Ex-cop alleges foreclosure fraud, challenges eviction

March 30, 2012 3:32:44 PM PDT
A Chicago woman fighting to keep her home says she is the victim of foreclosure fraud.

Patricia Hill, a retired Chicago Police officer, says she paid her mortgage on time but was still found delinquent.

Hill, her tenants and supporters appeared in court Friday to legally challenge an eviction order. The case was continued to a later date.

"All indications are that proper notice was not given so that they did not have an opportunity to have their proper day in court," said Edward Boci, Hill's attorney.

In 1995, Hill purchased her family's home in the Bronzeville neighborhood with a fixed rate mortgage.

"I received a mortgage notice three years ago that my mortgage would go up $500 more per month," Hill told ABC7. "Upon inquiring, I was told it was for insurance, and I refused to pay it. And I continued to try to negotiate and I sent in a regular mortgage. And on the the third attempt, they say that you're delinquent and they sent my money back and said, don't send me any more money."

Hill says after a year of trying to resolve the dispute, she found that she had been foreclosed on and that her house had been sold at a sheriff's sale for nearly half of what she owed on it. It was purchased by the Bank of New York Mellon.

On March 9, that bank attempted to evict Hill and her tenants from their home, but they were able to stop the eviction with some help.

"We are exploring all options with the hope that the bank will come to the table and negotiate with us," said Willie Fleming, one of Hill's tenants.

"The banks sold the house to itself for half of the value of what she owed to the banks while she was in negotiation," said Loren Taylor of Occupy Our Homes.

"We have made efforts to negotiate with Mellon bank," said Boci. "When I first got involved, the first thing I did was pick up the phone, talk to their lawyer and say, give me someone at Mellon negotiate with. I have heard nothing."

"This is a bank heist," said Clair Tobin, Illinois Citizens for Public Banking. "The homeowners, their homes are being taken away and given back to the banks without due process."

ABC7 called the Bank of New York Mellon but did not get a response.

The Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign has been coordinating a 24-hour eviction vigil to protect the Hill family and their tenants. One of the tenants is a Marine veteran who served in Desert Storm.