Jennifer Britt, a Detroit woman who has been fighting to keep her home after receiving a writ of eviction in July, has received an offer from the government-sponsored mortgage giant Fannie Mae that would allow her to stay in her home for the next two years, according to Britt's lawyer Joe McGuire.
Britt's near eviction led to a defense campaign that drew crowds to her Rosedale Park home for a vigil lasting several weeks. Her case also attracted the attention of U.S. Representative Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit) who personally interceded to work out a deal with Fannie Mae.
According to McGuire, Fannie Mae has now offered Britt a two-year lease for $785 a month. Previously, she said her payments had climbed to nearly $2,000 monthly.
McGuire said she received the written offer last week, but has been hesitant to agree to the arrangement because it contains no guarantee that she can eventually own the house.
"She wants a road to owning her home," he told The Huffington Post. "She doesn't want to just live there another two years, pay rent and have nothing to show for it."
Britt previously told The Huffington Post she put over $45,000 into the house, including $26,000 from her husband's life insurance policy she received after he died in an auto accident. She alleges Flagstar Bank, who held the mortgage, raised her payments and would not allow her to modify them because it was her husband's name on the mortgage, though a probate court had awarded her the estate. Her house was foreclosed on after she couldn't keep up with the payments, and Fannie Mae later acquired the mortgage through a sheriff's auction.
McGuire said his client is interested in working out a deal with Fannie Mae, but wants better terms, like a land contract, mortgage or a lease with an option to buy. She made a counteroffer to this effect on Tuesday, but has not yet heard back from them, he said.
The local nonprofit Southwest Solutions previously attempted to purchase the home on Britt's behalf for $10,000, a price they arrived at after appraising the home, but Fannie Mae did not accept their offer.
Members of Britt's eviction defense team will meet at her house Thursday to discuss their options. The vigil at Britt's home had been suspended this week while negotiations played out, but McGuire said Britt's supporters are ready to resume the action if needed.
A spokeswoman for Flagstar Bank previously told The Huffington Post she would not comment on Britt's case, citing a concern for customer privacy. Fannie Mae was contacted for this story, but did not respond before it was published.