MIAMI – Ana Rodriguez is 82 years old.
There’s a book about her life. How, as a young med student and member of the anti-Castro underground in Cuba, she was imprisoned by the regime for 19 years.
She was released, eventually becoming a United States citizen and making it her home.
Now, comes a fight to literally keep her home.
“I don’t deserve to be thrown away,” Rodriguez said.
Her lawyer Bruce Jacobs told Local 10 News Bank of America is treating her as a squatter.
“Of all the people, should someone who’s suffered for 19 years in Castro’s prisons be forced into the street during a pandemic, when there is evidence that the bank engaged in felonies,” he said.
Jacobs took Rodriguez’s case pro-bono and argues it’s the bank that broke the law, not his client.
Rodriguez bought the home along the 1300 block of Southwest 40th Avenue in Miami back in the early 90s.
Jacobs said she refinanced that mortgage in 2006 and calls it a predatory, sub-prime loan that was later bought by Bank of America.
“How is it that a bank would give someone who was going to be 97 years old when she finally would have paid off the mortgage, that mortgage?” he asks. “This was a mortgage that was given to her with a 1.25% teaser rate for the first month.”
Rodriguez said she couldn’t afford the payments and stopped making them in 2008. Bank of America filed a foreclosure the next year, using what her attorney alleges were forged documents.
“For the bank to come into court and say, ‘Hey, you didn’t pay your mortgage,’ that’s one thing,” Jacobs said. “But to do it with false evidence, that is perjury, that is racketeering, that is deceptive and unfair and wrongful.”
Rodriguez also now has some political weight behind her from the right and the left.
“Unfortunately, it’s the most vulnerable population that falls under that scrutiny,” said Republican state Senator Ileana Garcia. “Not understanding statutes, not knowing what they get themselves into, and not knowing who to address.”
“If there are things going on that should not be happening, we can work together and fix it,” said Democrat state Senator Annette Taddeo.
Jacobs believes Rodriguez’s foreclosure should be tossed out because, again, he believes it was fraudulently obtained in the first place.
Complicating things even more, the bank has since sold the house, and that homeowner wants Rodriguez evicted.
Everything is currently on hold pending a hearing to address the eviction which is scheduled for Friday.
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