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To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub.

Avery Salkey has spent many sleepless nights over the last year or more in apprehension of what’s to come. She doubtlessly will spend many sleepless nights in the future, but for the next sixty days she’ll be safe in her home. She went to court on Tuesday and filed a motion to delay the sale of her home. Yale Mortgage finally agreed to give her sixty days to work things out. She and ACORN are doing whatever they can to bring the mortgage company around to work with her. For the next several nights she can sleep more easily than she has in the past and maybe she’ll even have some pleasant dreams, but until things can be worked out in her favor she’ll have this sword of Damocles hanging over her bed.

                                            On the street where you live                                                                                        On Monday and Tuesday teams of ACORN volunteers walked the neighborhoods enlisting community support for the Batista family. Many of the houses that were visited were vacant with For Sale signs on the property. The Avalon Park Neighborhood Association had all the foreclosure signs taken down so it was difficult to determine which properties were in foreclosure; that is until you talk to the residents. One resident asked “where were you a month ago when the people next door had to leave?” The people they were able to talk to were mostly sympathetic and signed the petitions. Some of them expressed interest in attending the demonstration scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 2:00 PM.

Some people wouldn’t answer their doors even though the dogs were barking and the kids looked through the venetian blinds. One resident told why; there had recently been a rash of break-ins all over Avalon Park resulting in robberies, vandalism and worse. On Monday night a resident had been raped, and the neighbors are up in arms. Things like that are not supposed to happen in Central Florida’s version of Stepford, where everything is neat and clean, and all the grass is neatly mowed and all the garages are in the rear of the house hidden from street view.

The original purchase price of the Batista house was $390,000.00. Despite a large down payment and a few years of paying on time they needed to refinance because of business reversals.  With all of the penalties and interest owed the Batistas now owe $410,000.00 and they’ve been living in the house for several years. An identical house across the street sold recently for just $200,000.00 so under the current system the Batistas can never get whole, and neither can the banks. ACORN thinks it is in the bank’s best interest to work with the Batistas. Property values aside, the neighborhood doesn’t need another vandalized or vacant house. Nor does it need another property off the tax rolls, and Stepford needs to save face.

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