force her out. She said the fight to stay in her home began two decades ago with a bungled refinance that led to a foreclosure and a scheduled eviction.
“They did an illegal foreclosure — no bank, phantom bank,” Ward told CBS 2’s Jay Dow.
Ward met Friday afternoon with her local assemblyman and her home’s new deed holder to try to work out a settlement and avoid eviction and it worked. Ward, known around the neighborhood as “mom,” is in the process of negotiating a deal that would keep her in her home for the foreseeable future.
Ward was not alone in her fight. Crowds took to the street in large numbers to rally against the practice of predatory lending and stood in front of Ward’s front gate to prevent marshals from executing the eviction earlier.
“She’s not going nowhere. They’re going to take me to jail and leave her in the house. I’m willing to go to jail,” neighbor Lilly Adkins said.
“I stayed here last night with her — and just up and down the block — people are like ‘Hi Ms. Ward’ and just that care, that community that’s here,” added community activist Heather Horgan.
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