Demonstrators Stage Anti-Eviction Protest in Plainfield

A Joliet woman who lost her husband and her son to tragedies could soon lose her house too.

In a demonstration organized by the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign and the local chapter of Warehouse Workers for Justice, nearly 30 people stood in protest in front of the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage office on Lockport Street Monday morning, rallying in support of Loleta Barrow-Leggett.

The 46-year-old mother said she’s asking the bank to work with her to help her stay in the Meadowsledge Lane home she purchased with her husband, Charles, shortly after their son’s death in 2006.

“I want to see them work with me so I can keep my home,” said Barrow-Leggett, who fell on hard times after her husband was killed in a car accident in August 2008.

His death came two years after their son, Lance Cpl. Jordan Barrow, was gunned down by a fellow Marine in his home near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The couple had purchased the home in part to be closer to his grave at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood.

Barrow-Leggett said she still lives in the Joliet home, now worth $100,000 less than its $222,000 purchase price, with her other sons, ages 16 and 17.

“It’s just me right now,” she said.

After her husband’s death, Barrow-Leggett said she initially struggled to find full-time work and approached Wells Fargo about lessening the burden of her $1,099 mortgage payment.

Now working full time as a cook on one of Joliet’s riverboat casinos, Barrow-Leggett said she's in a better position to make the payments. But now, she claims, her repeated attempts to come to a resolution with the bank have been denied, leaving her with two options: selling the home in a short sale, or relinquishing it to Wells Fargo in exchange for forgiving the remainder of her loan.