KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Fewer homes are entering the foreclosure process for the first time in years, according to the latest housing report. However, lenders are stepping up home repossessions according to new data from Realty Trac.
A Knoxville woman knows that problem all too well as her house is about to be sold on the courthouse steps Tuesday. She says there is a buyer for the house, and late Monday evening she received some good news.
Locally renowned artist Catherine Freeman once owned a business called Famous Faces. The late Eddy Arnold is one of the celebrities who came to her studio for a lifecast.
Mrs. Freeman is no longer working. For the last 16 months, she has been battling stage four brain cancer and recently has been fighting her mortgage company.
She's asking for 15 days, enough time to sell her home in Holston Hills and avoid foreclosure scheduled for Tuesday, October 15.
"I don't understand why two weeks makes that much of a difference," Freeman said.
Presently, there is a contract on the home she's owned since 2002. Due to mounting medical bills, Catherine was unable to meet her mortgage payments and has been trying to sell the house since June.
Johnnie Creel, one of Knoxville's leading realtors, has been vigorously marketing the place. The goal is a quick sale, so the price of the 3,800 square foot contemporary has been cut drastically.
A few weeks ago, Creel let Freeman's mortgage company know they had a buyer.
"I was able to let him know that we had a contract," said Creel. "We forwarded the contract to him. I had the people, the buyers pre-qualified."
With the pending foreclosure looming, Freeman's realtor says she's sent every piece of collaborating information possible to delay the October 15 auction at the steps of the City/County Building.
"We were told verbally last week that they would allow us to proceed with the contract. So, that's what we have done," Creel said.
Then, an email came five days ago from Citimortgage saying the request to postpone the sale has been declined.
Citimortgage issued a statement to 6 On Your Side on Friday.
"We take these matters very seriously and will look into this case. We will be happy to explore what potential options may be available for the borrower. But WATE-TV did not allow us adequate time to look into this matter," read the statement.
Since that message was sent, Johnnie Creel's office and people from Citimortgage negotiated an extension to the deadline.
"Be advised our client approved postponement of sale," said Freeman, reading the email notifying all parties the extension had been approved.
The new foreclosure date is November 5.
"It means everything to me," said Freeman. "A weight lifted off my shoulders."
Mrs. Freeman says she's grateful to Citimortgage for the extension and appreciates the hard work of her realtor and those in her office.
More work is needed, though, before the sale goes through.
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