A neighborhood organization and a local nonprofit recently protested at the foreclosure auction of a Jamaica Plain home to prevent bidding on the property for which the owners were working toward a sale agreement but had not yet completed the deal.
“We have a neighbor who has lived in our community for 18 years who, because of a health emergency, is being forced to sell his home,” said Chuck Collins, a neighbor and member of the Asticou Martinwood South Street Neighborhood Association. Collins told Jamaica Plain News the intent of the picket outside the South Street condo was to "urge investors to back off" as they were calling on the bank to allow the sale to go forward.
Collins said the potential buyers had already completed a home inspection and a purchase-and-sale agreement was being finalized. The sale would have covered the owners' financial obligations to lenders.
Asked about the foreclosure auction, Rushmore Loan Management Services provided the following statement to Jamaica Plain News:
"Rushmore strives to meet the needs of all of its borrowers, including those experiencing short- or long-term issues or concerns. Whenever possible, Rushmore seeks to provide a solution to each borrower to enable them to retain their home. Regrettably, in some cases that isn’t possible. Financial privacy laws and regulations intended to protect consumers’ personal financial information prevent us from addressing any borrower’s specific situation. Accordingly, we cannot comment on this individual’s situation."
The nonprofit City Life/Vida Urbana led chants of, "If you buy this house, you buy resistance." The protestors did disrupt the auction as they approached several potential bidders and a handful got back in their vehicles and drove off, according to Collins.
The house went on auction for $254,000 and sold for more than $400,000 to the buyers who had been working toward a deal with the homeowners; however, none of the money from the sale will go to previous homeowners, Collins said.