South Gate Activist Dead at 50

Ana Casas Wilson, a disability rights advocate, died Friday night. She was 50.

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A homeowner who staged a sit-in at her childhood house to avoid foreclosure has died, it was reported Saturday.

Ana Casas Wilson died of breast cancer at her home Friday night. She was 50.

Her family, which had joined her in the fight to keep the house from foreclosure, said it will continue to fight; family members have asked the public's help with funeral costs. 

Wilson was fighting to reverse the foreclosure on her childhood home, where she lived with her husband James, mother Rebecca, 18-year-old son, and 21-year-old daughter.

Ana was set to be evicted in October, but after she and supporters set up an encampment at the home, lender Wells Fargo halted eviction proceedings and had been talking with Ana about a long-term solution for her to stay in the home.

According to a press release by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Casas Wilson was not able to make her mortgage payments after being diagnosed with cancer in 2009.

This obligated James Wilson, Casas Wilson's husband, to quit one of his jobs to take care of her. 

Wilson is now an employee of the Lynwood Unified School District.

Casas Wilson accused Wells Fargo and US Bank, which own the mortgage, of snubbing her requests to negotiate a loan modification with her.

In April, Casas Wilson was arrested after protesting outside of Tim Sloan's house, the Chief Financial Officer of Wells Fargo, and trying to make a mortgage payment to him.

Peter Kuhns, a community organizer with ACCE,  took issue last fall with the statements made by Wells Fargo to Patch.

“How can they say she has not made any payments since 2008, when she has tried to make them, and the banks wont take her money?” said Kuhns last fall. “She has been trying to make payments.”

Kuhns added that no loan modifications had been offerred to Casas Wilson, and that the bank had not exhausted all possibilities. 

Ana’s family vowed to continue the fight for the home, and set up a website for supporters to assist them with funeral costs.

Click here to contribute.


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