Foster mother in Landfall fighting eviction

Harrell's home in Landfall.
Harrell's home in Landfall.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – New numbers show foreclosures are down to their lowest level since 2007, the year before the housing market collapsed.

Still, foreclosures are still impacting families in our community.

Sheree Harrell, a woman who fosters children with autism, is facing eviction. The home she rents in Landfall was foreclosed on by the bank after the homeowner fell behind on his mortgage payments.

Right now, Harrell has two foster children living with her. She said it would be disruptive to the children's progress if she's forced out of the house.

The company the bank hires to handle foreclosures, Brock and Scott, sent Harrell an eviction notice.

Under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, renters must be allowed to stay in their homes until the end of their leases - if the home their renting is foreclosed on by the bank.

There is a provision that said the renter can be evicted if they don't have what's called a "bona fide" lease.

A lease is considered bona fide if the mortgagor or a child, spouse, or parent of the mortgagor under

the contract is not the tenant, if the lease was the product of an arm's-length transaction, or if the rent is substantially less than fair market rate.

Still, Harrell said the company is contesting her loan.

Emails provided to us by Harrell show the company's position is that Harrell's lease is not bona fide.

"They're going to have to drag me out of here," she said. "I will not go willingly. I know what they're doing is illegal and I'm not going to tolerate it."

She said she's not leaving without a fight for the sake of her foster children.

"My kids have been through so much with discrimination," she said. "Schools don't want them there. I've seen kids pushed out of schools and they aren't going to push them out of the home. It's unfair."

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