Since we’ve had some questions about the Worcester home auction halted by a protest the other day, here’s the press release the group sent out. (Yes, this site is low enough on the press totem pole that we get these days after they’re written…)
10/19/10 – For immediate release
Foreclosure Auction Stopped! Worcester neighborhood claims victory.
At 2pm, today on Huntington Ave, Worcester residents gathered for a rally hastily called by the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team (WAFT).
“Once again, we were working on a solution for the home-owner that would satisfy the bank; we got the go-ahead and a promise that if we found a buyer they would call off the auction of the house. We got a buyer, and then the day before they tell us they cannot call off the auction!” explained Luz Gonzalez of Community Realty, Highland St, Worcester.
With support of the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team’s community residents and fellow bank tenants, Marty Grogoza found a buyer. “I was excited that we didn’t even have to go with a short-sale. We found a full price buyer in such a short time; he’ll be able to renovate and neither the lender nor I would have to take a loss. I could not believe it that the lender said they would foreclose (and take a big loss) instead.”
About a dozen community residents gathered with home-owner Marty Grogoza to face the auctioneer and any investors who showed up. Mr. Grogoza had gotten quick legal help and arrived with a court injunction shortly before the scheduled auction.
“One has to wonder how the lenders can argue that they are worried about the bottom line when here they have the guarantee of a full payback and turn it down for procedural reasons,” said foreclosure activist Grace Ross. “This has to stack up against the questionable legal procedures and likely discriminatory behavior that put people eligible for prime loans into sub-prime loans in the ramp up to the housing crash. Clearly, we have to start standing up for our neighbors and our neighborhoods to turn around these illogical, unfair and economically damaging decisions.”
Residents, including neighbors from up and down the street, filled the front yard and held signs while the auctioneer backed off and a couple of quiet investors stood at a distance. The bank’s representative holed up in her black sportscar having called in a report of Mr. Grogoza’s injunction and waited for final word from the bank. After more questioning and review of the court motion, at about 2:30, the bank’s representative acknowledged that the injunction was valid and they would have to honor it.
Residents cheered. “This is a real victory for Marty and our neighborhood and our City, and although the lender opposes it, they benefit the most from this solution too!” said Chris Horton, resident of the Indian Lake neighborhood and core member of Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team.
While the auction may be re-instated on December 8th, Mr. Grogoza and WAFT leaders are confident that the sale will be completed by that date and the house should be sold at full price.