Trial to stave off activist's eviction gets pushed back for more talks

  • Article by: RANDY FURST , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 28, 2009 - 9:00 PM

GMAC Mortgage wants "further conversations" with Rosemary Williams and attorneys. Some had vowed disobedience in protest.

A trial to evict a Minneapolis woman from her foreclosed house has been rescheduled for May 26 after the mortgage company that now owns the house said it wanted to have "further conversations" with the woman and her attorneys.

The trial had been scheduled to begin Tuesday. But at a news conference, Rosemary Williams, who lost her house on the 3100 block of Clinton Avenue to foreclosure in September, said lawyers from GMAC Mortgage, the new owner, had called her attorney to ask for the postponement and raised the possibility of negotiating with her.

Jeannine Bruin, executive director of mortgage communications for GMAC Financial Services, declined to comment on what was being discussed.

After Williams failed to leave the house by March 30, GMAC went to court to have her evicted by sheriff's deputies. At a hearing last week, Williams' attorneys asked for a trial on the issues.

Several groups that support a foreclosure moratorium have vowed to use civil disobedience to prevent her eviction.

Williams said she had been unable to make escalating payments on a second mortgage.

In court papers, her attorney Jordan Kushner said GMAC "should not be permitted to harm the community for purposes of property speculation, particularly where it is receiving billions of dollars in federal taxpayer funds for the ostensible purpose of helping homeowners avoid foreclosure."

While declining to discuss Williams' case, Bruin said "in general," once GMAC buys a foreclosure house, its typical options are to market it individually or combine it with other properties it owns and sell it to investors.

"It can be marketed as vacant or may be marketed as tenant-occupied," she said. "We do have a program called 'cash for keys' that provides funding to the borrower for relocation assistance, and we can also work with the borrower on a reasonable timeline to vacate the property."

Randy Furst • 612-673-7382

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