Signatures Needed to Save Duluth Woman's Home

By KBJR News 1

January 14, 2012 Updated Jan 14, 2012 at 1:26 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - One northland woman didn't even know her house was in foreclosure until she got a call from a woman saying she...and others...wanted to help.

Once every week you can find Ann Lockwood stuffing bulletins at the Vineyard Church.

"I help with the bulletins and I help at the book store every other week so its how I meet people," said Howard.

It's just one of the part time trades she has picked up after losing her job as a surgical tech.

But after an accident at work left her unable to perform her duties, and required around 30 surgeries, resulting in the loss of one of her legs, Lockwood says it felt like everything after that seemed to fall apart.

Not being able to work meant no income which lead to mounting bills along with the mortgage on her house, which went un-paid.

Lockwood says she didn't even know her house was foreclosed on, until she got a phone call.

"I knew I was close to it but I didn't know they were proceeding with foreclosure until Donna called and said she saw my name in the paper," said Lockwood.

Donna Howard is with Project Save Our Homes, an effort pulling together and gathering signatures to help save Lockwood's home.

"There needs to be national policy that keeps this from happening that doesn't allow banks to own all the power. They are protected, they get bailed out. They are not going to suffer the way people do when their homes are foreclosed," said Howard.

In St Louis County, officials say they're seeing a slight decrease in foreclosures in the last year but the numbers are still some of the highest they've seen this decade.

"We had almost 500 foreclosure filings this past year 2011, which is down from almost 600 the prior year," said St Louis County Administrator Kevin Gray.

Howard says Duluth citizens are already helping make their mark in bringing these numbers down, by signing on to the petition to save Lockwood's home.

"We have over 500 signatures. We are going to collect for three more weeks and we are going to present those to the CEO of the bank in Illinois and ask them to refinance Ann's home," said Howard.

"I've had an outpouring of support which I did not expect and I don't believe God wants me homeless... I don't think he wants anyone to be homeless," said Lockwood.

Coming up on Monday, Project Save Our Homes is marching in solidarity with Ann and others in jeopardy of foreclosure.

The group says housing is a civil rights issue and they plan to meet up with the larger Martin Luther King Junior march scheduled for Monday.