[COMM-ORG] PICO foreclosure organizing

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Thu Nov 12 08:31:04 CST 2009


From:
"PICO National Network" <news at piconetwork.org>


 
November 10, 2009
 
PICO urges Treasury to act now to help borrowers who have lost their 
jobs stay in their homes
Calls on Bank of America to voluntarily halt all foreclosures until it 
corrects its failure to offer modifications to more than a fraction of 
eligible borrowers
 
While today's release of figures by the Treasury Department showed an 
uptick in the numbers of families receiving temporary loan modifications 
under the Administration's Making Home Affordable Program, there are 
still no numbers available on permanent modifications, and the temporary 
numbers continue to pale in comparison to the worsening foreclosure 
crisis, with recent studies showing more and more foreclosures due to 
rising unemployment.
 
RealtyTrac reports that foreclosure filings for the third quarter of 
2009 rose 23 percent from the same time last year.  A whopping one in 
every 136 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing between July 
and September.
 
"As we head into the holiday season with record unemployment numbers, 
the Treasury needs to offer new hope to people facing foreclosure," said 
Rev. Lucy Kolin of PICO National Network, "Too many people are losing 
their homes because they've lost their jobs or because their servicers 
are failing to comply with the existing loan modification program."
 
PICO is pressing the Treasury to speed up the pace of loan modifications 
and to adopt a new initiative to help homeowners who have lost their 
jobs to continue paying their mortgage until they can find new 
employment. PICO and other consumer and civil rights organizations are 
urging the Treasury to make existing TARP money availability to make 
short term loans to unemployed borrowers.
 
Both Chairman Barney Frank and Senator Jack Reed have introduced 
legislation calling for such a program.  But the good news is that 
creating this program does not require legislation. Treasury has the 
authority to use TARP money to create this kind of program today.
 
That's why, at a November 1 town hall meeting attended by Chairman 
Frank, PICO faith leaders from Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC) in 
Brockton, MA urged him to press Treasury to create such a program now.  
And Chairman Frank agreed to follow through on this.

PICO is currently reaching out to other Members of Congress to urge them 
to follow Chairman Frank's lead and press Treasury on helping unemployed 
homeowners keep their homes, and to stop these entirely preventable 
foreclosures before the holiday season begins.
 
As part of an effort to speed up the pace of loan modifications under 
the existing HAMP program, PICO is also asking Bank of America to stop 
all foreclosure proceedings on all loans it services until it corrects 
it failure to offer loan modifications to more than a fraction of 
eligible homeowners.  Bank of America's has had the worst record of loan 
modification of all major servicers.
 
"Given the atrocious performance of Bank of America, we ask that the 
bank voluntary cease all foreclosure activity until it puts its own 
house in order," said Rev. Kolin.
 
On Friday, November 6, 2009 a delegation of twenty PICO leaders from 
affiliates in the San Francisco Bay Area met with Tiarzha Taylor, VP of 
Homeownership Preservation and Advocacy and delivered a set of demands 
to improve their efforts to keep families in their homes.  As over one 
hundred community residents with Bank of America loans waited outside 
the negotiations, Bank of America representatives heard testimonies from 
families who had applied for loan modifications but were given auction 
notices instead.
 
"I have been working with Bank of America since the beginning of this 
year to modify my loan and my paperwork has been repeatedly lost," 
testified PICO leader Nelly Rubio.  "I was told over the phone that I 
qualify for a loan modification, but on October 10th I was given a 
notice that my home was being sold for auction.  How is this possible?  
I am here to speak for the hundreds of thousands of families who are in 
the same situation."
 
PICO leaders are demanding to meet directly with Barbara Desoer, 
president of Bank of America Home Loans to negotiate their proposals.
 
For more information on PICO's foreclosure prevention campaign, visit 
www.piconetwork.org/keepfamiliesinhomes


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