By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An emergency court hearing will be held Friday to determine if an 82-year-old former Cuban political prisoner will be able to keep her home.

Ana Lazara Rodriguez purchased her home in the early 1990s after surviving inside one of Fidel Castro’s prisons for 19 years. She eventually wrote a book about her experience called “Diary of a Survivor: 19 years in a Cuban Woman’s Prison”.

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Rodriguez said when she refinanced her mortgage, she couldn’t afford the payments and stopped making them in 2008 due to rising interest rates.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez issued a proclamation ensuring that Rodriguez would receive the help she needs to avoid eviction.

Nationally recognized foreclosure defense attorney Bruce Jacobs is representing Rodriguez pro-bono.

“I hope that Mr. Jacobs will be able to save my home. That will be the first step in saving the homes of many millions of Americans that have suffered because of the corruption of the bank,” said Rodriguez.

In a court filing, Jacobs said that in 2019 “prominent members of the Cuban exile community reached out to the bank and offered to pay the value of the property to stop the foreclosure. The bank demanded over $700,000.00 which was far more than the home was worth.”

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The bank has since sold the house and that homeowner wants Rodriguez evicted.

Jacobs then filed a lawsuit to stop the eviction.

“The lawsuit alleged Bank of America committed fraud upon the court as the servicer for Bank of New York Mellon which is grounds to vacate her consent judgment,” according to court documents.

The lawsuit is still pending.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement that the county is also assisting Rodriguez in her efforts to keep her home.

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“We are all gravely concerned about what is happening in Ms. Rodriguez’s case. I want to reiterate that her case is now in process in the courts and no action will be taken by the police while she pursues all available remedies in court. In the mean time my administration is taking all possible steps to connect her with resources and support as she fights with the bank to keep her home.” Team