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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Every Saturday, Fred Kayiwa of Uganda leads our chat. Join us at our chat room - our help room - http://www.worknets.org/chat/ where we come to help each other
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 18, 2008
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      Every Saturday, Fred Kayiwa of Uganda leads our chat. Join us at our chat
      room - our help room - http://www.worknets.org/chat/ where we come to help
      each other in every way, including tutoring, research, shopping, contacts,
      help with our projects, and morale support. Thanks to the choir of
      St.Benedict the African for making this possible.

      I also share my latest post for the Includer. It is David Ellison-Bey's
      hardship letter which we wrote so that his mortgage company does not take
      his house away. I appreciate our thoughts and also our comments at
      http://www.pbs.org/idealab/ where you will find many links.

      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      +1 312 618 3345

      The Includer
      Episode 5
      Hardship Letter

      The Includer is a device for listening to a person’s deepest thoughts.
      This may take twelve years, which is how long I have known David
      Ellison-Bey. In July, his house was foreclosed. He then asked for my help
      to review his many bills. They reflect the American economy, which weighs
      on his shoulders. Please think of him as your mother or father, or your
      grandmother or grandfather, who rely on your help to make sense of the
      mail they get, even more so when they are shocked, dismayed or confused.
      You are their shield, their sword, their justice, their advocate, their
      Includer. David and I share his hardship letter to Aurora Loan Services.

      Am I able to pay my mortgage?

      Yes. I have a pension and Social Security sufficient for my needs. I
      worked 20 years as an office assistant for the State of Illinois. I have a
      college degree in accounting. I have addressed many questionable aspects
      of my financial situation. I am getting help from my friend, Andrius
      Kulikauskas. We are writing this letter together.

      Why did I not make my mortgage payments on time?

      I was disoriented - discombobulated - because of too much pressure in my
      life, as I explain below. I am a sensitive, compassionate, elderly man,
      and thus vulnerable. I live in a vulnerable neighborhood that suffers the
      worst exploitations of the racial caste system. I was not able to put my
      problems in perspective because of a tricky and corrupt system, a lack of
      peers, and a lack of human contact with functional people.

      How did this happen?

      I am an observer of the human condition. All of my life, I have worked
      towards fellowship of all peoples. I have dedicated myself to uplifting
      fallen humanity. I am a minister of the Moorish Science Temple of America.
      I am Assistant National Grand Sheik. I have invested myself to help my
      people, the Moors, but sadly, so many have died by foul play, old age,
      sickness, FBI, gangs, AIDS. I live in this house which my grandparents
      left me. I choose to stay here because I don’t want to abandon the
      children. I have taught them for years - yoga, spirituality, recycling,
      gardening - my Moorish Cultural Workshop - so they can be responsible and
      useful members of society. People come to me for help, many of them
      abusive and unreliable.

      I lived next door to my mother. December, 1996, she had a stroke and I was
      forced to put her in a nursing home until she finished her rehab. My
      relative took her from the nursing home without my permission, took her
      out-of-state, and I never saw her again. I was traumatized because
      everywhere I went for help to get my mother back, I was turned away. I
      went to the Veterans Administration and started seeing a psychologist /
      gerontologist who prescribed medication so that I could sleep, eat and
      concentrate. My mother passed away September 14, 2007.

      I asked the State’s Attorney’s office to find my mother. They asked
      whether the estate was worth over $35,000 ? If not, they couldn’t do
      anything. In 2000, while I was visiting my psychologist, I met two Moorish
      brothers who had a company, Axiom Mortgage Corporation, which helped
      arrange loans. I felt that if I had $35,000 in the bank, then I would be
      safe from what happened to my mother. If anything happened to me, they
      would investigate.

      I received a mortgage loan of $41,250 from Accredited Home Lenders. The
      servicing of my mortgage loan was transferred to Advanta Mortgage. In
      2003, I was enticed to redo my loan with Mercantile Mortgage Company, and
      it went up to $57,000. It was transferred to Mortgage Lenders Network USA,
      Inc., and then to Aurora Loan Services on March 1, 2007. I fixed my roof,
      put up siding and storm windows. In 2003, I got a second mortgage from
      Green Tree through a contractor. They redid my bathroom, which was
      important to me, because I was crippled with arthritis. In 2007, I had
      $22,000 in CDs.

