We issued the call. You answered.
You helped Causa Justa :: Just Cause support Tosha Hodge and saved her home
Photo: from left, Alma Blackwell, Gerthina Harris, CJJC members.
On March 7, we issued an urgent action alert for people to come to the Alameda County Courthouse to put pressure on the bank not to sell Tosha Hodge's home on March 8.
We also asked people to call the mortgage company and tell them to stop the sale immediately. It seems the pressure worked.
We will keep you updated about what happens next.
Tosha Hodge is facing what many families across the nation are dealing with, the possible loss of her home and the unraveling of a dream.
Hodge, born and raised in Oakland, has three children all under the age of 15. She has been living on her property since 1999. In May 2005, Hodge, 34, was given some bad financial advice to refinance her home.
She says she decided to do so because her home needed some basic repairs. Like many homeowners who have been duped, Hodge says she didn’t realize the person who urged her to refinance did not give her the full and essential details about her refinance from Option One Company.
Her mortgage payments jumped from $1,200 to close to $2,000 and did NOT include property taxes and home insurance. Shortly after receiving the loan she was laid off. As a result, a significant portion of the money she pulled out also went to supporting her family during her unemployment.
In October 2008 Hodge asked Causa Justa :: Just Cause for assistance in securing a loan modification to improve the terms of her mortgage agreement. CJJC helped her get a better loan and one in which her payments would be only $1,200 a month including property taxes and insurance. However, after four months the mortgage payment ballooned again to $2,300.
She says she tried to manage the payments but then her mother became ill early last year. She became her mother’s primary caregiver.
In November 2010 she received a letter from the Home Retention Team of American Home Mortgage Servicing (AHMS) asking her about her interest in saving her home. She did not respond because her mother had severely declined and passed away on December 25. She does not know who AHMS is but she has been receiving paperwork from them since their initial contact with her.
On Jan. 27th she received a packet with directions about how to save her home, it told her to send AHMS a list of information that would allow her to "save her home" (AHMS's words) which she filled out and mailed back to AHMS around Feb. 5. This packet actually told her that she had until March 14 to fill out the forms and mail or fax them back in.
She then contacted them to follow up on the packet she mailed and spoke to a representative. The representative said that their system did not show the information she had mailed in but that he would check the "imaging"
She didn’t hear from them until Feb. 14 when she received a notice that had on the page - "Substitution of Trustee"
On the morning of March 7, Hodge contacted CJJC for support in saving her home and CJJC responded to this emergency case.
The next day, March 8, a boisterous group of CJJC members and supporters showed up for the Bank Sale on the Courthouse steps carrying signs that said:
“THIS PROPERTY IS NOT FOR SALE! 2008 100th Avenue, Oakland Belongs To TOSHA HODGE AND HER 3 CHILDREN and they are fighting to keep their home!”
The group also distributed fliers to everyone who attended the sale and gave them the same message. We told them of our commitment to support Tosha in keeping her home and that anyone choosing to purchase the property would be seeing and hearing from us in the future. Surprisingly several people in the crowd responded sympathetically and most people we spoke to said “I don’t want to buy that house…”
Our actions were successful in securing Tosha and her family valuable time to negotiate a lasting and fair loan modification. Thank you for supporting Tosha and her family in defending their right to stay in their home!