Calumet City woman feared losing her home after someone took out a fraudulent federal PPP loan on her behalf – CBS Chicago



CITY OF CALUMET, Illinois (CBS) –A 72-year-old woman in Calumet City feared she would be forced out of her home because someone took out a federal paycheck protection program loan on her behalf.

As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported on Wednesday night, the Calumet City home of great-grandmother Helen Byrd is the center of her rugged family.

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“I cherish my home,” she said through her daughter. “I really like it here.”

We spoke to Ms. Byrd – who is deaf and communicates in sign language – and her daughter Candace, who lives in Indianapolis and has interpreted for her mother via video conference.

“We’re having a good time,” Candace said.

But these are stressful times for the 72-year-old great-grandmother. A few weeks ago, she received a letter from the Housing Authority of Cook County.

“It was brought to the attention of the Housing Authority of Cook County through the Small Business Administration that you requested and may have received a Small Business Protection Program / Paycheck loan / grant,” says the letter.

The loan was $ 20,000. The letter adds that Ms Byrd did not disclose the payment nor did she declare that she was a business owner. P3 loans were put in place by the federal government to help keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The County Housing Authority’s claims are significant as they could affect Ms Byrd’s status as a Section 8 tenant.

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Candace: “Have you ever owned your own business? “

Ms. Byrd: “No no never. I don’t own a business or anything.

In fact, Ms Byrd is a retired postwoman, now worried about losing her 12-year-old apartment.

“I’m scared. I don’t know where I’m going to live,” she said. “I want to be here. I really like it here. “

We called the county and a spokesperson told us that it appears Ms Byrd is a victim of identity theft – and that she can easily prove that she didn’t apply for the loan by contacting the Small Business Administration.

Will she be kicked out of her home, we asked? “Absolutely not,” spokeswoman Emily Orenstein said.

“I feel good knowing my mom wouldn’t have to worry about being kicked out,” Candace said. “I really appreciate you and Channel 2 for putting this story together and definitely getting results.”

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Ms Byrd says she will call if she has any problems in order to resolve this issue.


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