Deputies Refuse to Evict 103-Year-Old From Home

As the foreclosure machine rumbles on, many Americans continue to lose homes that they have lived in for decades. The crisis has claimed the homes of more than 2.7 million Americans who took out a loan between 2004 and 2008 alone, while another 3.6 million from that group teeter on the brink of default. Banks are on track to repossess around 800,000 homes this year.

A 103-year-old and her 83-year-old daughter living in Atlanta looked poised to suffer that fate Tuesday when they were scheduled to be evicted from their home of 53 years.

But an act of compassion has left them holding on: The sheriff's deputies and moving company tasked with carrying out the eviction refused to remove the two from their home after seeing centenarian Vita Lee. Despite that, Lee's daughter was rushed to the hospital, perhaps because of the stressful circumstances of the planned eviction.

Lee, who will turn 104 within weeks, told WSB-TV/Channel 2 that she is hopeful that she can work out a deal with her lender, Deutsche Bank. A local community activist says the family has been "waging war" with the bank for years.

Lee's reprieve from eviction is one of the latest cases of homeowners avoiding foreclosure, thanks to acts of good Samaritans. Recently, a disabled veteran who sustained severe injuries in Afghanistan, held on to his home in Costa Mesa, Calif., after news of an imminent foreclosure on the house prompted a flood of donations. And earlier this month another vet was able to halt foreclosure on his home after gathering more than 14,000 signatures protesting the proceedings against him.

But as millions are well aware, homeowners normally can't count on the kindness of others to help them hold on to their homes. The case of a 101-year-old woman who lost her Detroit home to foreclosure serves as a grim reminder of this fact.