Friday, January 6, 2012

2012-01-06 "99% Activists Fight New Year Bank Evictions and Foreclosures"

99% Stand Up To Wall St. Banks and Demand Loan Modifications!!

Media Alert: Community Group to take action on local Wall St. Banks in Antioch, Help Struggling Homeowners
WHO: Members of the community group ACCE, clergy, laborers, concerned residents, and other activist groups
WHAT: A group of concerned residents and homeowners will take action on multiple local Wall St. Banks and demand that hey give homeowners facing eviction a sustainable loan modification.
WHEN: 11:30 am, Friday, January 6th
WHERE: We will assemble at Starbucks parking lot, 2504 Somersville Rd. Antioch, CA
CONTACT: John Adams, MA. ACCE Local Director for Contra Costa County [office: 925-689-1001] [] []

 Antioch- A new year and a new wave of foreclosures and evictions will hit struggling homeowners, especially in Contra Costa County. Members of the Community group ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), clergy, laborers, concerned residents, and other activist groups will take action on Wall St. Banks in Antioch on Friday, January 6th at 11:30am and demand that the banks give struggling homeowners, Jessi Koritz and Jaime Cader, a sustainable loan modification. Concord homeowners, Jessi and his wife are borrowers from a Wall St. Bank who are facing eviction as a result of being given a predatory loan. Antioch resident, Jaime Cader, is representing his mother who was forced out of her home after she was provided a predatory refinance. In both cases, the borrowers were assured that inflating their income to get the loan would be ok, and that they could refinance down the road to lower their payments. Unfortunately, however, they both face the reality of losing their homes.
 "We had struggled for years to be able to finally live the American Dream by becoming homeowners, and we decided we were going to fight to keep this home that we loved so much and wanted to raise our family in. We've been fighting for years to save our home” said Jessi Koritz. “At one point, in July 2011, we were told that our lender was working with us to modify our loan. The very next day, while on the phone with a modification representative we learned that they had auctioned our home at the courthouse. It was if a part of us had died right in our arms while we tried to do everything we could to save it. Now, we are taking the fight to the bank and demanding that the bank work with us to keep us in our home."
 Jessi and Jaime are members of Contra Costa ACCE. Contra Costa ACCE has decided it’s time to come together and fight to save our homes, our neighborhoods, and the American Dream. Foreclosures in Contra Costa have run much higher than in other Bay Area cities and the foreclosure rate is only behind Solano County. According to, Contra Costa County has 10,129 foreclosure homes, and one in every 167 housing units received a foreclosure notice in November 2011. Antioch and Concord are leading the county in foreclosure activity with, 338 and 291 respectively. The foreclosures not only hurt the homeowners, but impact neighborhoods and the city as a whole as well. Large inventories of neglected and abandoned bank-owned homes contribute to blight and crime in a neighborhood. They drain revenue from the city and add maintenance costs, drag down the housing market and depress the local economy.
ACCE is partnering with a broad coalition of community, labor, and policy organizations across California and the country to build a national movement of homeowners with the following demands: Require banks to develop an effective program for negotiating permanent, sustainable loan modifications before foreclosure proceedings are initiated. Require banks to utilize principal reduction for your home as a first line loan modification tool not as a last resort. Require banks pay their fair share of money they have taken from local and state budgets, including paying their property taxes and their fines for not maintaining their abandoned and foreclosed properties in the city.
The national Occupy Our Homes [] campaign challenges a deliberate Wall Street strategy that has made billions for those at the top while devastating the 99%:
* Banks created a housing bubble, deliberately designing predatory loans with balloon payments, variable rates, and other features that would yield short-term profits while preying on families least able to pay.
* They knew that many of these loans could not be repaid.
* The economy crashed as a result of this bank-created house of cards, putting tens of millions of Americans out of work. Unemployment is overwhelmingly the primary cause [] of foreclosures, not over-extended consumers.
* More than 6 million Americans have lost their homes, often through illegal foreclosures, and another 5 million are at risk. Many homeowners were told that if they stopped making payments, they could qualify for a lower rate. When they did so, the banks put them in default and initiated foreclosure.
* The 99% bailed out Wall Street, while Wall Street bailed on our communities, taking our money for outrageous executive salaries and bonuses and massive profits. We gave Wall Street $700 billion in taxpayer money through TARP, and another $7.7 trillion in nearly interest-free loans of taxpayer money through the Federal Reserve. Bank profits in the third quarter of 2011 were more than $35 billion – higher than they were before the crash. 
* The bank-induced crash devastated home values and life savings for all homeowners.
* Yet, the banks claim that they should be able to collect mortgage payments based on the value of homes before the crash they caused, rather than current value. At least one in four homeowners is now “underwater” – meaning the bank wants them to make payments on a higher mortgage than what the house is worth.
* Wall Street is draining hundreds of billions of dollars from communities by demanding artificially inflated mortgage payments – money that is needed to support local jobs and small businesses and get the economy working again for the 99%.

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