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Franklin Township family evicted after advocacy march and protest fails to win delayPrint Email >Warren Cooper/NJN Publishing By Warren Cooper/NJN Publishing The Somerset Reporter
on June 25, 2012 at 3:05 PM
FRANKLIN TWP. — Supporters hoping to prevent a Somerset family from being evicted from their North Lawrence Street home have lost that fight.
The family of Eliseo Solis was evicted from 214 N. Lawrence St. on June 21, according to a spokeswoman in the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office — even as the family’s supporters and advocacy groups sought to convince the state agency holding their mortgage to give them a reprieve.
About 70 neighbors, friends and other supporters met at the Solis home on June 9 to march through the neighborhood and protest the threatened eviction, in an event organized by two community advocacy groups.
According to Eric Romsted of Unemployed Crisis Action Network, a New Brunswick-area volunteer organization that defends families from fraudulent foreclosures, nearly 700 homeowners in the Somerset section of Franklin Township received foreclosure notices between 2009 and 2011. The numbers for 2012 are not yet available.
The protest may have drawn attention to problems of families facing foreclosure, but it didn't save the Solises from eviction.
The Solis mortgage is held by the New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency, according to Tammori Petty, a spokeswoman for the Department of Community Affairs.
Michael Shelton, servicing administrator for the agency, met with Solis in May, according to Petty. A follow-up meeting was scheduled after the June 9 protest, she said.
Romsted had predicted that the agency "would probably be willing to postpone the eviction... while the review was in process," but he had not received a formal commitment from Shelton.
That commitment apparently never came.
According to Petty, the agency currently has 11,000 mortgages valued at about $1.2 billion. She didn't say whether the Solis mortgage was one that the agency had originated or one that it acquired from "approved participating private lenders."
According to Petty, the agency contracts with private mortgage servicing companies to collect debt service, administer insurance and tax escrows and pursue delinquent borrowers.
Advocate Romsted did not return calls after the eviction.
Reach Warren Cooper at email@example.com or 908-948-1261.