MINNEAPOLIS -- A retired Atlanta, Georgia, police detective journeyed to Minnesota Monday in hopes of saving her house. Jacqueline Barber, 62, faces eviction later this month after having her home sold in foreclosure.
"I want my house back because it was bought illegally," Barber told KARE 11. "It was an illegal foreclosure."
Barber said she was in the process of obtaining a loan modification for her home in Fayetteville, Georgia, when the house was sold in a foreclosure action in March. She faces a court eviction hearing on December 11 in Georgia unless a deal can be worked out with the financial institution controlling her loan.
Barber came to Minneapolis to join with "Occupy Minnesota" protestors, who campaign against bank foreclosures on homes. On Monday, a group of about two dozen protestors and Barber supporters marched and chanted through skyways from the Hennepin County Government Center to US Bank Headquarters on the Nicollet Mall.
They presented what they said were 20,000 signatures on petitions supporting Barber's efforts to stay in her home. Barber is raising four grandchildren, ages 3,4,6 and 10, in the house.
"If they foreclose and evict us, we will be out," said Barber. "Right now, we do not have any place to go and here it is right at Christmastime. It is hard to explain to a 4-year old why you cannot put your Christmas tree up yet because we do not know what the situation is going to be."
Barber is a 20-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department. In her career, among other duties, she functioned as an undercover narcotics officer. She was diagnosed with bone cancer and retired early from the Department. Then, she purchased the house for herself and the grandchildren.
Barber said the City of Atlanta changed and downsized her workman's comp payments. At the same time, her adjustable rate mortgage rate and payments soared. The economic double whammy caused her to default on the house payments to Wells Fargo Bank. The house went into foreclosure.
Barber came to Minneapolis because she said she believed that US Bank had purchased her home in the foreclosure sale for $150,000. The petitions were presented to US Bank representatives. However, US Bank spokesperson Tom Joyce said "We had nothing to do with the foreclosure or eviction process for the property."
Instead, said Joyce, US Bank is the "Trustee" for a pool of mortgages, including Barber's. "As trustee, we act as the central repository for all information regarding loans in the trust...That is why you see our name on various filings associated with the property, but we have no ownership or authority over any of the individual loans in the trust. That is the role of the servicer for each loan."
The servicer of Barber's loan is actually GMAC, based in Bloomington. Susan Fitzpatrick, Director of Communications for ResCap (GMAC), explained that "GMAC-RFC does not own this property, nor does the current occupant. GMAC-RFC is managing the sale on behalf of the trustee, U.S. Bank. U.S. Bank, as trustee, holds the title for the benefit of the investors in a trust."
However, GMAC does have authority over Barber's property and insists they are continuing "to work with the current occupant, on behalf of the trust... if the occupant (Barber) submits a valid purchase offer for the property, GMAC-RFC will review the offer on behalf of the trust."
Jacqueline Barber said that is exactly what she wants to happen. She wants a deal that will allow her to repurchase the house, at a price and interest rate that she can afford. She told KARE 11 that attorney's for both her and GMAC are working to find a solution.
Barber said she included her paystubs and other documents along with the stack of petitions to prove her ability to make the new loan payments.
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