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.