San Francisco resident Mary Schmidt penned an eloquent open letter to Bank of America last week pleading with the bank to stop their plans to foreclose on her family's home. The letter quickly spread across Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter, and ended up in the hands of influential Bank of America executives two days after she posted it.
As The Huffington Post reports, Mary's parents Noel and Maureen Schmidt, also of San Francisco, are both lifelong teachers who have encountered some challenges in recent years. Noel suffered from a stroke in 2010, hindering him from running his nonprofit, and Maureen's benefits and hours were cut in 2009.
The Schmidt family home of 23 years was set to go up for auction last Thursday, prompting Mary, a recent San Francisco State grad, to pen her "strongly worded letter."
Here's an excerpt:
Whenever my siblings and I walked through the front door of our house with tears in our eyes after a coach unfairly cut us from a sports team or a teacher treated us badly, my mom would always threaten that she was going to write him or her a strongly worded letter. My mom and dad, like most parents, hate seeing their children get hurt. Back then they saw the hurt in our eyes and wanted to make everything better.
Well, my siblings and I are all grown up now and we see the same hurt in our parents' eyes. We saw the hurt in their eyes as they struggled to figure out how to pay for an inflated mortgage payment. We saw the hurt in their eyes when, after a job loss, a stroke and increasing medical expenses became too much, they could no longer afford their mortgage. Now we see the hurt in their eyes after countless nights of losing sleep worrying about where they are going to live. Seeing this hurt in their eyes over the last year is what prompted me to write you, Bank of America, a strongly worded letter.
Fortunately, on the day of the auction, a case worker from Catholic Charities was able to get the U.S. Treasury to intervene and postpone the auction until March 21st, which allowed time for Mary's letter to makes its rounds.
Two days after posting the letter, she received a phone call from the office of the President and CEO of Bank of America. Here's what Mary had to say about it:
Called the nice lady at the CEO's office. She said that they had received my letter and are willing to work with my parents and drafted up an offer for them. She said it is in the mail, but couldn't disclose the details. When I asked her how she got my letter, she said it was sent up to her office through some high level executives who had received it. I don't know where it's going to go from here...but that's pretty awesome. Thanks again for all your support!
Congratulations to the Schmidt Family for making it this far. We'll update when more details come in.