‘The Con’: How 91-year-old Addie Polk’s suicide attempt in Ohio became a symbol of America’s home mortgage crisis

Addie Polk, a 90-year-old Black woman, shot herself twice in the chest as deputies were knocking at her door with eviction papers in hand. Polk, a widow, who lived in the house alone, knew when the foreclosure date of her home was and waited until the last moment before taking her own life in 2008. The Federal National Mortgage Association, Fannie Mae, foreclosed on Polk’s home in Akron, Ohio after acquiring a mortgage in 2007. 

Polk’s desperate measure made her a symbol of the nation’s home mortgage crisis, which saw hundreds of Americans rendered homeless. Polk was a deaconess at her church and was admired by her friends and fellow churchgoers. Some remembered her as a great cakemaker. Before the interest started piling up, Polk and her husband lived as a happy and loving couple. During the prime of their lives, the pair could have moved on to a bigger

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Grand Chicago Hotel in Foreclosure, a Symbol of Covid-19’s Toll on Hospitality Industry

The Palmer House Hilton has been one of Chicago’s grandest hotels for more than a century. Oscar Wilde was a guest. Frank Sinatra serenaded diners at its supper club. Over the past 15 years, the owner spent $173 million to overhaul the hotel, modernizing most of the 1,641 rooms.

But today, the property faces a bank foreclosure and has become one of the most potent symbols of the troubled hospitality industry during Covid-19.

Wells Fargo Bank

said in court papers last month that the hotel’s owner, real-estate investor Thor Equities, was in default on its $333.2 million first mortgage, making the property one of the first major foreclosure actions during the pandemic. The Palmer House was worth $305.5 million shortly before Wells Fargo filed its action, appraisers said.

A Thor spokeswoman declined to comment.

Most property owners and lenders at first hoped that damage from the pandemic would be limited

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