78-Year-Old Woman Forced To Leave House She & Her Husband Built In 1956

After the story of a 78-year-old grandmother being evicted from the home she and her husband built in 1956 hit the news, public outcry over the story has granted her a bit of a reprieve. The tricky part of all of this? Her daughter says her mental faculties are making it hard to figure out who exactly holds the mortgage.

The News Sentinel in Knoxville reports that after an earlier story ran about Mary Cate and her family’s plight, the family said they’ve gotten an extension to stay a few weeks longer, until June 15. Mary Cate lives with her two teen grandchildren, who will be able to finish the school year, as well as her son, who is wheelchair-bound.

Mary Cate and her husband built the home in 1956 themselves, and until 2007, owned the home outright. She then took out a $60,000 mortgage on the house to make repairs, and fell behind on payments after undergoing open-heart surgery three years ago.

“Some of it was my fault,” Mary Cate told the paper, saying she got confused after receiving information from two or three different people about the loan. “I kept sending payments, but it wasn’t the same (mortgage) company. They kept changing. The people from Arkansas who have it now have never spoken to me whatsoever.”

Her daughter said no one knew about the mortgage until recently.

“I didn’t know (about the loan) and had no idea this had taken place until a month ago Thursday,” she told the paper, adding that her mother’s declining mental faculties have made figuring out things difficult. She tried, unsuccessfully, to withdraw her teacher’s state retirement fund early and pay off the loan.

“Over time, they sold the loan out and I’ve had a hard time finding out about it,” said her daughter. “I’ve felt like a little fish in a sea of bureaucrats.”

An eviction specialist hired by a local realtor to handle the removal has said she won’t handle the case.

“I’m not going to do it,” she told the paper. “That woman is too old and fragile to be put out on the street and set on the curb. All I could think about was what if that was my grandmother in that situation? I know it’s a job, but all money is not good money. It’s morally wrong.”

Mary Cate won’t be headed to the curb — her daughter said she, the two grandkids and her brother can move in to her home with her husband.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen elderly people pushed out of their homes, unfortunately: There was the 103-year-old woman and her 83-year-old daughter who were saved from eviction when police and movers refused to move her out; a 101-year-old woman evicted from her home in Detroit and an elderly woman forced to move out after a deed mix-up.

*Thanks for the tip, Gary!

Public responds to Strawberry Plains widow facing eviction; brief reprieve given on forced move [News Sentinel]