The Voice is starting a new feature several times a week. As foreclosures continue unabated across the nation, the Voice will be profiling the foreclosures that happen every week right here in the five boroughs. We’ll be looking closely at the properties facing foreclosure, the public auctions where those buildings are sold to the highest bidder, and the individuals facing eviction in the process.
“You from the bank?” asked Louise, a middle-aged black woman with a thick Jamaican accent standing outside a beaten-down, three-story apartment building located on 357 Linden Street in Bushwick.
Louise is well aware that the place she’s called home for the past 9 years is about to be sold at foreclosure auctions. She said banks and investors have been stopping by frequently to check out the location.
Not that Louise, a part-time cleaner, minds.
“Our landlord is a scumbag,” she said, giving the name Abraham Hoffman. “We’ve had bad plumbing here for years and he won’t fix it, my window can’t open and he doesn’t care.”
It’s a good thing, she said, that Hoffman is being foreclosed–even if it means she may be evicted.
Another resident from the building, a latino man who didn’t want to be named, concurred with Louise, saying he just wants the process to be over with.
“We all pay our rent in time, but for years we’ve had banks and collectors come by,” he said. “I don’t know what that [landlord] does with our money, but I stopped paying him rent over a month ago. If they kick me out, so be it.”
About a five minute walk away is the address 147 Bleecker Street, the site of a three-story building, with the first floor an abandoned business of some sort. We were able to speak with Mrs Johnson, a 72-year-old grandmother who likes to spend her days watching the neighborhood from her window.
Mrs Johnson said she had no idea about the foreclosure sale, but had suspected something was afoot when the first floor, which used to be a liquor store, closed up abruptly a few months ago.
Still, Mrs Johnson remained mostly nonchalant.
“I live here with my daughter and her children, maybe she knows about this sale,” Mrs Johnson said. “But I don’t know a damn thing.”
Two weeks ago, we reported that the staff at a law office in Queens had no idea their store space had been sold to investors. Something similar may happen today if the property on 1805 Gravesend Neck Road in Sheepshead Bay is sold.
That’s the site of Enat Surgical Supply, which sells products such as ankle braces and blood pressure monitors. The manager of the store, who’s been working at the company since its inception a year ago, was unaware of the sale.
When we visited, she was the lone staff at the store. A request to speak to her boss or landlord has not been answered yet.
We’ll be attending the foreclosure sale today to monitor these sales.