Foreclosure-auction Sale Put off Following Angry Protest

Jose Becerra at his home at 17 Sixth Street in Chelsea shortly before the auction was called off .

The auction of a two-family home on Sixth Street was put off until February 7 following an angry protest Tuesday morning in front of the property.

About 20 people, including members of the Chelsea Collaborative, joined Jose and Olga Becerra in front of their 17 Sixth Street home minutes before the 10:00 a.m. auction of the property was scheduled to start.

That auction never happened.

Protestors sang in Spanish and shouted at the auctioneer in Spanish and in English, prompting those who were there to attend the auction to remain aside or to be driven away.

The property’s mortgage holder GMAC, allegedly refused to consider modifying the Becerra’s loan.

At the height of the protest, with Mr. Becerra standing on his front porch addressing the crowd, the auctioneer took electronic photographs of the protest taking place and sent them on to GMAC’s lawyers handling the auction.

Shortly thereafter, the auction was postponed.

“Jose and Olga will be submitting an application immediately to Boston Community Capital, a non-profit bank in Boston, who we hope will be able to buy the house in a short sale and sell it back to the Becerras. In the meantime, Jose will also continue to try to communicate directly with someone from GMAC to review his finances and offer a lower monthly payment and lower interest rate,” said Eliza Parad an official of the Chelsea Collaborative.

The Becerras fell on hard times as the economy tumbled. They have two teenage daughters.

They fell behind on their mortgage payments when they were cut back and laid off from their jobs.

The present GMAC loan on the two family home where they reside is $344,000.

The auction was to have started at $181,000 – a potential $160,000 loss for GMAC.

Organizers and community members celebrate as the auctioneer announces that the auction has been postponed.

The auction would also have left the Becerra’s homeless after living more than eight years in the home.

The Becerra’s have returned to the labor market and are again capable of making modified mortgage payments. However, GMAC has refused to have that discussion with them.

Efforts to contact officials at GMAC were fruitless.

“Why force another family out of their home when they can afford to pay? Why create another abandoned house in the neighborhood? The Becerra’s should be given another chance to negotiate with the bank and to remain in their home,” said the Collaborative’s Parad.

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