Why Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer didn’t pay her mortgage for 5 years

Fight stemmed from property tax issues

Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer (Credit: Getty Images)
Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer (Credit: Getty Images)

Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer and her husband were at risk of losing their home on the Upper West Side until earlier this year.

Brewer and her husband Calvin Snyder have lived in the same four-story townhouse on West 95th Street for 24 years but recently had to deal with a two-year foreclosure case stemming from a five-year period where the couple was not paying their mortgage bills, according to The City.

Brewer told The City the legal issues arose from her wanting to pay her own taxes on the house. Ocwen, the Miami-based mortgage company handling billing on the property, would not let her do so.

Ocwen generally pays property taxes on behalf of borrowers to protect investors, but Brewer wanted to check her own bills and was concerned about multiple legal actions that had previously been brought against Ocwen.

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Brewer stopped paying her mortgage over this issue in July 2013, and the loan servicer began foreclosure proceedings four years later. She missed several court conferences over the case and did not defend herself in court to keep the pressure on Ocwen.

The firm’s attorneys moved to declare her house in default in October 2018, and soon after, an attorney for Brewer and Snyder showed up in court and began a process to resolve the case.

“I don’t like to lose … but I couldn’t, time wise,” Brewer told The City. “After a while you just say, I don’t have the energy for this.”

The loan was paid off on Feb. 28, according to city property records, and the judge in the case has ordered the matter closed. [The City] – Eddie Small