Please help us today with D.D. Duncan in Pasadena

We need people to stand in solidarity with D.D. Duncan, a Pasadena native who has been a foster care mother of 32 years. She and her five foster children, all siblings at high-risk, were evicted from their rental home in August, 2012. Last week we spoke with the investor who agreed to delay a "trash out" of the home, but it appears he has changed his mind. He now says he will come as early as today. Given how hard it is for large families to find affordable housing in Pasadena, we view this as an important priority.

Please find below some background on D.D.'s case
Thanks for anything you can do to help!

Occupy Fights Foreclosures
Lydia Breen: 661.414.2862
Diana Hines: 323.292.9494
John Seeley: 310.435.7696

on behalf of:
Deirdra Duncan
35 & 45 West Howard, Pasadena, CA. (MAP at the bottom)
Phone: 626.676.0975


Deirdra Duncan has been a foster care mother for 32 years. In 2007, she assumed long-term foster care of five high-risk children - all siblings - ranging in age from 4 to 17. She became the children’s legal guardian in 2010, an agreement that required her to provide them with a long-term, stable environment, and, in essence, to accept the children as her own.

It is an obligation she takes seriously, all the more so since the children’s birth mother has spent considerable time in and out of prison on drug-related charges. Their birth mother currently lives on Skid Row. As high-risk children, they are prone to emotional disorders, which D.D. likens to the experiences of traumatized prisoners of war (i.e., separation anxiety and troubles concentrating.) In fact, some of the children were born in and spent time in prison with their mother, who was a runaway from a broken home.

Deirdra Duncan is a Pasadena native with strong community ties. Her children attend school there (at a charter school she helped establish). She is deeply committed to her church community and been an active member of neighborhood groups. Her own 29-year old daughter is the co-guardian of the foster children that D.D. cares for. D.D. speaks lucidly about how hard it is for large families - especially foster care families - to find suitable housing in Pasadena.

When she was a young woman considering her future calling as a foster care mother, D.D.’s mother, (also a foster care provider) advised her to: “Treat these children like they are your own. Never take it like a job. The whisperings in your ear come from the Lord. God loves us all, no matter what we do, so follow God’s example and have the same love in your heart for these children.”

Speaking of the five siblings currently in her care, D.D. said: “Because these children don’t have a family, we, as a society, are obligated to take on that responsibility. We are the village that needs to give them extra loving and care.” Occupy Fights Foreclosures is working in solidarity with D.D. to get her and her children back in their home.

Foreclosure History of Deirdra Duncan’s rental home on 35 W. Howard Street Pasadena, CA, 91103

1) 1998 - Statice Wilmore (Deirdra Duncan’s sister) purchased a house on 35 W. Howard Street from Countrywide Financial for $85,000.[1] Payments were set at $800/month.
Ms. Wilmore purchased the house as rental property to help her sister have a stable home environment for the many foster children she has cared for over three decades. Deirdra Duncan has raised foster children in the house since the time it was purchased until August 31, 2012 when she was evicted from the home. Since the beginning D.D has had a lease.

2) 2003 – Ms. Wilmore refinanced her mortgage to make home improvements. The monthly payments rose to $1,000. In 2006 she refinanced again with Countrywide; the monthly payments rose to approximately $2,800. By 2008, the monthly payments were well over $3,000.

3) 2008 –Ms. Wilmore’s hours were cut at her job; the loss of income made it impossible to keep up mortgage payments on the house.

4) At the same time Ms. Wilmore was attempting to modify her loan with Bank of America (who took over Countrywide in 2008) the bank was working on a parallel track to foreclose on her home.[2]

5) June – July 2009 - Ms. Wilmore filed a lawsuit with Bank of America. (Fed Case CV0906140)

6) 2010 - An agreement was reached, obligating B of A to try to negotiate workable mortgage terms for Ms. Wilmore

7) April 15, 2011 – Ms. Wilmore’s application for a modification was approved. [3]

8) April 25, 2011 - the bank foreclosed on the home without telling Ms. Wilmore or her attorney.

9) April 25, 2011 - Rincon Trust (based in Simi Valley) held a foreclosure sale on behalf of Bank of America, selling the house at auction to an entity of Bank of NY Mellon. [4]

10) August 11, 2012 – D.D. was in contact with two investors who said they had bought the house. The investors made a rental contract with her.

11) October 5, 2012 – one of the investors arrived with the police. The family was evicted and the locks were changed.

12) October 18, 2012 –One of the investors called to tell D.D. he intended to “trash out” the house that next day.

13) October 19, 2012 – the investor arrived at the house and told D.D. that he would not be trashing out the house that day. He told D.D. (and, in a separate conversation with Carlos Marroquin of Occupy Fights Foreclosures) that if Bank of America would buy the house back, he would agree to a quitclaim deed. We are hoping that Bank of America will understand that mistakes have been made, buy back the house and offer Ms. Wilmore a mortgage on terms she can afford.

[1] In 2010, The Federal Trade Commission won a suit in against Countrywide for predatory lending practices and exorbitant servicing fees. Countrywide’s co-founder and CEO, Anthony Mozillo, came in second on Conde Nast’s list of America’s worst CEO’s. Mozillo’s son manages investment companies based in Pasadena, where he currently resides. In 2009 Countrywide was purchased by Bank of America.

[2] . Under the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights, set to go in effect January 2012, this process, known as “dual tracking” will be illegal in the State of California.

[3] Trial terms set on the application were approximately $1,500/month @ 2%. First payment was due June 1, 2011.

[4] The actual the actual trustee sale was states the house was sold to Bank of NY Mellon on May 13, 2011. It is illegal to foreclose on a home before the trustee sale. As such, D.D.’s attorney claims the sale to the investor is void.

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@evans3_w mentioned @OFF_LA link to this page. 2012-10-28 09:27:30 -0700
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@HQOccupy tweeted link to this page. 2012-10-26 11:33:24 -0700
Please help us today with D.D. Duncan in Pasadena #Occupy #OWS #OpESR #OccupyHQ
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Please help us today with D.D. Duncan in Pasadena #Occupy #OpESR #OWS