Local Homeowner Stays in Home - For Now
Longtime Malden resident Marie Odestin said she hopes to work with Wells Fargo to keep she and her children in their home, despite a foreclosure auction this morning.
A 23-year Malden resident is claiming victory after Wells Fargo decided to repurchase her house at a foreclosure auction this afternoon, a move she said would give her leverage to re-negotiate her mortgage and keep her children in their home.
Marie Odestin was joined by 30 protesters outside of her home, with members from groups as varied as City Life, Occupy Boston and the Industrial Workers of the World, who said they were trying to send a message to banks like Wells Fargo that they should work with underwater homeowners.
“The Odestin family was mistreated, ignored and stonewalled by Wells Fargo,” City Life Lead Organizer Dominic DeSiata said, accusing the bank of giving the family the runaround as they tried to re-negotiate their loan.
“Wells Fargo has been bailed out by taxpayers, and they should be working with people in our communities (to reach) a fair outcome.”
DeSiata said the home was bought at an overinflated price at the height of the real estate bubble, and argued that lenders should lower the principle of their loans to more accurately reflect the home's true market value post-crash.
“This is an overinflated value, (one) that the house never had,” he said. “And it crashed because of actions on Wall St....and they want working people, and people in our neighborhoods, to pay the price.”
"I'm very Malden"
Odestin, who invited protesters in for coffee and pastries, said she had lived in Malden for 23 years.
Her daughter was born in the now-closed Malden Hospital, her son attends Ferryway School and she said she volunteered for Gary Christenson's mayoral campaign last year.
“I'm very Malden,” she said.
She and her family have lived in the home for four years, though the mortgage has not been paid since she and her husband split up about a year ago. She said she worked with non-profit groups to work with the bank, but found her requests were repeatedly denied by the bank.
Odestin said she hoped Wells Fargo's repurchase of the home at auction would allow her to work with a non-profit bank to purchase the home with a refinanced loan that would allow her to make monthly payments.
“Not everyone can afford to buy their house back, but we know that displacement, eviction, leaving these houses empty is not a solution,” DeSiata said.
A call made to a Wells Fargo spokeswoman late afternoon Monday was not immediately returned.