Thursday, November 8, 2012

Help this disabled veteran keep his home

Brother Mark Harris.
This country doesn't need another homeless veteran. That's why our brothers and sisters at Local 728 are helping veteran and retired Teamster Mark Harris stay in his home.

Today a judge ordered him to leave his house in seven days, though he fell behind in his payments because of a Desert Storm-related illness. Brother Harris is trying to work within the system to catch up on his payments, but Fannie Mae doesn't care. The company auctioned off his home -- even though he can afford the mortgage since his VA benefits kicked in.

Local 728 is planning an action next week against Fannie Mae's regional headquarters. In the meantime, they're urging people to call Andrew Wilson at Fannie Mae. His number is 202-752-5168.

Here is Mark Harris's story:
I have worked hard and tried to do the right thing my whole life. I joined the Army in 1982 just out of High School, and served a year in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. After transitioning from active duty I got a job with UPS and was proud to join Teamsters Local 728.  
I purchased my home in 1996 with a VA backed home loan and refinanced it in 2004.
In 2005 I started my own trucking business, and then the economy crashed. I got illnesses related to my time in Desert Storm, and I fell behind on my mortgage. 
I’ve been trying to catch up ever since; recently I’ve applied for the HomeSafe program here in Georgia. While my application was being processed my VA benefits kicked in, which meant I could afford to make my payments. 
Sadly, as my finances were finally coming together in October 2012, Green Tree Mortgage Servicing foreclosed on my home on behalf of Fannie Mae, despite the fact that I was doing everything I could to catch up and modify my loan. 
Fannie Mae auctioned off my home, knowing that HomeSafe was working with me. Now that I am receiving my service connected disability compensation I can make my monthly payments but Fannie Mae wants me out now. All they're willing to offer me is $1500 cash for keys to get out. 
In looking over my assignment documents I’ve also discovered that some of the country’s most famous robo signers signed the mortgage assignment that was used to foreclose on me. 
Fannie Mae is aggressively moving forward with an eviction, and it could happen as soon as November 15th. As a veteran, I thought the toughest battles were behind me. I never thought I’d be struggling to keep a roof over my head. I fought for this country, so I know I have a right to fight for my home!
You can also sign a petition here to prevent this veteran from becoming homeless.