SNELLVILLE -- Parkwood Farms and HSBC Bank have reached an agreement that will stall eviction and give the Snellville therapy center more time to raise money to re-purchase its property.
Parkwood Farms founder Dr. Marilyn Peterson told the Daily Post late Wednesday that an agreement had been reached -- and "put in writing" -- that will prevent eviction until Feb. 1, 2013. Peterson had been scheduled for a hearing in Gwinnett County Superior Court on Thursday morning that, if approved by a judge, would have provided a similar injunction.
The action will give Peterson more time to try and raise the roughly $150,000 to $175,000 she said the bank will likely ask for in order to buy her land back.
"As long as we keep moving forward with negotiations," Peterson said, "than they're not going to do anything to bother us."
Peterson founded Parkwood Farms, an equine therapy center for students with disabilities like autism, in 2002. She has been battling what she calls a wrongful foreclosure and predatory loan for about two years.
Last month, Gwinnett County sheriff's deputies served an original eviction notice. Classes were temporarily suspended and horses were sent to Monroe as the legal battle escalated and went public. Occupy Atlanta's Tim Franzen got involved, and both groups held a rally, a vigil and surprise meeting at an Atlanta law firm in order to protest the foreclosure.
Classes resumed last week with the farm's legal standing still up in the air.
With an agreement reached, Peterson is now left with the unenviable task of trying to raise almost $200,000.
Peterson said she hopes to launch a full-fledged corporate fundraising campaign, but also asked for donations from the general public. Those interested can donate at parkwoodfarms.org.
"We have no money," Peterson said. "That's the big thing. That's the thing that we could really use. Ten dollars here, whatever anybody can afford and give from their hearts."