The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

101-Year-Old Detroiter Evicted

Sep 19, 2011

A 101-year-old grandmother had no idea she was in danger of being evicted when officers of the 36th District Court showed up at her house with three red dumpsters and started removing everything she owned from her home.

The wheelchair-bound grandmother was put out on the sidewalk, as all of her belongings – accumulated over 58 years in the home – were thrown out, along with all her medications. Neighbors were outraged. “We don’t treat animals like that in the city of Detroit,” said one.

Ms. Texana Hollis ended up being rushed by ambulance to the hospital.

This was an eviction like countless others – only this time an eviction that got glaring national news coverage with the headline, “101 year old granny gets evicted.”

Observers were left scratching their heads, when the news came out that the 101-year-old-granny was put out for a “reverse mortgage.” A “reverse mortgage” means the bank pays you the value of your home, becoming the owner, but letting you stay in until you die.

In this case, the bank paid out $32,000 in 2002 – only to watch the value of its house decrease to $5,000 as a result of what the mortgage crisis did to home prices. The bank got its money back from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2007. And HUD decided to “foreclose” to squeeze some money from granny.

Outrageous foreclosures happen every day. But this one became a big issue since the intended victim had reached the impressive age of 101 years.

Facing damning publicity, HUD quickly reversed itself. A spokesperson said: “Truth be told, this foreclosure action shouldn’t have been brought forward in the first place.”

Staying at a friend’s house while her own home is put back in order by volunteers, Ms. Hollis said: “It seems like the whole world has come together to help me, a poor woman.”