Arts & Events

Press Release: Group Demands Mortgage Modification for Noted Author

From The Friends of Jane Powell
Saturday January 28, 2012 - 10:41:00 AM
Sunset House circa 1910
Sunset House circa 1910

The Friends of Jane Powell, a group organized to help the noted author of home renovation books and Planet contributing writer, is demanding her mortgage servicer GMAC negotiate and memorialize a reasonable modification of her home mortgage. In support of this effort the group will be holding a fund raising event at Jane’s historic home on February 12 at 2:00 pm. 

"I did everything you're supposed to do. I refinanced into a fixed rate loan in 2006. I stayed current on the payments, even after I was rejected for a modification in 2010 because GMAC said I couldn't afford even a modified payment. The banks' motto is ‘extend and pretend’- they stall by asking for more paperwork, hoping you'll just give up so they can foreclose." said Powell. 

Jane acquired Sunset House in the Fruitvale District of Oakland in 2002. This one-of-a kind Arts & Crafts treasure from 1905 was suffering from years of neglect. Due to its history and architecture, Sunset House was granted Mills Act protection. While this designation provides limited property tax relief, it also obligates the owner to make ongoing, expensive repairs. Adding to her financial duress is her ongoing battle with lymphoma, which has greatly increased her medical expenses. 

“We will not stand by and see Jane lose her home to a predatory lender. It is time for GMAC to step up and act responsibly,” said Friends member Ralph Kanz. 

Jane is best known for her many books including Bungalow Kitchens and Bungalow Bathrooms, and countless articles for Old House Journal, American Bungalow, and other publications. She has given lectures around the country and actively participated in local preservation efforts, including serving as President of Oakland Heritage Alliance. Her witty, informative, and passionate writing has made her an invaluable resource for the home preservation and restoration community.  

All those attending the February 12 fundraiser will have the opportunity to tour this unique historic house that was featured on the 1996 Arts & Crafts House Tour sponsored by Oakland Heritage Alliance and the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association and was the cover story of the November 2006 American Bungalow magazine. 

Hosted bar and hors d’oeuvres. Silent auction with objets d’art, consultations, autographed books, massages, and fine collectibles. Live entertainment including Sharon Knight with Celtic inspired music. Full details on Jane’s Blog:

Please RSVP to Robert Brokl / Alfred Crofts, (510) 655-3841,