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
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,
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
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 relationships.
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! Why?
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.