Sára moved to Minneapolis from Hungary with 2 Master’s Degrees already under her belt. In her home country she had free healthcare, free education, and there was affordable housing for everyone. She yearned for the American experience, so she moved to Minneapolis to further her education, only to find herself a victim of the ongoing foreclosure crisis.
In 2006, as she was pursuing a PhD at the U of M, she bought her 1st home in South Minneapolis. A recent divorce had forced the sale of a previous home and she used $30K in proceeds, plus $10K borrowed from her grandmother as a down payment on a home of her own. She trusted a mortgage broker friend who sold her on a 7.375% interest rate loan on a 3yr Adjustable Rate term with $40K Down. She managed to make timely payments for 4 years.
Sara earned her PHD in 2009, only to find the economic crash and the job market had whittled away any full time teaching opportunities. She was forced to take an adjunct professor position at the U of M with a $900 monthly salary. She learned that she and her daughter would not receive medical benefits and a glitch in her immigration status prevented her from getting MinnesotaCare. At that point she took out an additional $20K in student loans simply to continue paying her mortgage payments on time. She asked US Bank to modify her loan. At the time she was desperate to stay in her home, lower her monthly payment, and provide a stable environment for her daughter. US Bank was unresponsive to her requests and started bombarding her with phone calls and demands for full payment. The stress of the process drove Sara to seek psychological counseling and she was prescribed multiple anti-anxiety medications. The stress caused her to move from the home shortly after.
After having 6 months to reflect on her experience, Sara wants to fight back against the banking system that her put her and her 8-year-old daughter through such hell. She has shared her story at Occupy Minneapolis, with other U of M faculty and even her own students. She is well aware of the macro and micro economic conditions that led to the crisis, and why it’s important to organize and mobilize for change.
She has written a letter to Richard Davis, recorded a short video of her experience and outrage, and delivered a public message at her Court hearing on Nov 15th. Her message to US Bank: “You got bailed out and you’ve got my home, now give me back my $40K Down payment!” Her motivation at this point is “to help others going through what I went through. It’s no longer just about me.”