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Candlelight Vigil For Worcester Family by Anti-Foreclosure Team

Monday, May 06, 2013

 

The Alvarez family of Worcester was nearly kicked out of their home on Monday, and although they managed to avoid it by going to the courts, the fear of getting expelled from their home still lingers.

“The Alvarez family got a 48 hour notice on their door that they would be moved out at 10 a.m. on Monday morning,” said Jon Marien, the organizer for the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team (WAFT) on Thursday. “We got them a temporary restraining order in court. Tonight we’re gathering folks on their front porch, making signs and having a candlelight vigil.”

Like many others, the Alvarez family fell on hard times and lost their house in a foreclosure. However, Mr. Alvarez got his job back, and now that they have the money to buy back their home, they face another obstacle.

Freddie Mac says no

Basically, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation—more widely known as Freddie Mac—refuses to allow the Alvarez family to buy back their home, even though the family has the money and has been approved by the bank.

“Freddie Mac will not allow buy-backs. They will sell the house for less to a private investor rather than let the family buy their house back,” said Marien. “I don’t understand why they would rather throw out a family onto the streets and have the house stand empty. It’s twisted.”

What is worse is that if Freddie Mac wins, the Alvarez family will be homeless.

“We’ve been living here since 2005. My father was working hard to pay for the house, but then the economy went bad and he lost his job,” said Juan Alvarez, one of the sons. “I have a little brother with Down syndrome. He’s sixteen, a freshman in high school. We don’t want to move out. We’re doing the best we can.”

And when asked if they had anywhere to go if they were evicted, Juan Alvarez replied “No, we don’t.”

Rights at stake

“In Massachusetts, when you foreclose, you lose ownership of the house, but you do not lose the right to live in the house,” says Grace Ross, coordinator of the state-wide group Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending. “In the Alvarez case, Freddie Mac has done a number of illegal things. The bank has been trying to evict them through the courts.”

Apparently, though, this is happening across the country. "There was another house in a different part of the country where they installed armed guards around the home, so the family couldn’t move back illegally. However, this cost $15,000 a month,” said Marien.

Thursday night, a candlelight vigil was held on the front porch of the Alvarez family’s home, organized by the WAFT to raise awareness of the issue and to protest Freddie Mac’s treatment of the Alvarez family.

Will things change? “I hope so,” said Marien. “If the Attorney General can put some pressure on them. If people can put some pressure on them.”

 

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