The truth is setting you free .....Join up to it
(These are the protest that work - people power at its best, dont let anybody get evicted - Linda)
Friday, August 19th 2011, 7:16 PM
An 82-year-old great-grandmother cried tears of joy Friday as nearly 200 neighbors rallied in her support on the day she was to be evicted.
"Thank you, thank you," Ward cried out to supporters from the top step of the Bedford-Stuyvesant house where she has lived for 44 years.
"You have to stick with it when you know your right," Ward told the cheering crowd. "Don't let nobody walk all over you."
Ward, who fell victim in 1995 to a predatory subprime mortgage lender that went under in 2007, has been battling to stay in the Tompkins Avenue home for more than a decade.
A city marshal was supposed to boot Ward from the one-family frame house Friday, but didn't show as her lawyers sat down with an assemblywoman and the home's owner.
Neighbors show their support Friday outside Ward's home. (Debbie Egan-Chin/News)
"The marshal will not be taking any action and we've reached an agreement that Ms. Ward can stay in her house," said Assemblywoman Annette Robinson.
Ward got knotted up in the mortgage mess in 1995, when she needed money to hire a lawyer to help keep her great-granddaughter from being adopted.
But Ward said Delta Funding, the company that promised her a $10,000 cash advance if she borrowed against her house, gave her little more than $1,000.
Since signing on for the supposedly sweet deal, Delta Funding has gone broke and been sued by the feds for targeting minorities in Brooklyn and Queens.
The house, meanwhile, was bought at a foreclosure auction last September by 768 Dean Inc.
Representatives of 768 Dean could not be reached for comment.
Ward's lawyer, Karen Gargamelli of the non-profit group Common Law, said she wants a state investigation into the sale of the loan.
She also wants the home's owner to turn the building's deed over to Ward so other old folks can live there.
"I hope they realize that they can never really win," Ward said. "I will not compromise."
Ward drew plenty of support from neighbors who carried signs and vowed to keep a marshal from booting her.
"I couldn't stand by in good conscience and let Ms. Ward be evicted after so many years of struggling to defend her home," said Sarah Hogarth, 45, of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Saralynn Lewis, a sculptor who lives around the corner from Ward, said she's seen her neighbor battle for years to stay in the home.
"It hurts to see her go through this," Lewis said. "I'm glad she was able to stand so strong."