ATLANTA -- Parkwood Farms will resume classes Tuesday while it continues to fight its pending eviction.
Parkwood founder Dr. Marilyn Peterson, Occupy Atlanta's Tim Franzen and four parents of students at the Snellville therapy center -- where disabled children learn via interaction with horses -- attempted Monday to visit attorneys at the Atlanta office of Shapiro & Swertferger and "put a face on" the eviction they're facing.
Afterward they held an impromptu press conference, explaining their actions and announcing that classes will resume.
"We're not going to be held hostage anymore by these proceedings," Peterson said.
Staff at Shapiro & Swertferger, which is helping HSBC Bank and Everhome Mortgage with the foreclosure and eviction process at Parkwood Farms, denied the group a meeting with a local attorney but a representative from another office of the national firm spoke with them via telephone.
That attorney said the firm was not allowed to speak with Peterson because she had legal counsel.
The group left photos -- printouts of Special Olympics teams and other students -- on a table in a conference room after the telephone call, which included Peterson's attorney Kurt Raulin.
"We know that the law firm will be contacting HSBC and Everhome and letting them know that they got a visit paid to them," Franzen said. "And that's what we wanted to accomplish today."
Peterson confirmed Monday that the bank had made an offer to sell the farm back to her at market value. Raulin reportedly told her that Everhome had agreed to stall the eviction process until after the Christmas holidays.
She doesn't trust that claim, she said.
"The details (of the offer) I can't share at this point," Peterson said, "but the important part is the eviction process has not been stopped. We need to have the eviction process stopped if they're really sincere about the negotiation process."
A hearing in Gwinnett Superior Court has been scheduled for Dec. 6, during which a judge will hear Parkwood's case for a temporary protective order that would prevent eviction for a set period of time.
Peterson has been battling foreclosure for nearly two years, since she said her mortgage was unexpectedly sold and converted to an adjustable rate mortgage. When the rate doubled, she said she was advised to miss a few payments to "qualify for some programs."
The woman who founded Parkwood Farms in 2002 said the foreclosure process "wrongfully" began when she did so.
As her fight continues, classes -- suspended when an eviction notice was served Nov. 7 -- will resume Tuesday afternoon. The horses have been brought back from the Monroe farm they were sent to went sessions ceased, and students will be back too.
"We're going to be doing what we do best," Peterson said. "Not fighting a fight but helping children become the best they can possibly be, and being a service to our community."