Aug 242012

Taxpayer-owned mortgage institution Fannie Mae agreed Friday to continue negotiating with Jennifer Britt, who is fighting her family’s eviction from their foreclosed home, according to Steve Babson of People Before Banks.

Britt has been struggling to save her home since her husband’s death six years ago.

On Aug. 14, Fannie Mae offered to let Britt lease the house for two years at $785 a month, less than half of what Britt paid before the foreclosure. At the end of the proposed lease, Britt and her family would have to move out of the house, and Fannie Mae would sell it.

On Tuesday, Aug. 21, Britt responded with a counter-offer that would allow her to eventually own the house. Her attorney provided no details.

And on Friday, Aug. 24, Fannie Mae told Britt’s attorney that it will continue to negotiate on her counter-offer. It will conduct a formal walk-through appraisal of the property, according to Babson. The formal appraisal might be a tiny step toward shaping settlement terms that would let her keep the house after the lease.

Britt’s battle was originally with Flagstar Bank, which foreclosed on the house in 2010. When Fannie Mae bought the mortgage from Flagstar, Flagstar recovered most of its money. Fannie Mae refused to negotiate seriously with Britt’s supporters, including the Southwest Housing Solutions non-profit. Southwest Solutions offered to buy the house back from Fannie Mae for its market value: $10,000.

Fannie Mae wanted $100,000; Britt and her late husband had already invested that much. Britt had spent her life savings trying to satisfy Flagstar. Fannie Mae sought and won an eviction order against her in July 2012.

Britt’s many supporters mounted a high-visibility eviction defense. On July 19, neighbors and community activists began a determined vigil on her lawn and street to block any attempt at removing Britt, her family, or her possessions.

After more than three weeks, Fannie Mae bent under the pressure and sent Britt an offer. She remains protected by a coalition of activist and community groups.

–Janet Braunstein

For more on the Jennifer Britt vigil, see Terry Hall’s journal of the weeks leading up to Fannie Mae’s first offer.




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