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Victory for the Steidel Family: Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac Call Off Eviction!

Fellow Foreclosure Resister Catherine Lennon Gives Harold Steidel a Hug of Support at Wells Fargo Protest

Just days after Take Back the Land Rochester and Occupy Rochester publicly vowed to set up an encampment and eviction blockade at 107 Clay Ave. if the bank came to evict the Steidel family, Freddie Mac called off the controversial eviction slated for this week in order to try to find a permenant settlement between Wells Fargo and the Steidel family.  This incredible premilinary victory follwed a dramatic turn of events that included a public appeal from the family, invervention by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28), a protest at Wells Fargo, and Freddie Mac announcing that they were banning their notorious foreclosuure law firm, Steven J. Baum (the law firm for the Steidel foreclosure and eviction), from handling their cases.  The people united will never be defeated.


Stop Eviction of the Steidel Family!: Protest At Wells Fargo

What: Demonstration to protest Wells Fargo Bank's home mortgage foreclosure practices This action is particularly aimed to protest the imminent eviction of the Steidel Family of Rochester following the foreclosure of their home. Despite a tax-payer bail out of 25 billion dollars, Wells Fargo has failed to extend the same efforts to help families stay in their homes.
Why:  For 37 years, the Steidel family prospered in Rochester.  In 2007, Harold Steidel’s company, Shadel, employed 100 predominately minority employees and was listed in the Top 100 Companies in Rochester.  Maria served the community as Minister of the 1st Pentacostal Church Shalom Adonai on Seneca Ave.  In 2008, due in part to the economic collapse, Harold’s business closed.  Now, after repeated attempts to work out an agreement with Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac, their home was foreclosed and they now face eviction.  The family has the means to pay all past due funds and make ongoing payments, yet, as early as November 17, they could be forced out of their home.
When:  Monday, November 14, 2011, 12:00-1:00 PM. 
WHERE:  Wells Fargo Advisors, 1200 Pittsford Victor Road, between 490 and Eastview Mall, just past Garnsey

Judge Calls Off Catherine Lennon's Eviction in Order to Reexamine Foreclosure

Catherine Lennon is going to have her day in court.  On Tuesday evening NY State Supreme Court Judge Anne Marie Taddeo called off the controversial eviction of Catherine Lennon which was scheduled for Wednesday, August 17. Ms. Lennon and Take Back the Land Rochester were preparing for a second eviction defense, including a nonviolent eviction blockade which would have happened Wednesday.


Judge Taddeo has reopened the original foreclosure case and requested that Countrywide/Bank of America defend their original foreclosure which was riddled with irregularities.  Countrywide/Bank of America and Catherine Lennon are schedule to appear in NY State Supreme Court on August 30, 2011. 

Cathy Lennon and Take Back the Land Rochester Prepare for Second Eviction Defense at Ravenwood!

Wednesday, August 17 at 11:00am at 9 Ravenwood there will be a protest and nonviolent eviction blockade to stop the unjust eviction of Cathy Lennon from her home.

Fannie Mae Moves to Evict Cathy Lennon a Second Time, August 17!

Today, August 12, Cathy Lennon appeared in Rochester City Court to defend her home. Ms. Lennon was evicted in March and moved back into her home without permission in May.  Fannie Mae, the recipient of $90 billion of taxpayer money, aggressively moved to evict Cathy from her home a second time.  Judge Castro granted a warrant of eviction and 72 hours to vacate the home on 9 Ravenwood.  Interestingly, Judge Castro seemed most interested and embarrassed by the fact that he was the judge who originally moved to evict Cathy's family in March and seemed to take offense that she moved back into her house and was trying to save it.  What the judge didn't seem interested in was that Cathy had filed a order in a higher court to overturn the original foreclosure or that there seem to be many illegalities in original foreclosure process or that this family will be homeless again or that Rochester has thousands of vacant houses.  Judge Castro is just one of many judges pushing foreclosure-based evictions through the system as quickly as possible without scrutinizing the criminal practices of the banks. 

Currently, the eviction is schedule for Wednesday August 17, 2011.  If the Marshal comes on that day, Ms. Lennon, Take Back the Land Rochester, and other supporters will be there in protest.  Stay tuned for more information. 

