ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)– A St. Louis woman who was being evicted Friday from her home of two decades is still there thanks to the first protest of its kind in the St. Louis area.
For the first time in our region, demonstrators showed up at the home of someone about to be evicted vowing to interfere with the eviction and risk arrest.
Angelia Williams has owned her tidy bungalow on the north side’s Penrose Street for 20 years. She lost her job. She fell behind on mortgage payments. She faces eviction.
“It’s very heartbreaking. It’s very sad,” said Angelia Williams. “I have no words to express my loss, my pain, my hurt right now. The constant worry that if I leave my house and I come back, will I be able to get in?”
She says she tried negotiating a lower payment with Wells Fargo when she saw her layoff coming. She submitted supporting paperwork. Wells Fargo misplaced it. So she tried again.
“They said re-submit the papers again, and I keep re-submitting the papers, and instead of saying I guess, they keep saying we didn’t get the papers, we didn’t get all your information, so I started to get the run-around,” she said.
And Wells Fargo told her city sheriff’s deputies would be showing up Friday to pile her belongings on the street and padlock her house.
The eviction was supposed to take place around 10:30 Friday morning. And then a funny thing happened. FOX 2 showed up. All these people showed up. And suddenly Wells Fargo bank and the sheriff decided not to go ahead with the eviction.
The protestors with an anti-foreclosure group threatened to do something that hasn’t been done before in the St. Louis area. They were prepared to interfere with the eviction and be arrested in the process.
“Angelia got ahead of the game, for a year she’s been trying to get a modification both when she was employed and when she was unemployed and the bank has, you know, refused to work with her and that’s why we’re here today,” said Arielle Klagsburn with Missourians Organizing for Reform.
FOX 2 tried to contact Wells Fargo’s home loan division in Iowa and California and never heard back.
And despite Friday’s brief victory, Angelia Williams still faces eviction.
So could this be a new tactic in our area, risking arrest to physically stop evictions? Stay tuned.