Tag Archives: city council candidate

Remember Worcester’s seniors

By Michael Gaffney, candidate for Worcester City Councilor at Large

Every election cycle we hear from another politician that we must find a way to retain the college students here in the City of Worcester. The truth is, without jobs and decent housing the college students will continue to move out of Worcester. In a recent  issue of InCity Times, I discussed tax incentive programs to build our commercial base to create jobs in the city, which would help us retain college students, attract new residents, and rebuild our tax base.

However, there is a large growth-market segment that continues to be ignored, our seniors. We should consider investing our efforts into focusing on areas of Worcester to serve as retirement communities with all the benefits that such communities would provide. We can drive growth into such communities by offering lower tax rates for seniors and other tax incentives.

Increasing our population of seniors would offer significant benefits to the city. Seniors rarely commit crime and they generally use less city services than younger couples with children. For example, their children are adults so they don’t add costs to the school system. Seniors also bring with them a wealth of knowledge and life experience that would add value to the broader community. Giving seniors a tax break to live in Worcester is a sound investment.

Many seniors don’t want to move out-of-state as their children, grandchildren, and friends live in the area; however, many cannot live in the surrounding towns as they cannot conveniently get around and the towns do not have the readily available medical services that Worcester offers. Worcester has an advantage over the surrounding towns relative to its medical facilities, level of care available, senior programs, and public transportation that, combined with incentives, would offer much benefit to seniors while providing the city the opportunity to grow our senior population.

Rather than solely focusing on the transient college students, we need to keep in mind that we have an aging population segment that we can offer benefits to right now and use our resources to cater to their needs to entice them to move to Worcester. Expansion of senior services, to include the growth in the Senior Center would be a viable economic tool. Looking for new ways to get our seniors to events and about town would benefit any development plans.

This does not mean we abandon our college students or young couples; rather, we must look at all options and keep the door open for any opportunities that will move our city forward. Focusing on our seniors is certainly an opportunity for positive growth.

Positioning Worcester for a bright future

By Michael Gaffney, Worcester City Councilor at Large candidate

Our city council has been busy touting the development downtown by non-tax paying entities and ignoring the fundamental issues in the city.  Namely, the lack of a tax base and massive unfunded obligations.

Our residents earn a median income of $45,846.00 for a household of 2.4 or $25,544.00 per capita.  Yet, in 2010, the city collected $199.1 million in tax revenue and projects $245.8 million in tax revenue for 2014 for a 23% tax increase.  Most residents I’ve met say they received a 2% raise this year at best, which means after the recent payroll tax increase, they make less now than last year, but pay more to the city in taxes over the same period.

A 23% tax increase on families living off of $45,846.00 per year is unjust and untenable.  Yet, our city council can’t move property off the tax-roles and into non-profit status quick enough.  Nor do they make any effort to balance the city employee’s salaries in proportion to its resident’s income.  (423 city employee’s make more than $100,000.00 per year and are not even required to live in the city!) Continuing to inordinately tax the city’s residents for the benefit of the few will only result in chasing many away and make it difficult to attract new residents.

So how does the council propose to continue to push forward on all their central planning efforts downtown?  So far they seem to be following the Detroit, MI plan by not funding the city employee’s OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits) or pensions to the tune of $656 million dollars. Detroit’s Emergency Manager – Kevyn Orr stated it clearly “everyone needs to come to grips with Detroit’s dire financial situation that has been worsened by years of PROCRASTINATION and DENIAL [emphasis added.]”  Detroit is now offering creditors, to include pension holders $.10 on the dollar in lieu of bankruptcy.  Their proposal is to “restructure” and cut “legacy obligations” such as pensions, other employee benefits, health care and so on.  The Detroit health care plan is to push their retirees and employees onto the federal Affordable Care Act, health exchanges and Medicare.

Here in Worcester, we created obligations to our city’s pensioners to fund their retirement. Private-sector employees with a 401k are used to market risk and one might say, so should government-sector employees.  However, intentionally abandoning obligations is not market risk, it is a crime on the level of the best Ponzi-Scheme.  What is the plan?  Continue to raise taxes, cut city worker’s benefits or start acting financially prudent?  Regardless of how you feel about the pension plans of government workers, we cannot ignore the problem (unless we want to end up like Detroit.)

So while you read about all the shiny new buildings and listen to the council talk about how much they care about the city’s employees, residents and its future, remember, the buildings are a hollow as their promises. More talk is not going to position Worcester for a bright future, only action will.




