dimarts, 2 de desembre de 2008

Eviction

"At the age of 90, Addie Polk found herself in foreclosure this week, about to be forced from the home she’s lived in for nearly 40 years. So, with a gun in her hand, the Akron widow apparently shot herself in the chest Wednesday afternoon as deputies were knocking on her door with eviction papers in hand. While a nation reels in financial crisis from years of mortgage abuse, Polk is recovering at Akron General Medical Center, awaiting word on where she will live when she’s released.”

EVICTION, from The New Yorker.

“In the early afternoon on October 1st, Donald Fatheree, a sheriff’s deputy in Akron, Ohio, drove his black-and-gold cruiser into one of Akron’s dying neighborhoods and came to a stop in front of a small white wood-frame house, with a neatly trimmed lawn and a beige Chevrolet parked in the driveway. He had been there many times before. Part of Fatheree’s job is to execute writs of possession, legal orders turning people out of their foreclosed homes—a disagreeable task mitigated, if only slightly, by the long grind of the process…

Fatheree knew little more about the person inside than the information contained in the original foreclosure complaint: “Addie Polk, an unmarried woman.”

You could never be sure what awaited on the other side of the door. As a precaution, Fatheree brought along another deputy, Jason Beam. Fatheree knocked on the front door, and, once again, no answer came. According to department policy, the evicting officers could not enter the premises unless they were accompanied by a representative from the bank. In this case, the defaulted loan had been made by Countrywide Home Loans, and had been assumed by the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae, which had acquired the house at a sheriff ’s auction in June. The house, appraised at forty-two thousand dollars, had sold for twenty-eight thousand. No one from Countrywide had yet arrived, and the two deputies decided to wait. Another deputy, Dave Bailey, happened by, and stopped to say hello. It was a lovely day, and soon the three officers were chatting in the sunshine just a few paces from the front porch. After a time, they were joined by a curious neighbor, Robert Dillon, who owned the house next door.

Countrywide’s representative never arrived. Fatheree was ready to leave, and have the eviction rescheduled, when the men heard a noise inside the house. Dillon, worried that Addie had fallen and needed help, said that he knew a way to get in, and Fatheree told him to try. Dillon fetched a ladder, climbed to a second-floor bathroom window, and worked it open. He stepped inside and called for Addie, but heard no reply. Fatheree’s official eviction notice, the duct tape attached, lay on a bedroom dresser. Dillon found Addie in bed, reclined on her side, apparently asleep. A gun lay beside her, and he recalls wondering, Huh? Why is Miss Polk sleeping with a gun in her bed?”


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