Evicted Family and Supporters Protest Foreclosure and Brutal Arrest That Sent Rochester Woman to the Hospital

Courtesy of Rochester Indymedia

On Friday, July 29, 2011 at 11 Appleton St. in Rochester the family of Virginia Henry, Take Back the Land Rochester, and community members held a press conference and protest denouncing both the recent forceful eviction by Fannie Mae and the arrest, brutality, and excessive response by the Rochester Police.

The story has already received national media attention as on July 21st Virginia Henry was arrested, thrown to the grown in her own driveway, and taken to the hospital in handcuffs after presenting paperwork to the City Marshal and Rochester Police, questioning the legality of the eviction. The house is now vacant and the family of five is now homeless and staying in a local motel.

Virginia Henry Eviction Defense Story Goes National - AOL/Huffington Post

See original article HERE

When Virginia Henry bought her boarded-up and abandoned Rochester, N.Y., home in December 2007, she saw potential where others were blind to it. The house, a short sale, became her home to live in and care for, she said. She plopped down her $20,000 and filed her paperwork for a loan program that would pay the balance -- $43,000 -- to rehabilitate the property.

But what followed was a series of unanswered calls and letters to Bank of America, Henry says, eventually culminating in her arrest Friday for a charge of trespassing on her own front lawn. The bank has told her that her short sale never closed and that the house at 5 Appleton St. -- with all her worldly possessions trapped inside -- is no longer hers. A Bank of America spokeswoman, Jumana Bauwens, said she would investigate the claims.

"This is my home," Henry told AOL Real Estate in a phone interview after the arrest. "How can I be trespassing in my own home?"

Rochester Woman Arrested and Brutalized by the Police After Refusing an Illegal Eviction

On Thursday July 21, Virginia Henry, facing foreclosure and eviction, courageously took a stand for her family and her home on 11 Appleton St. in Rochester, NY.  What followed was quite a disgusting site.  Instead of trying to work out what appears to be an illegal foreclosure and eviction, Fannie Mae and the Rochester Police Department teamed up for another SWAT-like eviction arresting the homeowner on her own property in order to make another family homeless and another house vacant.
Rochester police, just like in March on Ravewood Ave., shut down Appleton St. with at least 10 police cars to tear the family of 5 out of their home.  What they weren't expecting was Virginia Henry, inspired by Cathy Lennon's March defense of her home, to nonviolently take a stand. When Marshal Sande Macaluso came to the door backed by Rochester Police he said Virginia had 15 minutes to get all of her stuff out of the house.  Ms. Henry demanded the police treat her with respect and get their hands off her home.  Immediately they slapped handcuffs on Ms. Henry and pushed her to the grown.  Ms. Henry passed out within seconds of police pinning her face down to the pavement in record-breaking 100 degree heat. She was brought the hospital in handcuffs.  When Ms. Henry woke up in Highland Hospital the police had informed her that they had forcefully taken control of the house.  The police claimed the house was Fannie Mae's now. 
As of Saturday, Virginia and her family are currently staying in a motel after being displaced from their home. Virginia Henry will appear in Rochester City Court on July 28, 2011 at 9:30pm on a trespassing charge.  

Cathy Lennon Takes Back Her Home After Being Evicted

Monday May 9, at 11:30am Catherine Lennon will publicly announce at a press conference that she has returned to her Rochester, NY home from which she and her family were evicted on March 28. Lennon did not repurchase the home, instead she was moved back in with help from Take Back the Land- Rochester, the organization which initially helped her defend against the eviction. Lennon, Take Back the Land- Rochester and neighbors are preparing to defend the home against a possible second eviction. The home is located a 9 Ravenwood Avenue.


After attempts to renegotiate the mortgage were stonewalled by Fannie Mae, Catherine Lennon made local and national news by defending her home from eviction for two weeks with help from neighbors and Take Back the Land- Rochester. On March 28, 2011, Rochester police executed the eviction with 2 dozen or so police and by arresting seven people, including a 70 year old neighbor still in her pajamas. Charges against those arrested are being dropped in exchange for 8 hours of community service. The Lennon-Griffin family of 11 has been dispersed with grandchildren living with friends and family and Catherine living in a local Motel 6.


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