Rogers Park family could lose home day care center

August 17, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The Ortiz family has invested more than $80,000 into the North Side property, which includes a day care center and a space for the community to meet.

New statistics out Tuesday show that the number of homeowners falling behind on mortgages has gone up and remains above the normal rate.

The Ortiz family knows that all too well.

"After our government gives these banks our money, the same government, through the courts and through the laws, are evicting people. So the banks keep the money, the banks keep the houses, they win-win," said Jorge Ortiz, Ortiz family spokesperson.

"The bank forecloses on a property that is Fannie Mae-backed and Fannie Mae pays that bank for the full price of the loan and then in turn sells the house for half of the value of the loan. So we, as taxpayers, are footing the bill, the difference between that amount," said Holly Craig, Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign.

The Ortiz family purchased the house in 2008 to run a licensed day care center and a place for much needed after school youth programs and a community meeting space. They also made it wheelchair accessible. Their monthly mortgage is close to $3,000. Ortiz says that Fannie Mae has refused to modify their loan and has foreclosed on the family.

"We are willing to pay, work with the bank, you know, pay them, or pay some amount and if the judge will allows us, without kicking us out, that's what we want," said Miquel Ortiz, day care owner.

On Tuesday afternoon, supporters of the Ortiz family gathered at the house.

"It's theft. I don't think there's any way around it, that they're taking $80,000 from this family and the value of this house. So I think it's unjust and the money is there...look at how much money they gave these financial institutions. The money is there to bail a place like this out," said Chris Poulis, supporter of the Ortiz family.

"This will be the first….Latino house community in Rogers Park where they have child care and an afterschool program and we do support their cause," said Susana Salgado, Rogers Park resident.

Jorge Ortiz said Tuesday afternoon the judge decided not to evict the family and gave them another month to contest the sale of the center.

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