By Delani Weaver
Tuesday morning, Akhom Phetphanh, Take Back the Land Rochester and dozens of community supporters stood outside in the rain, snow and slush to demonstrate and form a nonviolent eviction blockade to stop the foreclosure/eviction of Phetphanh and his family at 256 Durnan Street. Phetphanh says he’s able to pay to stay in his home, however Everbank, based in Jacksonville, FL owns the home and if evicted, Phetphanh and his son will be homeless.
Phetphanh was served a 72 hour notice and Tuesday would have been the first day the eviction could have been executed, however City Councilman Michael Patterson deterred the eviction, at least for now.
“I don’t need another vacant house on Durnan St.” said Councilman Patterson.
Five other houses on Durnan St. are already vacant in close proximity to the Phetphanh residence.
Phetphanh said “I have no choice but to stay. Where would I go? I’ve put so much into this house.”
Phetphanh says he has been living paying on the home for almost 20 years. His original mortgage was $13,667. Everbank says he still owes over $9,000. The bank also says they don’t have the full history of the loan and therefore cannot resolve any discrepancies but insist they should be trusted regarding their information on the amount that Phetphanh owes.
“I strongly dispute this amount,” he said. “When I asked for a complete history of the loan, you at Everbank said that you did not have the full history. Yet, you continued to foreclose. How can you foreclose on me when you can’t even validate the debt you claim I owe? This is more than enough reason to negotiate in good faith.”
Phetphanh wrote a letter to Everbank asking for a withdrawal of the eviction.
“This is where I raised my four kids. Everbank has foreclosed on my home and after buying my house at an auction for $500 Everbank is now trying to evict me. I’m asking you to put an immediate stay in writing on efforts to evict me, and work with me so I can keep my longtime home,” the letter stated.
In 2011, Everbank made a deal with the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to pay $43.3 million to housing groups and borrowers after allegations that the bank mishandled foreclosures.