Dominion of New York


August 28, 2011

Brooklyn Great-Grandmother Avoids Eviction For Now


he battle for an 82-year-old Brooklyn great-grandmother to stay in her foreclosed home intensified Friday, after a protest spurred a meeting between her and the new owner.

Mary Lee Ward avoided the eviction that had been scheduled for that day, but did not manage to retrieve the deed to her Bedford Stuyvesant home, keeping her at risk of eviction.

A representative of the company that now owns her home — 768 Dean, Inc. — told CNN that the company would consider her lawyer’s proposal to give the home’s title to a non-profit. The non-profit would allow her to stay in the home, but it isn’t clear what 768 Dean, Inc. would receive in return.

Organizing for Occupation, the group that organized the successful protest, is asking her supporters to return to her home, at 320 Thompkins Ave,  Wednesday, and march from there to 768 Dean, Inc.’s Brooklyn office.

Ward lost the home in foreclosure after using it as collateral for an $82,000 loan that she did not repay. The loan was issued by Delta Funding, a sub-prime mortgage company that  was the subject of several federal and state lawsuits accusing it of predatory lending practices, according to the New York Times. Delta Funding settled those lawsuits without admitting any wrongdoing and filed for bankruptcy, the Times reports.

Ms. Ward says she never repaid the $82,000 because the company never gave her about $80,000 of what she agreed to borrow. Her lawyers say the company sent her a letter cancelling the loan, the paper says.

While the particulars of Ward’s story may be unique, the foreclosure of New York’s black and Latino homeowners is rampant in parts of Brooklyn and Queens.




About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, left to right. Photo courtesy of Flickr/Azipaybarah
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, Courtesy David Shankbone Wikimedia Commons

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