Woman breaks into home to protest foreclosure

November 1, 2011 7:08:17 PM PDT
A San Francisco woman has broken back into the house she lost in a foreclosure.

Neighbors cheered on Tuesday as Carolyn Gage promised to defy a court-ordered eviction in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco. Gage says she did everything she could to keep the house her father built.

A crowd of about 50 people marched down Quesada Avenue chanting against the bank bailouts and home foreclosures. A lot of homes in the neighborhood have been facing foreclosure -- 11 in one block, including Gage's former home.

The one she moved back into this morning.

The movement had the appearance of a pep rally, with Gage leading the cheers.

"I am here today because I am reclaiming my home," Gage said to cheers.

Gage says she was defrauded by a lender who went bankrupt. The mortgage then sold to a real estate investment firm in Coral Gables, Florida.

The company evicted her last January.

"Some of us are deciding we have to stand up for ourselves and fight back, and fight for what's ours," Gage said.

When reporters asked about the particulars of her case, she wouldn't give any details, but a check of court records show that in November 2006, Gage took out a $525,000 adjustable rate mortgage that started at 11.99 percent.

Her first payment was due two months later, but she never made it. She didn't pay the next month, nor did she pay the following month.

Lawyers for the company that owns the mortgage told ABC7 Gage never made a payment, declared bankruptcy multiple times, filed a case in federal court and lost for failing to state a relevant claim.

When asked again if she could answer some of the details, she said, "at a later date, as I said before, I will speak to you."

Among the supporters in the crowd on Tuesday included San Francisco Supervisor Jon Avalos, who told ABC7 the particulars of this case aren't really that important.

"What's wrong with our economic system is that you have 11 people in one block who are all facing foreclosure," said Avalos. "That's not the fault of people, that's the fault of our economic system. The banks aren't doing enough at the macro level to support us against foreclosures."

Avalos said it's the system that needs fixing; the lawyers on the other side say Gage has worked the system, living in a house that she didn't own for two and a half years.

Gage's former attorney, Michael Pines, encourages his clients to take back their foreclosed homes. In September, Pines was found guilty of attempted burglary trying to help one of his clients. The particulars caught up with him.

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