Lender evicts man during move-out

(Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira) Ken Tilton and City Life/Vida Urbana activist Maria Christina Blanco in front of Tilton’s Weld Avenue house during the June 1 eviction.

EGLESTON SQ.—Ken Tilton was forcibly evicted from his Weld Avenue home on June 1 despite the fact he already was in the process of moving out.

Tilton—the former owner of landmark JP businesses Zon’s restaurant and the novelty store Pluto—has been working with the local housing group City Life/Vida Urbana since Bank of America and Fannie Mae foreclosed on his house in 2009.

The eviction was not expected, as Tilton was already planning on moving to a new home, he said. Most of his belongings were already in boxes when the truck showed up and he planned to move the bulk of them to his new home the following day, June 2.

Fannie Mae, the owner of the loan, “didn’t give me a day. They didn’t give me an hour,” he told the Gazette as movers loaded the truck.

City Life attorneys contacted the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae, to ask for a day’s delay but were denied, City Life Organizing Coordinator Steve Meachem told the Gazette.

A Gazette email to Fannie Mae was not answered by press time.

Tilton’s belongings were taken by a court-ordered moving company to Extra Space Storage on Washington Street, a few minutes from Tilton’s house at 11 Weld Ave. He was not allowed to take the belongings to his new apartment.

“Ken was paying use and occupancy [a form of rent]. He dropped his [foreclosure] appeal and found another place,” Meachem said. “That’s why we didn’t have a protest. We couldn’t imagine why the bank would evict somebody that already said he’d move.”

Tilton, standing over framed artwork leaning against the fence—some of the glass broken—said Fannie Mae said it had given him 48 hours’ notice, but he never received it, as he now lives primarily in his new apartment.

Since 2009, Tilton has been paying rent to Bank of America on the house that he and his partner, Frank—who died of cancer in 2007—purchased with a $400,000 mortgage in 2005.

Bank of America services the loan even though Fannie Mae owns it.

“It’s an example of—even when you do what they [banks] tell you to do—they don’t treat you with respect,” Meachem added.

“My family in City Life got me through this,” Tilton told the Gazette.

Tilton was one of 24 arrested last September when over 3,000 people protested at Bank of America’s Boston headquarters in the Financial District.

City Life’s organizing is largely based on empowering victims of the foreclosure crisis. The group holds weekly meetings for people affected by the foreclosure crisis, where they are encouraged to “leave their shame at the door.” People who speak at those meetings hold a wooden sword while they are speaking.

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