No arrests made so far at Rosemary Williams homeby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Authorities say they are not anticipating any arrests or action outside the home of a Minneapolis woman who refuses to leave after being ordered to do so by Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies.
As of midday Monday, there were no officers outside the home of Rosemary Williams, according to a Minneapolis Police spokesman.
Williams, 60, spoke publicly Saturday from her front porch, vowing to remain in the house despite the order.
"We can't give up, that's the bottom line," Williams told a crowd of supporters, many of whom slept in the house Friday night. "My mother lived through segregation, and she told me to never give up."
Williams has been fighting eviction for months, and last week a deal that would have allowed her to stay in her south Minneapolis home fell through.
Sheriff's deputies arrived at the property Friday, and ordered Williams to leave. Private locksmiths hired by GMAC Mortgage then locked the doors to the house and left the scene.
Shortly afterward, a group of supporters broke into the house and reopened the doors. About 20 people slept at the home Friday night, and have vowed to remain and engage in civil disobedience if law enforcement officials arrive to remove Williams from the premises.
Williams and her supporters said they want GMAC Mortgage to restart negotiations to modify her mortgage.
The sheriff's department has said that any enforcement action would need to be taken by the Minneapolis Police Department. Supporters said police officers stopped by briefly Friday night to ask Williams to move her van, but then left without asking anyone to leave the property.
Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer said his department is waiting for a written order from the city attorney to determine if further action falls to city or county officials.
Williams' house is owned by Aurora, a mortgage servicing division of Lehman Brothers, according to GMAC Mortgage spokeswoman Jeannine Bruin. Bruin confirmed that the investor asked GMAC to follow through with the eviction proceedings. GMAC Mortgage has been servicing the mortgage on behalf of Aurora.
Williams has lived on the same block for 55 years. She and her mother purchased her current home 26 years ago. When her mother died six years ago, Williams refinanced twice into an adjustable rate mortgage.
When the monthly payments shot up from $1,200 to $2,200, she could not afford to pay, Williams said. Her home was sold at a sheriff's auction in September 2008, and she received notice that she needed to vacate the property by March 30.
Since then, Williams and her supporters have led protests, packed courtrooms, and encouraged other foreclosed homeowners to remain in their homes.