As a member of SNOL I have found my voice, joined a new family, learned to speak up and demand what is right, and won my home back from Bank of America!
I’m proud to be one of the earliest members of Springfield No One Leaves.
I joined SNOL in February 2012 when Bank of America was threatening to take my home away. At the time, I didn’t think there was anything I could do and didn’t know what was going on.
I moved to Springfield along with more than 50 other families who migrated to the United States from Kenya. What we didn’t know is that banks like CountryWide targeted our community and many other immigrant communities, black communities and people who didn’t speak english as their first language with predatory loans. Out of the 50+ families that moved here with me, at least 40 of them lost their homes during the early years of the crisis.
When I started going to Bank Tenant meetings with my daughter I would sit there quietly. But I began to meet other people who were going through the same struggle and I began to realize that I have the right and the power to make demands on the bank!
I realized that SNOL goes beyond just fighting for homes – it is a place for us to find emotional and social support. On days when I thought about my family being homeless, it was the community of SNOL that lifted me back up.
I really found my voice and saw our collective power at the protests we organize to defend families. I was moved by the feeling that we were building a family to support each other and fight together to achieve our goals! I stopped being afraid, I stopped worrying and I got ready to fight!
Later that year, I testified at City Hall to fight for the anti-foreclosure ordinance! It was the first time I spoke publicly in front of hundreds of people, city councilors and the media. I felt empowered to share my story to push for change. A few months later we won the strongest anti-foreclosure law in the country!
All of these experiences led me to be determined in my own fight for our home. In 2014, when Bank of America offered me a modification that would of raised my payments by more than $300 – I stood strong and told them “No! I demand a loan modification with Principal Reduction to the current market value, and if you try to evict, I am going to fight that eviction.”
This year, I won a loan modification with principal reduction that reduced my mortgage by $130,000 – a 53% reduction in my loan to the current value!
Now, knowing that my daughter’s and I are safe in our home, I am committed to fighting back and teaching others to fight for their homes too!
Thank you family!
Eunice Waweru – SNOL Member