Oakland man refuses to be evicted from home

January 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
In Oakland, a defiant man is refusing to leave his home. Sheriff's deputies came to evict a 60-year-old disabled man from his foreclosed home on Tuesday, but he refuses to budge. He's lived in the home for 26 years.

Wang: Do you feel like you're breaking the law?
Leonard Wilson: No for the simple reason because they didn't buy my home in foreclosure. They're stealing my home.

When sheriff's deputies came to evict 60-year-old Wilson from his foreclosed home, a member of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment ran interference. Tanya Dennis said she had signed a lease on the property.

"We help people stop their homes from being taken illegally," said Dennis.

"It would be different if I had a place to go. I don't have anybody left here that's helping me. The only person that is helping me is Tanya Dennis," said Wilson.

Dennis does care, because she was evicted from her Berkeley home last year during foreclosure, but she fought back, repossessed her house and worked out a deal with Wells Fargo.

To her surprise, the deputies suggested she file a claim of right to possess the property and delay the eviction. Wilson says it gives him just enough time to complete a forensic audit by a private company and prove he's a victim of predatory lending.

"When they took this home from me, allegedly, my credit score was 790," said Wilson.

Wilson says a $10,000 loan for a new roof got switched to a $60,000 second mortgage.

Wilson: And then they changed the house from a 30-year fixed to an adjustable.
Wang: How were you not aware of this?
Wilson: I wasn't aware of this because they did everything through the Internet. They didn't do anything where they came and asked me to sign.

He says his monthly $2,000 payment ballooned to nearly $4,000 and every time he asked for help the mortgage got sold, eight times all together.

Wilson's foreclosed home was auctioned off on the steps of Alameda County Courthouse and bought by the HMC Opportunity Fund. The company's attorney told me Wilson was quite aware that he was getting in over his head, but Wilson says he'll prove fake documents were manufactured when his forensic audit is completed next week.

Wilson: They're going to have to get Bigge Crane, pull the roof off this sucker, and then pull me out by crane.
Wang: You believe you're right?
Wilson: I know I'm right.

Wilson, a former entertainer, who is severely disabled after two severe neck injuries, says he has the documents to prove fraud.

"Even though I'm in this wheel chair, I'm still a man. And I'm man enough to fight," said Wilson.

"The banks have a lot of low hanging fruit. People just walk away into the foreclosure night. When they have people that fight, they have a tendency to want to deal with it -- to get you out of their hair so that they can move on to the next person," said Dennis.

Mr. Wilson says he has held fundraisers over the years that have helped 50 young people go to college -- now some of that good karma has come back his way in the way of Dennis.