ATLANTA (FinalCall.com) – It was one of the dreariest days that Atlanta has had this year. Temperatures plunged to 35 degrees, almost 20 degrees cooler than over the previous weekend.
Yet it was the day that 103-year-old Vinia Hall and her 83-year-old daughter were scheduled to be evicted from the modest home that Ms. Hall had lived in for over 53 years.
Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Derrick Boazman, a former city council member, and Vincent Ford, a state senator, all intervened to keep Ms. Hall in her longtime home.
Her case brought together a host of politicians, church leaders, community members and neighbors rallied to the family’s side. “This really puts a face on foreclosures,” one neighbor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Faced with a public outcry involving predatory lending, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon announced a deal would be worked out and let the Halls stay. Thanks to the efforts of friends, neighbors and the city, the women are no longer in danger of eviction.
They had been engaged in a long legal battle with Deutsche Bank; the financial giant accused of widespread mortgage fraud by the U.S. government earlier this year and which was also the focus of a $1 billion lawsuit filed by the Justice Department. In November, Deutsche Bank paid $165 million to settle a suit charging that the bank had misled credit unions about the risk of securities tied to mortgages.
Ms. Hall is thanking her community for another unexpected gift: “The mother and daughter went from almost being out of their home to owning the home outright again, to now having new beds that lift up and lay down and are comfortable,” said Derrick Bozeman, a community activist who helped stop the foreclosure.
“I saw the sheriffs, who came to put them out, take off and leave. I gave all glory to God,” community activist Michael Langford said. “You can get a bailout for big banks but no bailout for Big Momma?” he asked.
For Ms. Hall, who was just weeks shy of her 104th birthday, her prayers for benevolence seemed to have worked. “No, I knew that they did not know what they were doing. God don’t let them do wrong,” she said.
“Please don’t come in and disturb me no more,” Ms. Hall said. “When I’m gone you all can come back and do whatever you want to,” Ms. Hall said. “I love it. It’s a mansion,” she told ABC affiliate WSB-TV.
After hearing about the story, KISS FM 104’s Sasha the Diva visited with Ms. Hall and found out she was very active in the Atlanta community while she was able.
Sasha also found out that Mrs. Hall would be celebrating her 104th birthday in January. To celebrate Ms. Hall’s birthday and recognize her service to the community, KISS FM 104 sponsored a 104th birthday celebration Jan. 24 along with the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway Hotel.
The event included members of Muhammad Mosque No. 15 along with Jabbar and Carmin Muhammad of Chicago, and Norman Muhammad of Detroit who came in for the event that included over 300 people. Among the participants were U.S. Congressman John Lewis, singer Angie Stone, Monica Pearson, Ryan Young of WSB TV Channel 2, along with a host of KISS FM staff.
Organizers of the event and supporters of the Halls thanked everyone for signing the petition asking the bank to leave her alone. Because of strong voices and other outside pressures, JPMorgan Chase announced it has “no plans” to remove Ms. Hall and her daughter from their home. Ms. Hall was reportedly the first Black female barber in Atlanta and opened the first Black barbershop in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood.