A retired cop battling a deadly disease has her house back, thanks to some unusual allies.
Former Atlanta Police Detective Jacqueline Barber shows me around her rambling brick house and the six acres that surround it. She bought it about ten years ago. Recently, she began battling a blood and bone cancer that doctors told her was life threatening. She had to buy expensive drugs to treat the disease. On her retirement alone, Barber soon fell behind on her mortgage. She tried to negotiate a new deal with her mortgage lender. But even as she was on the phone with a bank vice president in March, 2012, “They sold it on the courthouse steps,” Barber said.
Barber said she tried everything. She called the bank repeatedly, only to find that her mortgage had been sold, and then sold again. She stood in lines and, when her cancer made it impossible to do that, she lined up in her wheelchair, hoping to get some sort of mortgage assistance.
Finally, she turned to Occupy Atlanta, the group that took over Woodruff Park last year. After Occupy members made hundreds of phone calls, staged a letter-writing campaign and even marched on the mortgage company’s home office in Minneapolis, Barber has a restructured loan she said she can live with.
“I say thank God, I’m free,” she said, laughing with friends in her front yard.
While her cancer is no longer in remission, Barber said she can concentrate on fighting that and not worrying about where she, her daughter and her grandchildren will live.