103-Year-Old Who Faced Eviction Gets New Lease on Life

You may recall the story of Vinia Hall, the 103-year-old Atlanta woman who faced eviction on her family home of 53 years in November. She was all but resigned to join the estimated 800,000 homeowners facing lender repossession by the year's end.

But when sheriff's deputies arrived at the residence and found the centenarian living with her 84-year-old daughter, Kathelyn Cornelius, they refused to evict the pair, buying the family some much needed time.

Now, just one month later, not only will the family be allowed to stay in the home, but a public outpouring of support from as far away as Afghanistan is reaching their doorstep, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

After attracting national media coverage and an online petition with over 33,000 signatures in support of the Halls, JPMorgan Chase, the mortgage holder, came to terms on a repayment plan that allows the family to stay in the home.

(Story continues below)

The family first got into trouble in 2002, when Hall's grandson, Ali Muhammad, took out a second mortgage on the home under his name, the Journal-Constitution reports. By 2009 the payments had become unmanageable, and the home fell into foreclosure.

Even after news of the family's settlement with the lender emerged, well-wishers continued to show their support for the family. Just in time for the New Year, Houston-based mattress company, Mattress Firm, arrived at the residence with $6,000 in bedding and a $600 money order from company employees.

"I appreciate it so much," Hall told the Journal Constitution. "I'm getting too much. I'm going to keep on living."

A similar outcome was reached for Texana Hollis, a 101-year-old Detroit woman who lost her home, much like Hall did, after an imprudent mortgage was taken out by a relative. After a groundswell of support, she too was given her home back.

But with more than 600,000 foreclosure filings in the third quarter of this year, these cases remain an exception to the rule. The foreclosure crisis has claimed the homes of an estimated 2.7 million homeowners between 2004 and 2008, while another 3.6 million are at serious risk of default.

See also:
Delaying Foreclosure, Some Owners Stay Put for Years
2011 In Real Estate: The Top 11 News Stories