For 62-year-old Christine Frazer, 18 years of homeownership has come down to a pending eviction.
But members of the Occupy Atlanta activist group are camping out at the south DeKalb home Frazer shares with her mother, 85; daughter, 25; and grandson, 3.
“The plan is to have a non-violent sit-in,” said Cai Otee, with Occupy Atlanta, which has been at Frazer’s home since March 4. “We’re going to try to delay it as much as we can.”
“We’re pretty much waiting for the marshals to show,” said Leila Abadir, with Occupy Atlanta. “We’re going to defend this home.
“Hopefully, if we get enough people here, [the marshals] will be intimidated and push back their schedule,” Abadir said. “The goal is to save the home.”
Abadir said that a writ of possession notice was signed on March 7 giving marshals the authority to remove the occupants from the home.
Frazer’s financial misfortunes began in 2002 when her husband Leroy passed away.
The couple owned a ladies’ clothing store and a moving company in Atlanta. They were successful enough to have nine employees and to be able to purchase a second house used for workers and to house the business.
Frazer held onto the moving company for a year after Leroy’s death.
She has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy several times.
“I was trying to keep my house,” Frazer said.
After selling her moving company in 2004 to a buyer who defaulted on the contract, Frazer went to work for Orkin Pest Control in March 2007. She was fired in July 2009 for violating the company’s “no-fault tardiness policy” after being late for work when her car broke down.
Since then, Frazer has been looking for a job so she could afford her mortgage payments. .
“I’m a victim of the economy,” Frazer said.
Trying to hold onto her house, Frazer has unsuccessfully sought help from the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.
The balance on Frazer’s mortgage is $145,000, plus approximately $25,000 in interest, late fees and court costs, she said. The most recent appraisal of the house was $45,000.
“The banks got their bailout,” Frazer said. “Where’s my justice? Where my bailout?”
When she turned to her lender, she was told that if she could make three mortgage payments on time, they would consider a loan modification, Frazer said. She was unable to make the payments, but six months later she was told she needed to come up with $20,000 before they would consider a loan modification.
In January 2012, Frazer heard about Occupy Atlanta’s home defense effort and contacted the organization.
“They’ve really been fantastic in bringing attention to my situation,” Frazer said.
The Occupy Atlanta group also put Frazer in touch with an attorney, Joshua Davis, who has filed a lawsuit against Investors One Corporation, the company that claims to own the loan and is attempting to evict the family from the home.
Frazer’s attorney is challenging the assignment of the mortgage to Investors One after the mortgage changed companies three times in six months.
“This lawsuit will hopefully help prevent an eviction,” Frazer said.