An update to the story below: Jack Flynn of the Republican reports here that the eviction of the Mendez family was called off at the last minute, apparently at the request of Aurora Bank. Flynn reports that about 70 people showed up in support of the Mendezes, and that Ward 7 City Councilor Tim Allen and Sen. John Kerry's staff both intervened on the family's behalf.
The Mendez family is scheduled to be evicted from their Talmadge Drive home at 1 o’clock this afternoon. But a group of supporters plans to be there to block the eviction.
The blockade is planned by the Springfield Bank Tenants Association, a group of residents who face eviction. According to an announcement from an affiliated group, the anti-foreclosure organization Springfield No One Leaves/Nadie Se Mude, the family will be joined by supporters at their home, at 27 Talmadge, to resist an eviction by Aurora Bank, which has foreclosed on the property. The family fell behind in their mortgage payments after a loss in income, the group says. The bank offered them a temporary trial loan modification, which they agreed to. But after 18 months of making payments under that plan, the family learned the bank would not offer a permanent modification and instead was moving to evict them, according to SNOL.
The family, the release added, has offered to pay rent to the bank—which would both keep them in their home and prevent the neighborhood from suffering the ill effects of a boarded-up building—but has been rebuffed. This summer, supporters held a candlelight vigil at the home.
SNOL says the Mendez family and their allies are willing to be arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. “I am willing to get arrested because I believe that what Aurora Bank is doing is immoral. No one who is willing to pay rent should have to be evicted,” Deborah Nowell, another Springfield resident who faces eviction, said in the release.
The release also quoted one of the Mendez daughters, Yosselyn: “I don’t want to leave this home. It is really important for me. I don’t think I can find a better place than this. I don’t feel great that the bank (Aurora Bank) is taking away our home. They told us they were going to help us out and they did the opposite. They are kicking us out. I feel sad and mad that they are taking our home away.”