In actions planned in 14 cities, struggling homeowners and advocates will deliver letters asking for help promised in settlements
Nationwide [July 8, 2014]— As the U.S. Department of Justice reportedly continues negotiations with Bank of America, CitiBank and other major banks regarding possible record-breaking settlements, struggling homeowners in 14 cities are heading to U.S. Attorney’s offices, delivering a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. The letter requests that Holder personally intervene to ensure that the terms of previous mortgage settlements are fully implemented and that future settlements provide greater relief to the consumers harmed by the foreclosure crisis in the first place.
“During the past year since the $13 billion JPMorgan Chase settlement was announced, struggling homeowners have waited for relief,” the letter to Holder states. “However, relief from the Chase Settlement has yet to arrive. The bank has not announced any new relief programs. Nor has there been a noticeable increase in new modifications. Instead, Chase and their competitors are often transferring servicing rights to newer mortgage companies not covered by recent or future settlements.”
Cities participating in today’s #ShowUsTheMoney Day of Action include Minneapolis, Atlanta, St. Louis, Newark, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Houston, Raleigh, Dallas and New York.
Struggling or “underwater” homeowners throughout the country facing foreclosure or eviction are taking action through the national organization Home Defender’s League and its partners throughout the country. Many have chosen to tell their stories publicly, and a website has been set up to share these powerful testimonies. The site can be found at this link: http://100storiesofwhatwallstreetbroke.tumblr.com/
"I want to be able to support my children with stable housing on the street they grew up on,” said Sergio Ceballos Aguilar a Minneapolis resident who hoped that the JP Morgan Chase settlement would allow him to rescue his home from foreclosure. “All we ask for is a fair negotiation, to sell my home back to me so that I can continue to pay for my home. It is terrible that JPMorgan is pulling the same trick on our country that it is pulling on me! First they negotiate, then they retreat before sealing the deal.”
Among those taking action today is Terri Thorsen of Jacksonville, Florida. "After five stressful, health destroying and unproductive years fighting Wells Fargo in the courts to save my home, I feel the only effective way is to take direct action,” Thorsen said.
"I never thought in a million years that I would be in this position of fighting CitiBank to save my home of 18 years,” said Texas homeowner Robin Crawford, who will be joining her neighbors in visiting the U.S. Attorney’s office in Houston today. “We all used our taxpayer dollars to bailout the very same banks not willing to help stop foreclosures. Wall Street bankers should be criminally charged for taking the very homes that we worked so hard to keep."
"I am only interested in having peace of mind in my home,” said Theresa Sharpe of Raleigh, participating in the local action today. “I want to feel secure that when I send my payments they will be applied correctly so that my balance will decrease instead of increasing with illegal fees that they make up. Bank of America should treat their customers like people, and stop being an unscrupulous business. They need to do what is right, so that people like me can keep their homes and live in peace."
Those delivering letters to Holder today are asking the Attorney General to not only make sure that past settlements are fully implemented—with relief going to those homeowners who were wronged—but that greater care be taken to ensure that future settlements do not venture along the same path. In addition, advocates and homeowners are asking Holder and his staff for detailed information about what aid has been delivered under the JP Morgan Chase Settlement and reiterating their call for the bank to temporarily halt foreclosures until new aid for homeowners and consumer protections are put in place.
Community groups participating in today’s actions include Home Defenders League, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), New Jersey Communities United, Occupy Homes Atlanta and Occupy Homes Minnesota.
The Home Defenders League is a national organization fighting against foreclosures and for a just resolution to the mortgage crisis including mass principal reduction for underwater homeowners.