Oakland woman manages to avoid foreclosure


Five years ago, De'Weena paid $420,000 to buy her grandparents' home on Irving Avenue in Oakland. Three generations of her family grew up inside of it. She put $80,000 down and made the payments.

But she found herself upside down and under water after two lost jobs, a couple of refinances, some negative amortization, and an economy that halved the home's value.

De'Weena claimed that she qualified for yet another loan under new federal guidelines, but US Bank, which had assumed the loan from Downey Savings and Loan, saw it differently. As of today, she had less than one month to vacate.

De'Weena's neighbors stepped in and planned a protest outside a US Bank branch in Oakland.

"This is about saving neighborhoods," said Steve Fairbanks, who lives across the street. "We've already lost three homes to foreclosure on this block. One of them became a crack house."

Fairbanks and his neighbors consider it unfair that the banks received federal bailouts for bad loans, while well-meaning customers like De'Weena Coleman continue to suffer.

"US Bank got a $6.6 billion bailout and was practically given Downey S&L's assets, including De'Weena's loan. In return, US Bank promised to implement the FDIC's Loan Modification Program, but it isn't doing it. Instead it is kicking families out of their homes," he said.

When ABC7 News learned of the planned protest, we called US Bank headquarters in Minneapolis to inquire about Coleman's situation and the planned protest.

At 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, the bank called De'Weena, and modified her loan. Upon hearing the news, she broke into tears of joy.

"I never got anyone at the bank to even talk to me, " she said.

Moments later, the US Bank called ABC7 News. "How did this happen today?" We asked Jennifer Wendt of the US Bank Communications office.

"I can't talk about specifics of her case," she said. "We were very happy to be able to help her."

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