By Rosalie Tirella

It seems I cannot share with you the photo of city councilor at large candidate Peter Kush in his big white rabbit suit. I went through my media library, and while I have a photo of The Count with dad Bronny Kush, the one I wrote about in my last post and have run here, the Peter Kush rabbit pic is gone!!! Oh, no!

What a shame! I think candidate Peter Kush is actually an adult in this picture. He is on stage, looking goofy in his rabbit duds. But not as goofy as he made client Virginia Ryan look. Not as goofy as he made himself look as author of his own anonymous blog, Cow Patch (as in pile of shit) and his dissing Wusta stuff under the pen name The Count.

Peter Kush is just one big, over-grown, spoiled, emotionally stunted child who got his last job through his parents. This little nincompoop is the last thing we need on the Worcester City Council.To behave like a child and then next year turn around and try to run for office, is a joke.

Put this Peter Rabbit back in the hat!

Pater with Peter!  …. Dad Bronny Kush is on left, city councilor wannabe Peter C. Kush is on right.

Nick K.’s column on candidate Bill Coleman

By Rosalie Tirella

I called Worcester city council/mayor candidate Bill Coleman last night. He writes for us and is also a friend who has helped me in so many ways, both personally and professionally (i. e. building shelves to hold ICT issues, doing small carpentry/handy man projects around the house; listening to me when I need a sounding board, etc.).

So yesterday I said: “Hey, Bill, I just read Nick K.’s column on you. I thought it sucked. You finished 8’th in the preliminary election (for an at large city council seat – you need to place 6th or better) and he showed you no respect. Minimized your very strong showing by poking fun at you.”

Bill, ever the optimist, didn’t see it that way. “It was OK!”

I guess Bill believes crappy press is better than no press at all.


Nick and the T & G have been making fun of Bill Coleman for years. And in a way, Nick’s latest column on Bill smacked of a more subtle kind of racism. If another of the city council candidates – white and well heeled – had won the spot Bill did this past preliminary election, Nick would have written an entirely different piece. He would have been impressed! He would have written: Look out incumbents! But no. It was just Bill who won. So Nick poked fun and make jokes. In Nick’s column, Bill didn’t get any credit for the job he did so well (8th place!) – only back-handed compliments. Crumby compliments that pissed me off – and lots of Bill’s supporters, of which there are many.

Nick, when was the last time we had an African American city councilor? When was the last time we have had a person of color speak for people of color – or just regular folks – on the Worcester City Council?

Maybe like twice in the City of Worcester’s history.

Bill Coleman has made a name for himself in Worcester doing many good deeds, meeting a ton of people, listening to their concerns, touting the folks and establishments he loves. He is as high energy as they come – certainly more energetic than you, Nick, a fat, gray-haired, old columnist who has overstayed his visit, when it comes to covering politics in this town. You have been around for so long (more than 25 years!!) you can’t even tell that the city you have been writing about so drippily for eons is changing.


On Worcester City Councilor Mike Germain’s integrity

By Rosalie Tirella

City Councilor at Large Mike (Michael) Germain has never, ever, EVER taken the 84% pay raise the Worcester City Council so sneakily awarded itself four or so years ago – right after the November election, of course! Right in the middle of a recession, of course!

Mike Germain stood tall. He told his colleagues that it didn’t seem right to take city/taxpayer money (almost another $15,000 per city councilor) – especially at a time like this. Hooray! We applauded such behavior then and we applaud it now, seeing Mike continues to refuse the money – a good chunk of change. Germain’s decision smacks of integrity – something sorely lacking in many of our Worcester political “leaders” these days!

We remember our old pal, former city coucnilor Dennis Irish, doing the same – he refused the pay hike, too. Dennis had/has a ton of integrity, too!

Germian’s good choice, something he hasn’t played up this election cycle, should be noted by the voters. Germain, who is up for reelection, could have taken the dough – raising his stipend from almost $15,000 to almost $30,000 a year. HE DID NOT. He believes in Worcester, loves Worcester and felt during these tough economic times, the City Council doesn’t need to wring blood out of a turnip.

Everyone else on the Worcester City Council is taking the money. Add it up! That’s a minority teacher recruiter pay check – or maybe a jumpstart for the Worcester Public Library Book Mobile program!

This says a lot for Mike Germain (and Dennis Irish). If re-elected, Mike Germain will still forgo the pay raise, unlike his colleagues who, we think are being a bit greedy, since as a city councilor, you get tons of perks like getting city health insurance at the cheapo premium rate (25%), getting a city pension and a free lap top.

