Tom Crawford is a 63-year-old cancer patient who has lived in the same small bungalow in the English town of Carlton for the past 25 years. But for the past five years, Crawford, who is battling prostate cancer, has also been battling bankers who want to kick him out of his house.
Crawford and his wife took out a £41,000 mortgage — which at today’s rates would be about about $70,000 — in 1988, so they could buy the bungalow. Crawford says he finally paid off the mortgage at the end of last year. But the bank says he didn’t. In fact, the Bradford & Bingley bank says they have no record of the mortgage — and that Crawford still owes the bank £43,000.
“As far as I’m concerned, I have paid my mortgage and I won’t pay a penny more,” Crawford said. Not only did he and his wife work hard to pay off the mortgage, but due to doctors’ mistakes, he needed additional treatment for his cancer, rendering him unable to work and leaving them behind on the mortgage.
“They tried to repossess the house then, but we paid back and caught up and everything should have been okay,” he said. “Now they are putting us through hell and something needs to be done about it, they can’t keep getting away with this.”
In a last-ditch attempt to stop the bank from evicting him from his home of 25 years on Wednesday, Crawford posted an 11-minute YouTube video asking for help from anyone willing to give it.
“But don’t use violence,” Crawford said in the video. “They are the ones who use violence. This is a war, for the people. It may only be a small bungalow, but it is my bungalow, my land, my home.”
The father of three and grandfather of two said he and his wife, Susan, 54, couldn’t promise anything to anyone who showed up to help, other than “a nice cup of tea.”
Wednesday morning — to Crawford’s surprise — more than 200 people arrived at his doorstep. The video above shows just a portion of the crowd, with people traveling from a far away as Wales and Scotland, to stop the bank from taking Crawford’s home.
The bank later confirmed that they did not go through with the scheduled Wednesday eviction due to “safety concerns.”
“I can’t believe that people have come from all over the country to support me,” a stunned Tom Crawford said Wednesday. “It’s really overwhelming and I really didn’t expect it. This is something I feel very passionate about – I’ve been here more than 25 years and have brought three children up here. I’ve worked hard all my life. This is just devastating.”