Thursday, February 12, 2009

Faces of Foreclosure: Activist Molly Secours May Soon Be Homeless

Posted by on Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 12:10 PM

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This just in: The economy has tanked, the market has crashed, and home foreclosures are at record numbers. Even though this is relatively recent history, it's already starting to feel like the status quo. Reports about clueless auto execs testifying before congress, Wall Street twerps being handsomely rewarded for their malfeasance, and entire neighborhoods being abandoned due to foreclosure are the norm. Sure, it's hitting everyone to some degree, but with the onslaught of grim news, you can get desensitized to it...until it unleashes its full fury on you or someone you know. Local writer, activist and documentarian Molly Secours, who for years has fought to help those struggling to make ends meet, has recently found herself at the short end of the foreclosure stick. Secours, who was diagnosed with uterine cancer a year-and-a-half ago (and who had good credit up until that time), has desperately tried to work something out with her lender, but has been stonewalled at every turn. The irony is that, were she to be offered a new loan at, say, 5.5 percent (above the going rate for a 30-year-fixed), she could afford the payments. Secours recently sent this letter to Congressman Jim Cooper, and a friend circulated the correspondence via email. She sees little alternative to foreclosure in her future, but hopes her plight may help others. And for the thousands of Nashvillians who know Molly and the tireless good works she undertakes, it puts a face on the financial meltdown's overwhelming human cost. After the jump, Molly's letter to Rep. Cooper.
Dear Jim, As you may or may not know, a year-and-a-half ago I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Ironic in a way, after having produced a 13-minute documentary about Tennessee's health care failure called "Faces Of TennCare," but that's another story. The long and short is that, due to the illness and loss of work during that time, I am probably losing my house and will be in foreclosure March 2nd. I have been trying to prevent this since June 2008, and only when I began to get behind did the lender (First Franklin) even enter into correspondence with me. Communicating with them has been impossible and now foreclosure is inevitable. I have done EVERYTHING that has been suggested to me and the bottom line is (as they said to me today), they've "got nothing for me." I had great credit before I got sick, tried negotiating with everyone and now I am about to be without a home. All of this talk about bailouts and helping "the homeowner" leaves me a little cold. I pretty much have resolved that on March 2nd I'm a statistic and thought maybe you could give me some hope. I've worked with nonprofit FHAs, etc., and even they can't get anyone on the phone to care. All of the talk of programs to help people is really just that, "talk." I, like millions of Americans, am not looking for a "bailout," just a helping hand. So, I am asking, is there any hope for someone who pays their taxes, has tried in earnest to avoid the situation and is willing to make good but can't afford a 9.8% loan? Thanks Jim, You're my last shot. Always a fan.
UPDATE: Molly Secours tells Pith she won't accept any sort of financial help or fundraiser from friends regarding this situation. Concerned friends held two concert fundraisers at The Belcourt to help her with her medical expenses, and she is adamant that she wants no further help, as she's aware thousands of people around the state are struggling with the same looming fate. (For the record, she was reticent about Pith even posting her letter here for this very reason, though she agreed in order to draw attention to the crisis affecting homeowners nationwide.)

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