Again, voters should remember this come November.

Worcester’s foreclosure crisis: What you need to know to save your home

By Grace Ross and Worcester County families

In 2006, Massachusetts with Worcester frequently in the lead began to see an ever-increasing number of foreclosures. While the crisis grew, many engaged in the blame game. Worcester had gotten into the breech early, but did not want to face how fast it was going to snow ball. Early reports that the problem was subprime mortgages with bad terms taken mostly by lower income, new borrowers, led some to blame the borrowers.

The first major case brought in Massachusetts Supreme Court where one of the best judicial minds in our state got to review the standard sub-prime mortgage documents (and his ruling was upheld by the rest of the Court). And he found the problems were unequivocably caused by inherently unfair practices by the big mortgage companies. Mortgage companies were not regulated like the rest of the banks, the loans they provided were not in any way comparable to traditional prime mortgages, and, as Justice Gants pointed out, were specifically structured to trap borrowers.

Those of us who have waded into the nitty gritty of what was happening to our neighbors in this mess found the truth to be the opposite of what we were told. Now the shannigans of the largest financial players in the world are splashed across the headlines but we heard it first from the grass roots.

Some of the people who went searching for the real story, real answers and continue to do so, are your neighbors who make up the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team.

And what were those stories? And what can we tell you to do if your story sounds like one of these? Read on …

Ann Kamarauskas

We got the house, me and my sister, when my mother passed. We took out a couple small mortgages – we wanted to take a mortgage to get stuff done around the house, because it is very old. Given our credit report, a friend, a broker said the only one we could go through was Full Spectrum Lending, part of Countrywide. Then I needed a car so we did a re-mortgage. But they said we had to take out more than I wanted because of my sister’s debt. So that was when it went into Countrywide and they put it under my sister’s name. This second time, unlike every time before where they asked for our paystubs, checking/bank account statements and all this financial paperwork like our taxes, this time they didn’t ask for anything – I thought it was weird but I didn’t know anything – I figured maybe they had all our stuff on file.

We got the mortgage and that time, the lady came over – we’d always gone to a law office before so we didn’t know what was going on. The lady kept saying she was in such a rush. My sister notices that they have her name spelled wrong all the way through. So the lady is all pissed off and rushing, they have to go through all the papers, the lady crossing off the s, my sister writing in the z.

I had not had problems paying the mortgage before but we started having problems paying this mortgage. Where my sister works, she doesn’t make $4,333 we found later they put on the mortgage and she told them she does not work in the summer. So we went back to our friend, the broker, to see if she could help us renegotiate our loan. She said “wow, Barbara makes a lot working down at the middle school.” I said, “What are you talking about?” She says, “ according to this paperwork, she makes over 50 grand per year!” “She’s lucky if she takes out 21 thousand per year,” I told her.

She ended up calling them and saying,“I know what you people do to get people mortgages.,” She was yelling at them, “I own my own mortgage company I know what I am talking about.” But nothing came of it.

After that I got laid off in 2009. And my sister couldn’t keep doing the payments. We just kept calling countrywide, no reply. Then we heard about loan modifications, we kept filling out paperwork. We ended up driving down to Dedham. They went over our paystubs, bank accounts, tax stuff. They said we would be the first on their list to do a loan modification. They would not take my paperwork only my sister’s.

They said, “you’ll hear from us 2 weeks.” But we didn’t hear and kept calling; our paperwork kept changing hands. Then they kept asking for new paperwork again and again.

Then we got a letter for October 2010 saying they were foreclosing April 8th. We called and they called their loan officer, called back and said it was postponed but we don’t know what happened.

Ann comes every first and third Weds, 5:30 pm at the Pleasant St. Network Center to WAFT meetings. We will see what we can do. She might be able to afford a modified loan if they count both her and her sisters’ income and bring the house value down to closer to today’s values. She has a friend who can re-appraise and if we can get the bank to send out the “Net Present Value” letter which is supposed to come with a loan turn down, then we can figure out why the bank sasy they cannot afford it.

ALSO, we wonder why letters from the lawyers and the court were sent on behalf of a bank that only owned the loan many months later! And then, maybe we can get something done about why Countrywide put down the wrong income for her sister in the first place!


My wife and I split up like 15 years ago. I had refinanced the house. I had been doing fine.

Then my business went under in this economy– self-employed. That was when I went into depressed and stop being able to make the payments, anything. They kept sending mortgage bills, then Harmon Law got involved, saying they were going to foreclose.

