Family fighting eviction from Northwest Side home

December 2, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Community activists say they will do whatever they have to do to keep the Tellez family in their home, even if that means forming a human chain to keep sheriff's deputies from evicting the family.

The Chicago couple says they want to stay in the home they have owned for the last five years and can't believe that after months of doing the right thing they could end up homeless.

They are the voices of defiance as a community supports Alvaro and Silvia Tellez as they fight to stay in their home now lost to foreclosure.

"Families have the right to stay in their home. That housing is a human right," said Mazah Uetri. Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign.

Alvaro Tellez says he applied for and got an adjustable rate mortgage to purchase the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood home back in 2006.

He says the trouble began when the monthly house payments began to increase. That's when the family moved into the basement and rented out the home's first two floors to tenants.

"This is my home. I don't want to leave here," said tenant Navaro Perez.

Despite their efforts, the Tellez family say they were paying as much as $4,700 a month.

Silvia Tellez says after repeated requests, the loan's servicer finally agreed to a modification that was supposed to cut their mortgage payment in half.

"The bank told me everything was good," said Silvia. "They say to send my next payment because they're going to give me my modification."

But she says, when she called back 10 days later as instructed, she was told the modification was denied.

And, unbeknownst to them, the bank had already started foreclosure proceedings.

Community advocates say the family is the victim of a fraud.

"The fact that it was a subprime loan. The fact that their loan was passed around without them even knowing, from Fremont to Littleton," said fair housing activist Chris Poulos.

The home the Tellez purchased for $405,000 was eventually auctioned off for a fraction of that.

The Chicago couple and their two daughters are slated to be evicted on Saturday but say they won't leave.

"I'm not going to move out of my home. The house is not for me. It is for my children and the future children that my children are going to have," said Alvaro Tellez.

The family says that through a third party, HSBC services, purchased the property. They now hope to begin negotiations with that bank, making some sort of arrangement for the Tellez to continue to live in the home.

ABC7 contacted the loan servicer, who promised to look into how the account was handled, but declined to specifically comment on the Tellez's account because of privacy laws.

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