Fannie Mae Forgives Mortgage After Homeowner Shoots Self

Like a scene from a scary movie, gunshots from a little white house in Akron, Ohio, jolted Capitol Hill Friday. The culprit? Foreclosure. Ninety-year-old Addie Polk, in an attempt to prevent eviction after a bank foreclosed on her home, allegedly fired shots into her chest as Summit County sheriff’s deputies approached her home with eviction papers. “She said it was a crazy thing to do, now that she’s had time to think about it,” said Robert Dillon, Polk’s long-time neighbor, as reported by the, as reported by the Akron Beacon Journal. “You know the good Lord works in different ways. Maybe what has happened to her will help a lot of other seniors in this country.” (Our concern: it might lead to copycat attempts with a far worse outcome, but perhaps that’s just us.) Nonetheless, Fannie Mae (FNM) — which owned the loan on her home — announced it would dismiss its foreclosure action against Polk, forgive her mortgage and allow her to return home. Polk is expected to make a full recovery, according to press reports. “Just given the circumstances, we think it’s appropriate,” said Brian Faith, a Fannie Mae spokesman. In frustration over the bailout, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Clev.), shared Polk’s story on the House floor Friday during a debate over the financial bailout package. He said the bailout plan doesn’t provide help to the millions of people like Polk who are on the verge of foreclosure. “People need to hear this story,” Kucinich said.  “This is a human face for a great national tragedy.” Polk took sole ownership of the Akron home in 1995 when her husband died, according to court and property records. They bought the 1,200-square-foot house in 1970 for $10,000 and paid it off in 1982.  Polk took out a mortgage in 1997 and another in 2001. Then, in 2004 she refinanced, taking a 30-year, $45,620 mortgage from Countrywide; the loan was sold to Fannie Mae. A notice of default was filed against Polk in September 2007; in June, Fannie Mae bought the house at a sheriff’s action. Polk allegedly ignored the lawsuit and notices left at her home. And in her last-ditch effort to stay in the house where she has lived for 38 years, the widow did the unthinkable. Here at HW, we wonder if this is really what the housing crisis has come to? More importantly, we can’t help but wonder how many others will feel this is necessary. Editor’s note: To contact the reporter on this story, email [email protected].

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