By Kris Hamel
The Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions has launched a struggle to keep Anthony King in his home.
News conference and rally in front of
Anthony King’s home, Feb. 18.
WW photos: Alan Pollock
King, age 42, has lived in his Detroit home for 41 years. Now he faces imminent eviction after his home was foreclosed by Wells Fargo Bank and sold at a sheriff’s sale to U.S. Bancorp. Both banks have received billions of dollars in the taxpayer-funded federal bailout of financial institutions.
On Feb. 16, after receiving a ride home from a coalition meeting, King discovered a dumpster in front of his house. “I knew they were coming the next day, that I was on the edge of being thrown out,” King told Workers World.
On Feb. 17, coalition members along with activists from the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, Call ’Em Out and the Detroit Green Party gathered at King’s home to prevent the bailiff from carrying out the eviction. When the bailiff’s team arrived in the early afternoon, the dumpster was in front of an empty lot several hundred feet from King’s home. Apparently it had not been secured properly and rolled down the street.
While activists challenged the right of the bailiff to evict King, word came in by cell phone that the writ of restitution (court order to evict) was improperly obtained. The bailiff was forced to back off and King’s eviction was temporarily stopped.
A coalition leaflet stated: “In Wayne County, Sheriff Warren Evans recently ordered a halt to the sheriff’s sales of foreclosed homes. Evans cited a federal law, known as TARP, which states that foreclosures must be minimized and families maintained in their homes. He stated, however, that his office does not have the resources to determine if the banks have followed this federal law. Another law, known as HERA, states that loan modifications should consider the value of the home in foreclosure when determining the modified loan principal. We know that the banks are not following this law.”
A rally on Feb. 18 in front of King’s home brought out dozens of people who want to stop this illegal eviction. Among them were people from King’s neighborhood. “I really appreciate the strong support from my neighbors,” said King.
Like so many Detroiters, King has recently gone through periods of unemployment and underemployment. He works part time for minimum wage at a secondhand retail store but needs a full time job.
“I’m doing the best I can to keep this struggle alive and to pay my utility bills,” said King. “I see all the stripped and vacant homes and it brings tears to my eyes that so many people are being foreclosed and losing their homes.”
The bailiff is expected to return soon to King’s home to enforce the eviction. Activists are on high alert and plan to be there in order to stop the eviction by direct resistance.
To get involved in the struggle to save King’s home and to stop all foreclosures, evictions and utility shutoffs, call the Moratorium NOW! Coalition at 313-887-4344 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.