A north Minneapolis man who faces foreclosure says he's prepared to fight to remain in his home.
Michael Kidd gathered with about a dozen supporters on his front steps on Friday afternoon to speak out against what he said is unfair treatment by his mortgage servicer.
"Right now, all I'm asking for is a fair deal," Kidd said.
Kidd has asked Aurora Loan Services, his mortgage servicer, to modify his mortgage to reflect the home's steep drop in value.
The fifty-year-old man said he spent his life savings to purchase the four-bedroom home in 2004. At the time, he said he thought it was important to invest in the north Minneapolis community where he grew up.
"Now, I'm kind of kicking myself in some respects," he said, referring to the high number of foreclosures in the low-income neighborhood.
Aurora Loan Services did not reply to requests for comment.
Kidd's situation has attracted attention from local progressive activists, including many who fought an unsuccessful battle against the eviction of Rosemary Williams from her foreclosed Minneapolis home last year.
Kidd laid out his case after a series of fiery speeches by activists in his front yard on Friday. He said he bought the home for $189,000 with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage and a $45,000 down payment.
"I thought the place was quite a deal," he said.
But when Kidd lost his job in 2008, he said he could no longer afford his $1,160 a month mortgage payment. He missed five payments, and his lender scheduled a sheriff's sale.
At the same time, the home was rapidly decreasing in value as a result of the housing crisis. The city of Minneapolis currently lists the property's taxable value at $115,000.
Luckily, Kidd said, he was only unemployed for six months before he found work as a delivery driver.
He said he then tried to renegotiate his mortgage with Aurora, but the company told him he wasn't eligible for federal loan modification programs. Instead, he said Aurora offered him a new mortgage for $152,000. Under the terms of that mortgage, Kidd said, the interest rate would start out at 2 percent, but would adjust to 5 percent after five years.
"Realistically, the terms that they're offering are ridiculous," he said. "The bank's lost nothing. I've lost my entire life savings."
Kidd argues that Aurora should reduce the price of the mortgage to the home's current value. He said he hopes that he can come to an agreement to avoid losing his home.
Supporters said they'll fight to help Kidd remain in his home by making phone calls to his mortgage servicer and holding protests to call attention to his situation.
"Today is the start of something very important," said Linden Gawboy of the Minnesota Coalition for a People's Bailout. "Today is the day that Michael Kidd is saying no."
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