Tag Archives: Tony Economou

Interesting website … MassCityStats

Interesting website. MassCityStats collates public safety, economic development, education and fiscal management data from the State of Massachusetts.

The folks from Pioneer generate a lot of unbiased information.

http://www.masscitystats.org/index.php

 

This could be sumptin’ for Worcester City Councilor Tony Economou. I think there’s a category called “forclosure abuse”! Take a seat, Tony, and peruse!!!

Why doesn’t District-1 candidate Tony Economou tell us the truth?

By Rosalie Tirella

District 1 City Councilor-wannabe Tony Economou is LYING to the good people of Worcester. He WILL VOTE to RAISE your TAXES, D-1 homeowners. And with the new assessments raising lots of Worcester homeowners’ tax bills, do we want Economou, who when you think of it, should have run for an at-large seat because he isn’t going to represent the mostly homeowners in D-1 – he’s going to be advocating for people who have a crap-load of commercial property in Worcester – do we really want Tony Economou representing D-1? He is being led, by the balls no doubt, by Ms. honey-buns/Tony Economou “campaign manager,” Beth Proko, another Worcester biz person with a ton of commercial property in the city who wants her Worcester commercial property tax bills lowered – and her mini-skirt hiked up. (The Prokos own a lot of commercial property AND Mill Street Motors – a used car biz on Mill Street – more on that later.)

Proko, Economou and their biz gang seem to have whipped people into a frenzy – making us believe that somehow it is WRONG for the city of Worcester to tax businesses at a considerably higher rate than, for instance, an elderly women who lives in and owns a three-decker in Green Island! That we cannot do what Boston does or Springfiled or any major New England city does: make commercial property owners pay the city MORE MONEY because they – with their big trucks, with their buildings, etc, etc are USING MORE CITY SERVICES. When the used cars come rolling in and rolling out of Proko’s Mill Street Motors – the business Proko owns with her husband – doesn’t Mill Street get: more beat-up with the wear and tear of vehicles, etc? Don’t they use more city water, more city everything to keep their biz going? And if customers want to do a biz deal with any Worcester bizperson, they don’t end up at the Oxford Dunkin’ Donuts, for Gawd’s sake. They can be wined and dined at one of Worcester’s fantastic 5-star restaurants.

Businesses and biz folks want to do business in a region’s big city – its hub. That’s what Proko and Economou are choosing to ignore – just so they can make even more money than they have in Worcester – at cost to the rest of us.

Oh, by the way, Beth Proko, Jeff wanted to buy a big ol’ red dump truck from your Mill Street Motors a year or so ago. He had his mechanic take a look at it. His mechanic said: not driveable, Jeff; it won’t pass inspection and get a sticker. They need to do this and this and this to bring the truck up to snuff. Well, Beth you and your husband dragged your feet about fixing it (don’t you know there’s such a thing as the Mass Lemon Law?). Then you said you were selling it to someone in Maine. Hope you sold that person a driveable/inspection sticker-ready red dump truck.

Do we really want a used-car sales-broad (Beth, Jeff said you were all “Well, hello, there… with your shorty-skirt, etc.) shaping the destiny, through “councilor” Tony E., of District 1?

And let’s not forget what was reported earlier (see post ICT below): Economou, a local real estate agent, ILLEGALLY
tried to scare poor folks out of their homes after they had been foreclosed upon.

Why?

To get them out ASAP and turn around and sell the property – to make a killing in the real estate market.

What’s especially sleazy about Economou is when the bank fore-closed
on the home, Economou took it upon himself to make out fake legal looking documents and taping them to the people’s homes – giving them a few weeks to move out or else.

This is blatantly illegal!

People do not have to move out immediately when
the bank forecloses! They can spend months in their home as their case makes its way through the legal system.

If Tony Economou had had his (illegal) way,
these folkswould be living at the PIP homeless shelter – and
he would be stuffing his pockets with cash – thousands of dollars!

When InCity Times called him on
this and published a story, Economou
bull shitted – told the public that it wasn’t him making
the GET OFF THIS PROPERTY
notices – it was Freddie
mac/Fanny Mae, to which these non-profits
said NO WAY, we neverd o
that, we never gave Tony Economou
such forms to paste on doors.

What a liar Economou is. He is not an upstanding businessman from the community – no matter how hard he tries to pretend he is.

Do the people of Worcester’s District 1 really want Tony Economou representing them?

Does Worcester want this guy to voice the concerns of the people?

