Jacqueline Barber. Grace Alexander. Debbie and Ron Austin. David and Yanick Dunwell.
These are four stories from the wave of foreclosures Wall Street unleashed when they broke our economy, wiped out our savings, and stole our homes. They are the real people directly affected by greedy Wall Street criminals. These are the people President Obama needs to keep in mind when he delivers his State of the Union address next Tuesday.
It’s been a year since the President announced a task force to hold banks accountable for their actions and the only thing many underwater homeowners and foreclosure victims have to show for it is a lot of press stories, a few small potatoes lawsuits, and the continuing stress of fighting to stay in their homes. It’s clear that the Administration knows the faces of Jaime Dimon at JPMorgan Chase, Brian Moynihan at Bank of America and John Stumpf at Wells Fargo a lot better than it knows those of the 14 million underwater homeowners and millions of foreclosure victims.
To help President Obama remember Wall Street’s many victims, the members of the Home Defenders League have started to share their own stories of fighting back when bankers try to steal their homes on this website, 100 Stories of What Wall Street Broke.
“US Bank is the reason I’m no longer in remission for my cancer.”
– Jacqueline Barber, Fayetteville, GA.
Jacqueline Barber, a retired Atlanta police detective and grandmother, is fighting GMAC, US Bank, and bone marrow cancer. Grace Alexander is fighting a Bank of America eviction despite evidence of fraud in her mortgage. The Austin family has been evicted by Fannie Mae, which claims they missed a payment despite a receipt proving otherwise. The Dunwell family is fighting Bank of America, which gave them a trial mortgage modification for a year but then decided to foreclose anyway – even though they had never missed a payment on the modification!
“It’s been a real humbling experience, first losing my job [in 2008 during the Great Recession], now losing my home. At times where I felt weak, I sat and heard my daughter talk about, you know, ‘These banks need to do right by us,’ and my backbone kind of just straightened up.”
– David Dunwell, Springfield, MA.
There are a host of things the President can do right now—without waiting for Congress—to ease the continuing crisis in homeownership, beginning with holding accountable the Wall Street bankers who created it. They’re reporting record profits (again), while millions of us still own houses valued at less than our mortgages or are in some stage of foreclosure. Fixing the housing crisis by resetting mortgages to market value and finally forcing banks to treat our families fairly would be the best thing he could do both for us and for the nation’s economy.
That’s why we’re stepping out of the shadows to tell our stories – so that the Administration can’t keep ignoring us even as Wall Street lobbyists swarm the Capitol and White House. You can see us here, at 100 Stories of What Wall Street Broke.
We aren’t alone, though, as Jacqueline, Grace, Debbie and Ron, and David and Yanick can attest. You or someone you know might be in a similar situation. We’ve set up a form so you can submit your own story as well. You can submit your stories here.
“We did everything right, yet our government allows these banks to steal our very homes out from under us.”
– Debbie Austin, Portland OR.
We are a few weeks into the first 100 days of President Obama’s second term. Time is running out for him to take decisive action against the Wall Street criminals stealing our jobs, our savings, and our homes. Telling the stories of people directly affected by Wall Street bankers is one way we are bringing home the necessity of urgent action. Check them out here and take a moment to add yours here.
Many of us have great local groups fighting alongside us: Jacqueline has Occupy Homes Atlanta, Grace has New Jersey Communities United, the Austins have We Are Oregon, the Dunwell’s have City Life/La Vida Urbana – and we also have all of you and the Home Defenders League.
But we need a President to stand up for us too.