Eviction Of Retired Nun May Be At Hand

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 76-year-old retired nun is battling new health problems and facing eviction from her home of 38 years.

It’s a story CBS 2’s Mike Parker first reported in September, and now there are signs that authorities may be about to make their move to force her out of her house.

Many of the houses along south Washtenaw are ablaze with Christmas lights, but Mary Alice Keeler’s little bungalow is subdued. Inside, there’s only a small white flocked tree that some friends brought by.

“I didn’t have any Christmas,” Keeler says.

Just out of another lengthy hospital stay, Keeler – a retired Dominican nun — did not go to church on Sunday.

“It’s the first time I didn’t go to church on Christmas,” she says.

In addition to her serious health problems, she’s worried that the federal mortgage agency, Freddie Mac, which foreclosed on her house last summer, is finally about to put her out. She says that a week ago, she found a notice from the Cook County Sheriff’s Eviction Department suggesting that the time is drawing near.

“Why can’t I just live with my two little dogs in my little house? I missed two payments in 38 years. Who would want this little house?” she asks. “My mother used to call it the chicken coop.”

Her nephew, Bernie Keeler, is convinced that somehow things will work out.

“She and I prayed together,” he says. “That’s all we have going for us is our faith.”

Freddie Mac has reportedly offered a cash settlement of $3,000 to get her to move.

There’s another option. She would rent the house. The catch there is that Freddie Mac will decide how long that arrangement would last.

It’s a classic dilemma that many homeowners are facing. It’s one that has the retired nun in a quandary. And time is running out.

More from Mike Parker
  • Jim Doney

    Please let me know how my wife & I can assist this Nun with her current situation. How much money does she owe on her mortgage? How can we make a donation?

  • Noel C. Lindenmuth

    I don’t understand the plight of the nun potentially losing her home after missing 2 payments over 38 years. I’ve been an attorney for 41 years and have never heard of anything like this before. Can’t she make the 2 payments and become current? Or has she remortgaged her home to extend the mortgage beyond 30 years? I would like to hear from her or her attorney. They can call me at (303) 882-8051. I’m licensed in Illinois and Colorado.

  • tom sharp

    Where is is that “holy” nitwit Cardinal George and the rest of his crew? Stop helping De Paul U. buy up half of Lincoln Park and keep it off the tax list, and help this nun.

    • Joann Butkus

      I’m with you here!

    • val

      duh, depaul is a catholic university…already off the tax list…

      • tom sharp

        Hey Val, that’s what I’m saying!!! Why should they be allowed to buy up whole blocks of real estate and take them off the tax list because they are tax exempt (and in better world shouldn’t be)? The university should be prohibited from owning tax free property outside their original church and school boundaries. They are costing taxpayers $Millions!

    • Fred

      You are a piece of work, Tom Sharp. You are talking out of your rear end.

  • Natasha Hope Thomas

    I hate these greedy a## banks! I hope everything works out for this nun, yeah where is Cardinal George in this?

    • Joann Butkus

      Yeah, greedy beyond description! I think George has his head in the sand as usual!

  • Terry J.

    Anybody up to picketing the local Freddie Mac office? This story needs alot more publicity. Missing two payments in 38 years doesn’t seem right to force a foreclosure. It’s activity like this that is going to raise the possibility of civil unrest in this country between the “haves” and the “have nots”.

  • dan

    Noel you are spot on by looking through the smoke to get to the real story. She can’t be going into foreclosure for missing 2 payments and if she missed two she could easily straighten that out.

    Did she refinance and take all the equity out of the house and spend it on cars travel and the casino?

    I feel bad for her but like many middle class homeowners in a bind right now they were lured by the easy money and used their home equity like an ATM.

    If someone tells you to drive a kilo of coke to detroit for a few grand would you do it? If you do and get caught are you going to blame the guy that made the offer or yourself for the decision you made?

    People should stop blaming the banks for their own decisions-The people that did not buy the huge house with no money down and stayed in their modest house AND lived with-in their means are not suffering too much right now!

  • Sydney N.

    Sister has a vow of poverty and should not own real estate. Sister should be living with and supported by her religious community. To which Dominican community does she belong?

  • Jill

    Right Sidney, In my 16 years of catholic school nuns did not own property because of their vow of poverty, they even had to ask a priest for a ride in a car. Perhaps they have changed that rule along with the dress code, that would make sense.1. However she and her nephew have some real living problems and they need a lawyer to give them the right advice. and a lasting sulition 2. they will need donations 3. they should probably ask the salvation army or public aid to help with food. AND 4. CARDINAL GEORGE NEEDS SOME DISCUSSIONS ABOUT EQUALITY FOR WOMEN. But that is another bag of worms which would probably be the Pope. Sister bring your problem out to the real world all women including nuns are people too. Good luck.

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