Foreclosure Sparks Protest from Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign

PLAINFIELD — About two dozen people picketed the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage office in downtown Plainfield on Monday to publicize a Joliet woman’s foreclosure troubles.

The group, organized by the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign, chanted slogans and carried signs that said: “Wells Fargo Stealing Homes,” “Housing is a Human Right” and “Wells Fargo Doesn’t Need This or Any House.”

Loleta Barrow-Leggett, whose home is scheduled to be auctioned at a sheriff’s sale by Wells Fargo on June 6, joined the protesters.

Barrow-Leggett and her husband bought the home on Joliet’s West Side with insurance money from the death of their oldest son, Lance Cpl. Jordan Barrow, who was murdered in 2006 near Camp Lejeune, N.C.

They moved from Chicago to Joliet to be near their son’s grave at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood.

“I don’t want to give up,” Barrow-Leggett said. “That was a dream of my son’s, me having this house. I’m just praying something comes out of this.”

When Barrow-Leggett’s husband died in a car accident in 2008, she had trouble making the $1,099 a month mortgage payments. For the past two years she has had a full-time job and she’d like to refinance to get a payment she can afford, but Wells Fargo won’t agree to a new deal, she said. In February 2010, the lender began foreclosure proceedings on the home, which has dropped in value from $222,900 to $125,683.

Once the sheriff’s sale takes place, Barrow-Leggett could be evicted if she doesn’t move out on her own.