SAN FRANCISCO, California – Tenants' rights organizations took the rally from outside the home of a recently evicted elderly Filipino couple in San Francisco all the way to the Saxe Mortgage Building in Daly City.
Melinda and Alex Cortez have been residing in San Francisco since 1994. Gene Kristul of Saxe Mortgage foreclosed on their homes because they could not pay off their loan.
However, the Cortezes said they were taken advantage of with the high interest rate.
“They didn’t consider getting the loan to replace the money that we owe them so that they didn’t have to foreclose the house. They didn’t give us a chance to discuss ways of saving our house from foreclosure,” said Melinda.
Tenants' rights organizations describe Saxe Mortgage as predatory lenders and the Cortezes are just their latest victims.
“Saxe Mortgage is all about money. They don’t care about people. They are shady. And right now, they’re trying to put this couple and other folks in Noe Valley on the street for profit,” said tenant organizer, Ray Castillo.
According to Filipino organizers, this is an ongoing problem in the South of Market district which was recently declared a Filipino cultural district by the city.
“It’s great to have a Filipino heritage cultural district but what would that be if all the Filipinos there don’t live there anymore? What’s the point?” Castillo said.
Fil-Am Daly City Mayor Juslyn Manalo showed her support for the Cortezes and is trying to help.
“I’m here to hope that Gene Kristul...would be amenable to have a meeting with this family,” Manalo said.
Balitang America has attempted to contact Saxe Mortgage and Kristul but there has been no response at this time.
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