Fannie Mae forgives loan for woman who shot herself

(CNN) -- Fannie Mae said it will set aside the loan of a woman who shot herself as sheriff's deputies tried to evict her from her foreclosed home.

Fannie Mae foreclosed on the Akron, Ohio, home of Addie Polk, 90, after acquiring the mortgage in 2007.

Addie Polk, 90, of Akron, Ohio, became a symbol of the nation's home mortgage crisis when she was hospitalized after shooting herself at least twice in the upper body Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday, Fannie Mae spokesman Brian Faith said the mortgage association had decided to halt action against Polk and sign the property "outright" to her.

"We're going to forgive whatever outstanding balance she had on the loan and give her the house," Faith said. "Given the circumstances, we think it's appropriate."

Residents of Akron have rallied behind Polk, who is being treated at Akron General Medical Center. She was listed in critical condition Friday afternoon, according to Akron City Council President Marco Sommerville.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, mentioned Polk on the House floor Friday during debate over the latest economic rescue proposal.

"This bill does nothing for the Addie Polks of the world," Kucinich said after telling her story. "This bill fails to address the fact that millions of homeowners are facing foreclosure, are facing the loss of their home. This bill will take care of Wall Street, and the market may go up for a few days, but democracy is going downhill."

Neighbor Robert Dillon, 62, used a ladder to enter a second-story bathroom window of Polk's home after he and the deputies heard loud noises inside, Dillon said.

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"I was calling her name as I went in, and she wasn't responding," he said.

He found her lying on a bed, and he could see she was breathing. He also noticed a long-barreled handgun on the bed, but thought she just had it there for protection. He touched her on the shoulder.

"Then she kind of moved toward me a little and I saw that blood, and I said, 'Oh, no. Miss Polk musta done shot herself,' " Dillon said.

He hurried downstairs and let the deputies in. He said they told him they found Polk's car keys, pocketbook and life insurance policy laid out neatly where they could be found, suggesting that she intended to kill herself.

"There's a lot of people like Miss Polk right now. That's the sad thing about it," said Sommerville, who had met Polk before and rushed to the scene when contacted by police. "They might not be as old as her, some could be as old as her. This is just a major problem." Watch Polk's neighbor describe what he saw »

In 2004, Polk took out a 30-year, 6.375 percent mortgage for $45,620 with a Countrywide Home Loan office in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The same day, she also took out an $11,380 line of credit.

Over the next couple of years, Polk missed payments on the 101-year-old home that she and her late husband purchased in 1970. In 2007, Fannie Mae assumed the mortgage and later filed for foreclosure.

Deputies had tried to serve Polk's eviction notice more than 30 times before Wednesday's incident, Sommerville said. She never came to the door, but the notes the deputies left would always disappear, so they knew she was inside and ambulatory, he said.

The city is creating programs to help people keep their homes, Sommerville said. "But what do you do when there's just so many people out there and the economy is in the shape that it's in?"

Many businesses and individuals have called since Wednesday offering to help Polk, Sommerville said.

"We're going to do an evaluation to see what's best for her," he said. "If she's strong enough and can go home, I think we should work with her to where she goes back home. If not, we need to find another place for her to live where she won't have to worry about this ever again."

For his part, Dillon hopes his neighbor of 38 years can return to her home.

"She loves that house," he said. "I hope they can get her back in. That would make me feel better because I don't know what they're going to put in there once she leaves."

He said the neighborhood is declining because so many people have lost their homes.

"There's a lot of vacant houses around here. ... Now I'm going to have a house on my left and a house on my right, vacant," he said. "That don't make me feel good, because we were good neighbors, we trusted each other, and we looked out for each other.

"This neighborhood is shot, to me, from what it used to be," he added.

"When I moved here, if it were like it is now, I would have never moved here. But it was a nice neighborhood. ...

"I'll just tough it out. I'm too old to start thinking about buying another house."

Sommerville said that by the time people call for help with an impending foreclosure, it's usually too late.

"I'm glad it's not too late for Miss Polk, because she could have taken her life," Sommerville said. "Miss Polk will probably end up on her feet. But I'm not sure if anybody else will."


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