NO!

Sept. 20 please vote for Virginia Ryan, District 1 City Council candidate

InCity Times candidate endorsement – Virginia W. Ryan – District 1
By Rosalie Tirella

InCity Times asks the voters of Worcester to
make their voices heard and get out
and vote September 20! These trying
times require bright, honest and com-mitted
commuity leaders For this pre-liminary
election, voters must narrow
the City Council at Large, District 1
and District 3 fields.

We are asking that you vote for:

District 1: Virginia W. Ryan

The readers of this column know
how pointless I believe incumbant
Joffrey Smith is – from his half heart-ed
attempt at serving his constituents
to his half-assed movie career as an
extra to his half-finished house in the
West Side. Yeah, it was once cool that
he was young and running for office
several election cycles ago, but now
Smith is not so young and has proved
himself to be just like every other
entrenched incumbent: doesn’t return
phone calls, doesn’t act on constitutent
requests, has no real ideas/passions
about anything and (as proven in last
election cycle) wanted to use his city
council seat as a catapault for new,
higher office Well, Smith ran for state
rep a few years ago and lost big time
He took a drubbing – finished way way
behind the two front runners. Which
means: Smith is most likely stuck in
his Worcester City Council District 1
seat and District 1 is stuck with this
totally lackluster character who thinks
because he is cute you should give him
your vote.

Don’t! He’s a cypher!

But at least he’s not a criminal the
way Tony J Economou is – the next
person running for District 1.

Economou, a real estate agent ILLEGALLY
tried to scare poor folks
out of their homes after they had been foreclosed
upon. Why? To get them out ASAP and turn around and sell the propeerty – to make a killing in the real
estate market.

What’s especially sleazy about Economou is when the bank fore-closed
on the home, Economou took it
upon himself to make out fake legal looking
documents and taping them to the
people’s homes – giving them a few
weeks to move out or else.

This is totally illegal! People do not
have to move out immediately when
the bank forecloses! They can spend
months in their home as their case
makes its way through the legal system.

If Tony Economou had had his (illegal) way,
these folkswould be living at the PIP homeless shelter – and
he would be stuffing his pockets with cash – thousands of dollars!

When InCity Times called him on
this and published a story, Economou
bull shitted – told the public that it wasn’t him making
the GET OFF THIS PROP-ERTY
notices – it was Freddie
mac/Fanny Mae, to which these non-profits
said NO WAY, we neverd o
that, we never gave Tony Economou
such forms to paste on doors.

What a lying low-life, Economou is. No upstanding businessman from the community – no matter how hard he tries to pretend. This guy is simply greedy and will do anything for a buck – even if it is lying and breaking the law.

Do the people of Worcester’s District 1 really want a low-life
llike Tony Economou representing
them?

D oes Worcester want this guy to voice the concerns of the people?

NO!

Which brings us to the person we want you to vote for: VIRGINA RYAN

Yeas ago, when I was a student at
Burncoat Senior High School, Virginia
Ryan was a biology teacher there. She
was tough and no-nonsense – and I
was a little afraid of her. The 15-year-old me was glad when I learned I got the sweet and brillliant
Mr. LaBelle as my 10th grade biology
teacher, But my good pal Paula T. had Miss Ryan
– and liked her.

The years have gone by and we (meaning I – Rosalie)
have toughened up. We have
learned to look beyound a person’s
exterior to find, in Miss Ryan’s case at
least, a very good, hardworking,
straigh-shooting person. And we like Ryan’s platform.

This is what District 1 and the Worcester
City Council needs: someone
(Virigina Ryan) who is going to fight
for home owners (Ryan’s for the lowest residential taxr ate), our schools (she was a WPSchool teacher for years and years, our students (she was committed to all her kids learning!). Plus she was a biology teacher – so she will/and has done her homework on the Asian Long-horned beetle and Worcester’s trees.

District 1, if you folks
elect Virginia Ryan, will be getting a person
with a ton of energy! I know she is
retired and I know that retirees’ contributions
and their premiums via City of Worcester was what put Ryan in the limelight, but she has many more interests/goals.

Ryan cares about being fair – and she
is not afraid to speak her mind. She has a ton of energy – has
been going door to door meeting a ton
of District 1 voters!

This is a good
thing!

