Laurie knows how to nurture things. A skilled botanist, she spent more than 15 years cultivating hundreds of plants in and around her home. But life did not always return the favor. Laurie ended up with a heavily mortgaged home and two children to raise by herself. She worked two full-time jobs to scrape together as much money as she could to send to the bank. She stopped gardening. She couldn’t pay for heat. Over and over, the bank threatened foreclosure, and Laurie would send more money. Finally, in May of 2012, the home was sold at auction.
When Laurie received a 48-hour eviction notice, she turned to Community Legal Aid. Allen, Laurie’s attorney, found that the eviction notices were served improperly, and was able to have the eviction dismissed in court. Before the bank could bring a second eviction, Allen uncovered legal problems with the foreclosure sale itself, and began to file complaints in court. Meanwhile, he helped Laurie work with Boston Community Capital (BCC), a non-profit that helps families that have a steady income – but can’t make their monthly mortgage payments due to hardship – repurchase their homes from banks at an affordable rate.
With assistance from BCC, Allen’s legal help, and a gift from her son, Laurie was able to buy back her home in 2013. Laurie says, “The most important thing that [Allen] gave me was hope, strength and complete moral support. I felt like I was the only person in the world to him.” Laurie continues, “If I didn’t have Allen – it wouldn’t have worked. He treated me like a full, real person.”
Now, for the first time in years, Laurie is excited about her plans for the future. “I’m gonna get out there with all my vigor in the spring,” she says. “My life has been on hold, literally, for eight years. Now, at 53, I can start my life over again. It’s all behind me, and Laurie, unmarried woman, is a homeowner!”