      These last two years I suffered pressures that were too much for me. One
      thing after another! I conducted so many funerals for my associates. My
      mother died and I couldn’t go to her funeral because there was nobody I
      could trust my house to.

      I helped the caretaker of our temple’s farm in Pembroke. I paid the taxes
      on the land. My truck broke down driving back and forth. I then purchased
      a used car at an auction. I got a ticket after the temporary license plate
      expired and I never received my license plate through the mail. It was
      misdirected to the auction house. In July 2006, the court dismissed the
      ticket, but I had to pay $27 for parking downtown. Then I started getting
      tickets every week, mostly at night, parked in front of my house, because
      the car had half-mirrored tinted windows, which I didn’t realize was
      illegal to drive, and I didn’t know could be stripped off. Meanwhile, the
      caretaker was starving, without toilet, electricity or phone. I felt like
      the system in Chicago, Illinois - the auction place, the courts, the
      police, the city, the state - were set against me. Illinois Governor
      George Ryan and Chicago City Clerk James Laski were put in jail, Governor
      Rod Blagojevich is under investigation, and the City of Chicago is run by
      the machine. I also got tickets on my truck because it was broken, I had
      to park it on the street and I couldn’t move it for the street sweepers. I
      was alone, everybody turned away from me, nobody championed my cause. You
      can’t fight City Hall. I believed that these injustices must come to a
      head. People must become aware. I refused to pay until I just had to. The
      city bullied me, multiplying the fines, towing my truck, holding it and
      threatening to crush it, and threatening to put a lien on my house. The
      supervisor of the administrative judges laughed at me. November 2007, I
      paid $2600 to free my truck and then $600 for my car. I cashed some of my
      CDs for that and then to pay for mechanics to work on them, but neither of
      them runs.

      June 2007, I asked my doctor’s office, who could take care of my ingrown
      toe nails? They suggested the podiatrist across the street. I believed
      that my insurance company, Humana, would pay for the procedure. They
      refused to pay the $500 bill because I did not have a written referral
      from my doctor.

      That summer, ten or twelve young people attacked me as I was stopping my
      truck at a stop sign. They had blocked traffic. I signed up for a cell
      phone. My friend referred me to a Sprint plan which would allow us to
      speak nights and weekends for free. I went into shock when I got a bill
      for $325.74. They were charging me $1 per minute. I felt paralyzed. I
      didn’t pay the bill and I was too shocked to call them. I didn’t use the
      phone, but they kept charging me for service, until the bill was more than
      $600. This summer, my friend helped them understand the situation, and
      they agreed to settle for $240.

      That fall, a US Energy Savings representative came to my door and claimed
      that if I signed up for them to be my gas supplier through People’s Gas,
      my prices would stay fixed even if the price went up in the world markets.
      That winter, I got bills that were much higher than before, and kept going
      up. I had trouble coping and so I simply paid what I could every month.
      The outstanding bill grew to $1,700. In June, it’s not clear why, US
      Energy Savings was dropped as my supplier.

      Around that time, my bill was readjusted to reflect the actual usage, and
      it went down. Finally, a charge of $719 was removed from the bill, and US
      Energy Savings is asking me directly to pay that bill. I don’t yet know
      whether to pay this bill or not. I have learned that in February, 2008,
      Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against US Energy Savings
      for using deceptive sales tactics, especially against the elderly.

      December, 2007, my basement flooded and my space heater was knocked out. I
      had to pay about $800 to two handymen and a professional. August 2008, my
      basement flooded again, this time knocking out my water heater. I was able
      to get it fixed for $120.

      Meanwhile, my AT&T telephone bills were getting higher. This summer we
      became aware that a chain of phony services had attached themselves to my
      phone bill without my permission. Since the beginning of the year, AT&T
      collected more than $400 for them. These services agreed to desist and to
      refund me this money, but appeared again on the very next bill!

      I’ve stopped going to my doctor and my psychiatrist. I’ve gone without new
      glasses. My dentures are broken.

      As we are writing we have heard two episodes of half a dozen shots. The
      police have not shown up during the hour. This Monday, a man was killed
      and two others wounded in the empty lot next to me. We have turned out the
      lights. I have the shakes. My chest became tight and my breathing shallow.