But why do I like Virginia Ryan? It’s the personal stuff – the small stuff. The kind feelings she has shown me through her letters and even actions these last three years. For instance, over
these past few years Ryan has sent me leeters to the
editor. They have not been about her or the retirees of the City of Worcester. They have been about kids and poor
folks. For instance, one letter she wrote
us detailed how for years and years she
took the Worcester Public Schools students
to all kinds of cities and countries
via the Burncoats/WPS field-trip system.
And I remembered Miss Ryan did do that – every
year taking a bus -oad of Burncoat students
to Washington DC to learn about our Capitol and our government. She did this every year!
Would I, as a sanity-loving adult,
want to do the same? Take a bunch of teenagers to DC? Heck no! Well, Miss Ryan beleived in kids,
in history, in our nation’s history and DID IT!
Put it all together with her yearly
field trips to Washington. She did this for
years. The letters she wrote to me
talked of keeping the field trip system
alive and well in our public schools. Ryan knew that going
to DC or Canada or maybe even France was a
cool thing for kids – was yet another way for
students to learn. Learn other stuff
than what she was teaching them in bio
class.

Finally, one of Virginia
Ryan’s last letters to the editor to me detailed this incident: Virginia was shopping at Wal Mart in
West Boylston – it was wintertime and
she was appalled, just appalled, that the
cashiers of Wal Mart had no real barriier
between their cashier stations and the cold/cold wind
– that is the cashiers were working
right in front of the automatic exit
door. She wrote the wind was cold and was
whipping in every time a customer paid the cashier and walked out of Wal Mart. And they didn’t even
have coats on! What a crumby way to
work for five or so hours! Where,
Virginia Ryan wanted to know, was
the barrier that protected these workers
from the elements? Why didn’t
Wal Mart errect some kind of partition?
Do the right thing? I think she even
complained to Wal Mart.

This impressed me the most! This made me
think: Virgina Ryan is sensitive and moral – she cares about
folks most people don’t think twice
about.

So, based on my adult dealings
with Virgina Ryan, I say she is a biologist,
a champion of kids and public school education. She is someone who will always do
the right thing!

She is not a politician like Smith and, God forbid, the creep-meister Tony Ecomou – kicking folks like the Wal Mart cashiers Ryan defended out of their homes!

Please! No sleaze ball Tony Economou for District 1.

Vote for Virgina Ryan – District 1 City Councilor

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!

Marty

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…

Charity

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!

Christeen

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.

Worcester Mag’s Jeremy “Skulk-in”

By Rosalie Tirella

1. How creepy! The sleazy Jeremy Shulkin, staff “reporter” of Worcester Magazine, did not credit InCity Times’ Chris Horton for breaking the Tony Economou story in InCity Times – last Friday. The Tony I-post-illegal-notices-on-people’s-foreclosed-homes-to-send-them-into-homeless-shelters Economou story was first reported in InCity Times last Friday – three days before the Telegram and Gazette column appeared. Of course, Shulkin could not mention/credit InCity Times – it smacks of the sleaziness surrounding the B. Phoenixes. That is, all the Boston Phoenix newspapers, the mother of all alternative newspapers, are dropped off each week at the Broadway Restaurant, right across the street from the Worcester magazine office. Funny, everytime I go by the stands, the Phoenix’s is always a mess, papers thrown on too, etc. So no one can read them, of course.

And now not crediting InCity Times?

Why must Worcester Mag be so creeply/underhanded? They have a horrible history – they have treated their news reporters/editors like shit, firing three reporters, getting rid of two editors – all within a few months or even weeks of hiring them. I think one lasted a year of so. And who can forget when Gareth Charter first stepped into the publisher’s shoes, after Kirk Davis had bought the publication from Allen Fletcher. The new owners promised all the original WoMag staffers their jobs – they fired everyone (except for sales reps) by EMAIL.

So now only the sleazoids remain (in keeping with the saying “water seeks its own level”) to work for uber-sleazy publisher Gareth Charter: Dorren Manning and Jeremy “Skulk-in.”

Did Doreen come up with this week’s cover story idea after reading my blog about owning InCity Times for 10 years and paying the bills every week, etc? Most likely yes.

One freelance writer told me he was happy he didn’t work full time for Blow Mag. he said they are the only paper that look at their numbers ($$$) every month and then fire staff writers to balance the books.
So, Jeremy, tell the truth. We – InCity Times broke the Tony Economou story. Not Clive Mcfarlane. We got there first.

P.S. And don’t go having your daddy write me a letter defending his spoiled/sneakly little boy. I won’t print the lies this time.