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.

Share your thoughts on this story in the comments section…

Comments (20)
  1. MissAudacious says:

    Its true there is a man that bought the house .. The court sold it to him when miss ward couldnt pay off her mortgage.. I mean i feel bad for the lady but the dude is a victim as well like he spent mad cash on it.. And for him to just give the house back would be like buying a diamond ring and having it taken away.. Its not his fault he did what any other buyer would do.. However, i blame it on the court for being irresponsible.. If anything, they should return the dudes money and then it would make more sense to give the house back..

  2. Nick says:

    Pay your bills and stop trying to scam money and you get to keep your house. LIKE THE REST OF US.

    She was a bum when she was young – Nothing changed just because it got old.

    1. Aka Better says:

      nick, she was never a bum that lady worked hard all her life and she deserves to keep her home u prick

  3. carlea says:

    what kind of cold-hearted cretins are you to want to see an old lady put out of the street? there are just some things more important that money…try human kindness and compassion. this is shameful!

    1. lydiass says:

      The ARTICLE asid she re-finaced her house, and said NOTHING about her defaulting on her loan. So exactly HOW does a 80 plus year old woman “mess with ” her mortgage? I am a 26 years old nurse, young and beautiful. Now I am seeking an older gentle man who can give me real love , so i got a username Annababe2011 on—a’ge’l’es’s’da’te. C óM—it is the first and best club for y’ounger women and older men, or older women and younger men,to int’eract with each other. Maybe you wanna ch’eck it out or tell your friends.

      1. Veronica Pate says:

        You have so little BRAINS that you actually COPIED and Pasted MY statement that DID have to do with this story in your post. Tha ONLY actual statement about the story you STEAL in a effort to lure somebody into some WACK dating site? REALLY, you couldn’t think of ONE thing from your own head about this article? … and on to promoting Young golddiggers. LOSER, get a brain, and get on topic.

      2. Janice Taylor says:

        This is NOT about YOU. If you need to plug yourself do it elsewhere. Show some RESPECT regarding the issue at hand and again this is an 82yr old trying to prevent low down and scandalous lenders / real estate being evicted from her home of 42yrs. Where’s you DIGNITY?

  4. Improvement is good! says:

    Get out of the house that you don’t own. The community is trying to frighten people who do not look like them from buying and improving the neighborhood. They are thugs, plain and simple.

    1. Aisha Shamwell Perkins says:

      What you really mean is predatory housing developers to come in and make the neighborhood so expensive to live in that the people living there can’t afford it. Just because someone “does not look like you” does not mean they don’t deserve the same respect…

  5. Anne Hill says:

    no bank, phantom bank? if it’s illegal then she should not have to leave.

  6. William says:

    This woman should be able to live in HER home as long as she lives!!!! Period..

    1. Le Styp says:

      Why would you say that? If she was somehow defrauded, I agree. But there’s nowhere near enough information in the article to know if she was defrauded. All it says is that the refinance was bungled, and the foreclosure is being done by a “phantom bank” (whatever that is). Yet, based on that, you say she should live there forever?

      1. William says:

        What the heck do you care why I said what I did?? I feel that the elderly are treated pretty lousy at times and based on the limited info of the story, it appears that she did no wrong… What are you a self appointed PRESS INVESTIGATOR?? GET A LIFE!!!!

      2. Diane Battle says:

        Apparently your an ignorant predator and have no regard for other people it’s people like you who shame America …

    2. Alex says:

      It’s not period at all. She messed with her mortgage and lost her house. Somebody else bought this house and paid a big amount. So, you suggest this guy to forget this money and become homeless after investing all his money?

      1. Veronica Pate says:

        Where did you read in THIS article that “somebody else” BOUGHT the house? I’ll wait…… What “GUY” are you speaking of and what “BIG money” did “he” INVEST? There was actually NO mention of a GUY buying her house. Sounds more like what the article DID say it was PREDATORY LENDING. See it DOES happen to little old black women too. Yes and it happens to them by far more than most people. Tell me how SHE “messed with her mortgage and lost her house” as you say? The ARTICLE asid she re-finaced her house, and said NOTHING about her defaulting on her loan. So exactly HOW does a 80 plus year old woman “mess with ” her mortgage? Still waiting………………………………………………………..

      2. William says:

        Sounds like you have a pretty good imagination Alex. Where you got these facts, nobody else can really guess. Certainly NOT from this story!! It really DOES sound like it IS….. PERIOD!!

      3. Yuri from Brighton says:


  7. Le Styp says:

    So, there was a “bungled” refinance 20 years ago that led to a foreclosure and scheduled eviction. What does that even mean? “Bungled” how and by whom? Did the foreclosure start 20 years ago? What does “no bank, phantom bank” mean? Who let this story go through with almost no information?

  8. TBTL says:

    Community supporting community. The way it should be…

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