So then Chris, my neighbor who was a member of WAFT got my name off the listing of foreclosure auctions and came by. He said I should come by a WAFT meeting. That got me hooked up with Jen & Luz – realtors who are part of WAFT.

I was going through bankruptcy at that point and my lawyer said not having the mortgage on the bankruptcy would be much better in the long run. By then, Jen & Luz had found me a buyer.
The bank had put the original auction off; they had given us a date by which to sell the house by. That time was just not long enough for the sale to go through, the buyer needed more time to get financing. So they threatened to auction it again.

So last minute we went and got a bankruptcy from the court. That made the auction not legal. WAFT came and protested and that stopped the auction process. This meant we were able to sell the place and fully pay off the mortgage. It was ridiculous that they were willing to get less money through the auction instead of the full amount through my signed Purchase & Sale. It made no sense.
We got that small bankruptcy dismissed but went with the full bankruptcy which I needed.

I wonder now if that sale was the best way to go. Wells Fargo could never prove they had the note. Maybe now that all the illegal actions of the banks have come out in the paper, I wonder if I should have stayed and made them prove they own the note instead of selling the property.

Marty was really lost until we worked together but he always willing to stand up and help someone out. He worked to get a buyer to pay off the bank. When they would no longer wait even though it was just a couple of weeks and tens of thousands more pay-off for them, Marty worked to get a bankruptcy and have WAFT folks come protest to stop the auction.

We know more now. You should look up all the mortgage, assignment, complaint paperwork on the Worcester Registry of Deeds website. And now that it is public, that many of the banks swore to affidavits they never read, claim ownership of mortgages where there is no proven chain of ownership going back to the first filing, missed dated paperwork – we wonder what justice is there is in cases like his: even if we show they did not own the mortgage and were sending him letters threatening a foreclosure they had no right to, he did a private sale…


I bought the house in 2003 and went through the broker and then Fast Choice. That was sold to CitiMortgage. When things started going bad and I was still working, I kept trying to remortgage. They said I was making too much. Then when my income went down some, they said I made less so they would take the application over the phone. Then they would sit on it; by the time you call again, they send you somewhere else. Finally I became sick last April. I kept telling them about the workers comp when they kept calling for the payments.

But one group there did not know what the other group was told. Finally I went to Neighborworks – they took my papers and bills and we sent it to Citi; they said they would get back to us in a few weeks. Then it was a few months; they want all the paperwork over again. And after we faxed all of this paperwork, finally a woman from Citi called, wanted the worker’s comp & financials and said not to talk to anyone else; we faxed everything else. Then we get the paper for the auction date April 1st. I left messages.

Finally, she called in early March and said the underwriter said they cannot do anything without a return date to work. I have to wait for my employer to find light duty so they declined me.
I met WAFT on Sunday, the auction was the Friday before. Chris came by and told me something I didn’t know: “you can stay even after foreclosure.”

I got this notice pinned to my door four days after the foreclosure giving me ten days to move out or all my things would be declared abandoned and removed. Thank God, the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team came to my door. My heart was pounding. I had gotten boxes, terrified that at any moment the realtor would arrive to move my stuff out.

Of course, once WAFT knew about the notice pinned to Charity’s door which illegal pressured her to leave immediately, we called the Attorney General’s office. They had sued realtors, agents for the banks, who did this elsewhere in Massachusetts. Once we found out it violated Charity’s right to stay until a court evicted her, did not give her a chance to try to negotiate rent, we went and protested the Realtor (see story in last In City Times). But WAFT took action and now notices telling people they can stay till a court evicts them have been posted and …

Now I just heard from Tony, the realtor. He was very nice now, no more harassing calls. And he said he would tell the bank that I want to stay and pay rent and talk to them about the leak in the roof.
Charity has been a fierce voice since she found out about her rights and has joined WAFT. We look forward to helping her stay in her home with a fixed roof. And if she get her work figured out, she want to try to re-purchase!


I bought this house with my own money & a regular mortgage. When I had to refinance, my same broker put me in a subprime mortgage – I had no idea. I was shocked when I suddenly got a bigger bill!
In the fall of ’08 when they foreclosed, they started immediately trying to force me out. Two days after the auction, someone was outside mowing the lawn. Then I heard someone banging on a door. I checked the front door. I went to the back door, opened it and this guy was there.

He said, “You’re lucky you were home and opened the door because I was ready to bust the knobs off your doors.” I replied, “What do you mean your going to bust my door knobs off? I at least have thirty days here.” He said “well, I am just doing what I was told to.” “How are you going to come at nine in the morning, people have lives, people are at work; why don’t you come like at five, six o’clock when people are home from work?”

