Last year, thanks in part to petitions signed and delivered and phone calls made by Home Defenders, one city, Richmond, California, stood up to Wall Street bankers and created their own program for taking on the foreclosure and underwater mortgage crisis.
Watch this video to see what happened next.
Richmond – and now other cities – worked out a proposal to “Local Principal Reduction” to acquire a set of the worst, hardest to fix underwater mortgages and refinance them to restore home equity. If banks refuse to cooperate, cities may use their legal authority of eminent domain to buy the bad mortgages at fair market value and reset them to current value.
Some people also call it “reverse eminent domain” because it is all about keeping struggling families in their homes. Unsurprisingly, this has a lot of Wall Street’s most intransigent bankers upset and they are fighting this tooth and nail.
We believe this story has two possible endings.
In one, we get programs like Richmond’s implemented in every corner of the United States. In that case, Wall Street bankers have to deal with us, rather than dictate to us. Foreclosures go down, families stay in their homes, cities stabilize. We control our economic future.
In the other, Wall Street lobbyists scare every city in the country except Richmond from taking bold action to control their futures. Foreclosures go on, struggling families lose their wealth and their homes, and we fight hard for settlements that let bankers go free and don’t match the magnitude of the economic destruction they caused.
So we created a way for people around the United States to come together and fight for the first ending. It’s called FightingForeclosures.org and it will allow anyone to stand up to Wall Street and help keep struggling families in their homes.
If enough people like you come together, then we’ll win. We’ll win the ability to control our economic future. We’ll be in charge. Wall Street lobbyists are trying desperately not to let this happen, including spreading fear and confusion to stop other cities from taking such a bold move.
Help us win. Please visit www.FightingForeclosures.org, watch the video, chip in a few dollars (whatever you can do helps) and spread the word.
We can beat the banks. We did it in Richmond. We can do it again. But we absolutely can’t do it without your help. With your help, we control our economic future and keep families in their homes. Without it… well, we’re already going down that road.
Click here to write the ending in which people win back their homes and their futures.
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We knew the big banks would play dirty in their fight against Richmond’s plan to stop the wave of foreclosures decimating our city’s communities. But we didn’t know they would stoop this low.
The banks want to bully Richmond out of our plan to acquire underwater homes by threatening to make it more expensive for people to borrow money to buy homes if our plan passes.
There’s another name for this kind of bullying: redlining. It’s a tactic that was used for decades to maintain neighborhood segregation and keep people of color out of home ownership — and it’s completely illegal. By threatening us, the banks are betting that our plan will lose political support and wither on the vine. That’s why we must hold them accountable for threatening illegal action right now.
Join me in standing up to discriminatory redlining. Sign this petition calling on the U. S. Department of Justice to investigate the banking industry’s threats.
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Richmond, CA struggling families 2 – Wall Street criminals 0!
On Tuesday September 10, the Home Defenders League and HDL partner ACCE, joined by the Richmond Progressive Alliance, the Mayor of Richmond Gayle McLaughlin, and City Council champion Jovanka Beckles, beat back a Wall Street-led campaign of threats, litigation, and a full-scale election-style campaign dedicated to ending the Richmond, CA program to help underwater homeowners in that city, using eminent domain if necessary.
On that Tuesday night (well, really Wednesday morning), the City Council voted 4-3 to move forward with the Richmond CARES program despite the huge attacks from Wall Street bankers against it. That was the first victory of the week and it is a really big deal.
The importance of this victory cannot be overstated. If the lies and fear mongering of Wall Street bankers had been allowed to intimidate Richmond’s City Council into backing down, the entire Local Principal Reduction idea would have collapsed. Instead, the movement is spreading. This week, San Francisco Supervisor David Campos announced a resolution standing in solidarity with Richmond and exploring a similar program there. And in Seattle, more than 30 groups came together in the Reset Seattle Coalition and packed the Seattle City Council to launch an LPR campaign there, too.
We’ve set up a way to thank the four City Council members – Gayle McLaughlin, Jovanka Beckles, Tom Butt, and Jael Myrick – who voted to continue the Richmond CARES program on our Facebook page here.
You can also help keep this fight spreading to other cities by chipping in $20 here.
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On August 7th Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank named the City of Richmond in a lawsuit filed to attempt to block Local Principal Reduction from moving forward.
Please call Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and tell him to stop suing and start negotiating.
Here’s his office number: 415-396-7018
Here’s a sample script:
“Hi, my name is __________. I wanted to let John Stumpf know that I support the city of Richmond’s common sense approach to local principal reduction. Wells Fargo needs to drop the lawsuit it filed against Richmond. The foreclosure crisis has hit cities like Richmond tremendously hard. Sell these underwater loans to the city so that we can stop the crisis now!”
You can report how the call went by leaving a comment below.
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