Bed-Stuy resident Van Walker is fighting to keep his home. According to Walker, the house he owned in Bed-Stuy fell into an illegal foreclosure which subsequently led to his eviction.
Walker, a longtime homeowner learned about his eviction in August, when a group of Kings County Sheriffs appeared at his house and asked him and his two children to vacate the premises within 30 minutes.
“They knocked on the door and said we could leave or they’d arrest me,” said Walker outside of the property at 494 Halsey Street. “I didn’t even have time to get all of our stuff out of the house.”
Walker is now claiming that private investment company Mirbourne LLC, the plaintiff in the foreclosure action, obtained the mortgage illegitimately. Community advocate and former City Council candidate Julius Tajiddin, who has been assisting Walker in this case, supports this claim.
“The mortgage was assigned to Mirbourne LLC by FCDB SNPWL Trust, the previous owner of the mortgage, in early July 2009,” said Tajiddin. “But there is no notary seal on the assignment, which is required under New York State law. There is also no printed name or any other notary information.”
Tajiddin also said that he is in possession of a document that shows that FCDB assigned the mortgage to another company, Vision Home Capital, three weeks after the assignment to Mirbourne.
“The document purports that it was specifically for the benefit of Vision Home Capital and not Mirbourne, which fully supports our claim that Mirbourne’s assignment is bogus,” he explained.
In 2016, Walker signed a settlement agreement with Mirbourne that required him to sell his home within six months or it would be theirs to sell. But when he found out about the mortgage assignment, which was not notarized, he filed a rescission to revoke the agreement, which the court ultimately agreed with Walker and dismissed the original agreement.
“They came to the court with fraudulent documents and tricked me into selling,” Walker said.
“When I found out they didn’t have a proper mortgage note I refused to sell,” said Walker of his decision to file a rescission.
Assemblymember Tremaine Wright, who represents the 56th District including Bedford Stuyvesant, said her office is concerned about his story and others like it.
“We are looking into what is going on with foreclosures in Kings County because this and other cases have raised flags for us,” Wright said.” You don’t want people displaced or without a home. I really want to advise folks who are facing foreclosure to seek out legal counsel.”
Mirbourne’s legal counsel declined to comment. Meanwhile, the company has listed the property for sale and is hosting open houses.
Since his eviction, Walker has been living in another home he owns in Bed-Stuy, but he doesn’t plan on giving up.
“My funds are almost depleted, but I am trying to find a lawyer so I can really try to appeal the decision to hand over my home,” said Walker. “But for now, I just want to share my story so people know that this type of thing happens.”