A Minneapolis woman's public fight to save her home from foreclosure took yet another turn Friday, as efforts by a local nonprofit group to purchase the home proved unsuccessful and she faces eviction.
Rosemary Williams and her supporters said today they plan to remain in her home and engage in civil disobedience when Hennepin County Sheriff officials arrive to evict her.
"Here we are, just riding the rollercoaster again," Williams said.
Williams, 60, had declared victory last week when the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corp. entered into negotiations with GMAC Mortgage. The nonprofit developer planned to buy the home and sell it to another nonprofit agency. That agency would have leased the property to Williams.
Negotiations ended on Friday when the unnamed nonprofit that had planned to buy the property was unable to secure financing, said GMHC president Carolyn Olson.
Jeannine Bruin, spokesperson for GMAC Mortgage, said negotiations continue, but Olson said she has not been contacted by the mortgage company since Friday.
An eviction order had been issued, but was put on hold when negotiations began. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Department says the order is active. In a statement released today, the mortgage company said: "GMAC Mortgage has not directed the Hennepin County sheriff's department to serve the eviction notice to Ms. Williams."
Supporters said they are working to find another nonprofit developer to purchase the property.
Minneapolis City Council member Elizabeth Glidden, who helped secure the initial negotiations, said she doubts these efforts will be successful.
"I am assuming that unless there is some miracle, which I don't expect to happen, they are going to proceed with the sheriff and the eviction, and all the things that follow with what happens when a home is foreclosed and gets to this end stage," she said.
Williams has lived on the same block for 55 years. She and her mother purchased her current home 26 years ago. When her mother died six years ago, Williams refinanced twice into an adjustable rate mortgage.
When the monthly payments shot up from $1,200 to $2,200, she could not afford to pay, Williams said. Her home was sold at a sheriff's auction in September 2008, and she received notice that she needed to vacate the property by March 30.
Since then, Williams and her supporters have led protests, packed courtrooms, and encouraged other foreclosed homeowners to remain in their homes.
Linden Gawboy, organizer for the Minnesota Coalition for a People's Bailout, said activists plan "to hold her house for the people, and not have another vacant house on the block."