I got letters, visits, phone calls. It turned out to be a local realtor who harassed me for the bank to get me out.

I got lucky and ran into the WAFT at a community event. They taught me that the lender’s people could not force me to leave, that they had to repair when there was flooding and life-threatening mold built up. They supported me to call code and force the lender to make the home safe for me, my son and grandchildren till we moved.
Meanwhile IndyMac started trying to evict me thru the court (the only way they can legally evict). But it was weird because we had a deed showing that Deutsche Bank owned the property.

The lawyer from Harmon Law said it was IndyMac and argued even when we showed her the deed. Eventually IndyMac stopped the eviction; then the same lawyers started over again as Deutsche bank.
I always thought that was weird. How could they not know who owned it when they went to evict me? How did they prove they owned the property? With WAFT’s help, I fought them. And when they finally settled for me to move out, I got two and a half times as much money as what they had ever tried to get me to take when first harassing me to move out.

I tried to negotiate renting, talk to them about the mortgage – they NEVER responded.

Now today, I have paperwork showing IndayMac did not have clear ownership of the mortgage when they foreclosed!

You know what this has put my family through? This Experience has been extremely Detrimental to my family’s health…mentally & physically: Heartache, Distress, Deep Depression, Behavioral issues with my children in school, Self-esteem, feeling like a Failure. All in all, 1000’s of families are going thru the same situation. In all actuality, it boils down to: the bank, MY bank, the one you think is on your side & there to help you, they didn’t!

They never responded & didn’t even own the loan any more! I am fighting the illegal foreclosure and I want a fair settlement since they never had the right to foreclose!

Christeen showed us the power of connecting, learning your rights, and fighting for decent treatment with the support of others. She found out she did not have to leave right after the foreclosure, that they cannot legally call, drop by and harass you to leave. And when they take you to court, the lawyers cannot lie about who owns the property. She got repairs when there were serious health threats to her baby grandchildren and got time for her son to finish out the school year before they moved.

And now she knows she was one of thousands in Massachusetts that may have had their home illegally foreclosed by banks. And she’s still fighting. It will never make up for the investment she had in her home but she won’t be a victim.

M (asked that her name not be used)

Problems started after we refinanced to do major repairs on the house (a four family: all our family and one unit rented). It was in 2004 and an adjustable rate mortgage but we figured we’d be able to refinance again into a fixed rate; that was the goal. The broker suggested we do that because at the time that was the best rate we could get.
We got the loan, did the repairs. Once we got closer to the date for the rate adjustment we reached out to banks for a new mortgage but we couldn’t get one because by then we were upside down; the value on the home had gone down!

For years now the loan is much more than the house’s value. So we tried to find help to refinance because we knew there was no way to afford this mortgage. We had income. We tried directly with Wells Fargo for a loan modification but they said their investor would not do it because we were current.

So we went to NACA 2007 (worked with them through 2011). We also went to Oakhill. Same story: bank said there was no incentive to work with us because we were current.

In July ’09, I became unemployed – our renters allowed us to still pay the loan through til May 2010. Between losing renters and my mother’s business having fewer children (because so many other people are unemployed), we couldn’t do it any more.
We attempted to work with Wells Fargo but kept getting stalled. We went to a special lenders day through NACA and signed with a Wells Fargo representative what I understood was a three month moratorium. In February, I got employed; I reached out to both NACA and Wells Fargo then with a full time income. They said I needed four pay stubs for them to even review. Inbetween that, we finally got the application in through NACA on March 15th. On March 17th we got the Harmon Law letter saying they were foreclosing.

It is important to note: we got the moratorium on October 31. Until that time Wells Fargo had been both the owner and servicer of the loan. In mid-November, they assigned the mortgage to Deutsche Bank and that is when Harmon Law started the foreclosure. We were unaware of this so through February we sent Wells Fargo money at the lower rate.

April, we were sent the auction date – based on that we filed the complaint in Superior Court because we thought it was only fair that we complete this process before the auction was allowed.
I went to court the first time. No one appeared from the bank. The second time, we showed up again, the lawyer showed up and we agreed to put off the court date to mid-July. The lawyer said he would make sure that Deutsche bank sent the loan modification forms to me. Two weeks ago, we got notice that the auction had been postponed from May 11th til end of July. And I have just submitted them, sent them back to them.

This process has been a learning experience for me. Only since we got referred to WAFT, we found out that we aren’t the only ones in the situation. We are more empowered. You went through paperwork with us and supported us with court.