      I think you understand my state of mind. November 2007, I paid my house
      insurance. Usually, I receive a letter from my mortgage company, asking
      for my policy. I don’t know if I didnt receive one this year or I simply
      forgot to send my policy to Aurora Loan Services. Please note that my
      insurance company has recently sent you this policy. Also, every year I
      qualify for the Senior Freeze so that I don’t have to pay the $1,500
      property tax. However, this year my cat pissed on the bill, my duplicating
      machine broke, my twenty cats died, my cars aren’t running, and so I never
      got around to making a duplicate of the form. For these reasons my
      mortgage payment was recalculated at the beginning of the year and went up
      from $480.63 to $950.36. I didn’t understand the amount. I called up
      Aurora Loan Services to inquire and they said that I had missed a month.
      That didn’t seem right, but I sent in the payment. I got confused. I kept
      getting such large bills. I thought I was catching up with them. Then in
      July I was served with foreclosure papers. The check which I had just sent
      out was returned. I called to set up a payment plan, and wired the first
      payment, but Aurora Loan Services returned that payment because I had not
      yet signed the papers which it was late in sending out to me. I have made
      the first three payments as agreed in the forebearance agreement.

      What do I ask for now?

      I wish, as before, to pay off my mortgage with monthly payments of $480.63

      I have been billed by Aurora Loan Services for legal fees of $1,546.
      Please explain and itemize these legal fees.

      I wish I had a relationship with a person from Aurora Loan Services.
      Giving loans is a privilege chartered by the government for the good of
      the people. (Or is it to fleece, to rob the people? That’s what I get out
      of it. Black people are sent into black neighborhoods by white people who
      have educated them into how to talk and convince unsuspecting people how
      to help them. And we fall for it because we always need money. We never
      get paid as much as white people get paid. I have never made more than
      $25,000 a year. But I have always worked, even before I had working
      papers, since I was eleven, for a dollar a day, summer and winter.)

      Aurora Loan Services purchased my mortgage and never sent anybody to build
      a personal relationship. I wish for face-to-face rapport. I almost gave up
      on white people. They try in every way to not be in a black person’s
      presence, beyond any length of time they need to convince them of what
      they want to convince them of. Once they convince them, they are out of
      your life forever. Then they sit back and count your money into their
      pocket with fees, fines, penalties, taxes and interest. I have documents
      regarding the non-profit status of my Moorish Cultural Workshop (part of
      the Moorish Science Temple of America), my status as a minister, and
      guaranteed home loans covered by the Veterans Administration, but nobody
      cares. I get no respect.

      I wish for your computers to identify people who need real help, such as
      the elderly who have no family, no relatives, no peers, and live in a
      hostile neighorhood. Pay attention to unexpected behavior, such as not
      renewing the Senior Freeze, or not sending in various documents. We are
      bombarded by bills every day, including lawyers and experts offering to
      assist with foreclosures, whereas noone actually volunteers to help. Your
      computers identify the vulnerable for marketing, and they can identify
      them for your good service as well.

      Aurora Loan Services discouraged me from getting a lawyer, right after it
      had served me papers and then forced me to pay its legal fees. The lawyers
      did no work, but they are the first to be paid. Not a fraction of that
      money was spent to investigate my situation, serve my needs, and heal our

      I ask you to pay for your own legal fees.

      I inform you that I wish to pay my property tax myself. The clerk at the
      County Assessor’s office instructed me not to pay the latest property tax
      bill because she approved my Senior Freeze application, but you insist on
      paying this bill and adding it to my mortgage and charging me interest!

      I am bitter. I always pay my bills because my parents brought me up to pay
      my bills. This house was paid for, free and clear, when my grandfather
      left it to me in his will.

      This house is and was a home for many generations of my family. It is also
      a cultural center known as the Moorish Cultural Workshop, a positive
      influence on children, youth and adults. It is known internationally as an
      office of Minciu Sodas, a worldwide laboratory for independent thinkers
      working for world peace and understanding. I invite you to partner with
      us. Contribute to this house as a center of rebirth for our neighborhood
      and all the world. Let our activity be a touchstone for borrowers and
      lenders. You might find your role. We can share our resources so that we
      own our blocks. I might be bitter, but I am still hopeful that we might
      come together in peace and love and understanding and overstanding.
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