You guys are like the untapped resources. You guys do an awesome job. Only wish more people knew about you.

M and her family are amazing; they filed a complaint in Superior Court before they ever even found WAFT. Like many, they had a plan when they got refinanced into a loan they knew would be unaffordable when the interest rate increased two year later. But they had not planned for prices to drop. And being pro-active about seeking a loan modification, M found out – like thousands of others who have tried – that they won’t let you get ahead of the problem, they want you delinquent in payments and in trouble with income first.

But going to court with some legal guidance and support from WAFT, they have been able to go after a loan modification. Meanwhile, we want to know how Wells Fargo signed a legal agreement and then sold the mortgage to Deutsche Bank.

In each situation, we know the information WAFT has is making a difference. More importantly, though, we often find we need each other for support and even for public action and getting in touch with resources like the Attorney General’s office.

And there is nothing more important than the doorknocking WAFT members do every week to reach our neighbors whose homes may be listed on the new auction lists. During our outreach we often knock on doors of buildings that were auctioned two or three weeks previously, and very frequently we find the buildings empty – with both tenants and former owners gone. We know that “notice to quit” forms that look like eviction orders and “cash for keys” offers presented as the last best chance for getting some help with moving are parts of how this is being done.

We’ve heard many stories about banks that have failed to provide heat and essential repairs post foreclosure, and we have only heard of a few cases where the bank has informed tenants of their right to stay as tenants of the bank.

Together, we as Worcester residents are turning situations around when we can reach people in time. And we need more help not only reaching people but to pressure the banks not to empty out our City but come to reasonable resolutions with our neighbors

Worcester City Council candidate/local realtor Tony Economou using illegal scare tactics to remove folks out of foreclosed homes

By Chris Horton

Twenty-four members and supporters of the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team (WAFT) recently gathered  in front of the office from which ReMax realtor Tony Economou works at 179 Shrewsbury St.

Economou, a candidate for Worcester City Council, posted and mailed an illegal notice to a homeowner, just days after the auction in which the bank that she had been trying to negotiate with for a year purchased her house. We demanded he immediately stop these actions and give us the list of all addresses where he sent or posted these illegal and threatening notices, so we can notify them that they do not have to move and that the leaflet violated their rights. “In Massachusetts, where our neighbors do not have the right to a day in court before their homes are foreclosed, it is even more important that their rights to not be evicted except by the courts be honored,” said WAFT member Matthew Griffin.

  “I know how devastating losing your home is, and like all the research shows, how hard it is on a family to be homeless,” said Christeen Friend, “But I joined the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team and found out my rights. When the wrong bank tried to evict me post-foreclosure, I fought them. In my case, they did not even know which bank owned the mortgage or the house post-foreclosure. So I fought and my child got to finish out the school year and we got a settlement.”  She added:  “Due to them illegally foreclosing I am still fighting to get my home back.”

“We are here today because we have had it with illegal behavior by the banks and their agents,” said Grace Ross, a WAFT member.  “And we are here because we cannot afford – as residents, neighbors and as the City as a whole – to have any more of our houses emptied. This realtor is engaged in an intentional disinformation campaign to scare people out of their homes. It must stop.”

“I got this notice pinned to my door four days after the foreclosure and then mailed to me giving me ten days to move out or all my things would be declared abandoned and removed,” said the woman who brought this notice to our attention, who asked that her name be withheld. “Thank God, the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team came to my door. My heart was pounding. I had gotten boxes, terrified that at any moment the realtor would arrive to move my stuff out.”

The demonstrators presented Economou’s office manager with the demand that he stop posting illegal notices threatening victims of foreclosure, that he provide WAFT with the addresses where he has posted them so we could contact the occupants and set the record straight, and that he make public the letter from the foreclosing bank authorizing the illegal notices so we can take the fight to its source.

Mr. Economou has responded by email but has taken no steps to satisfy our demands, and we are considering what other actions can be taken.

We need to make this perfectly clear. If you are a tenant or former owner in a foreclosed property, and if you received a notice telling you that you must move right after foreclosure, it’s not true! You cannot be harassed or coerced out of your home. No one has the right to threaten your possessions, cut off your utilities, padlock your doors or touch your belongings until an eviction date set by a judge.

If you are a tenant the bank is pretty much required to let you stay, pay it rent and maintain the property until it is re-sold, and even former owners may be able to negotiate this right. But in far too many cases they are scaring former owners and tenants into panicking and abandoning their homes.